I fell immediately in love with these kisses when I saw them in the March issue of Sale&Pepe (italian food magazine)....and like Baci di Dama (Lady kisses), they seem very easy-peasy to make but beware, their simple recipe could be tricky especially the first time...In fact, I managed to bake perfect kisses only at the third attempt!!! Luckily I am very stubborn and I don't throw in the towel easily because these little beauties are SUPER DIVINE...especially if they are "forgotten" in the tin for a couple of days!
As I told you the recipe itself is very easy and, with a few tricks, fool's proof so....give it a go!!
BACI di ALASSIO
Per 20 kisses
250g Whole hazelnuts, toasted
200g Caster sugar
25g Honey (preferably runny)
25g Cocoa powder
2 Egg whites (60-70g) (*)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a mixer chop finely the hazelnuts with the sugar and put them in a big bowl. Sieve the cocoa powder on top and stir wells with a spoon. Add the honey and stir again. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and add a spoon at a time to the rest of the ingredients. This is the tricky step because the mixture has to be thik and firm for the kisses to hold their shape during baking (**). Therefore it is possible that it is not necessary to add all the egg whites. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and fill with the mixture a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Pipe the kisses in individual swirls the size of half a walnut. Bake for 10-12' in the middle shelf and when ready (they shoul have a crisp skin), take out the oven and allaw to cool on a wire rack. Sandwich together with a teaspoon of dark chocolate ganache. Keep in a tin for up to 15 days (even more). Their taste develop if left for at least a day in the tin.
75g Dark chocolate (50-70% cocoa), chopped
75g Double cream
Bring the cream to the boil and set aside. Add the chocolete and stir until it is melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Leave to cool for 2 hours (or until the ganache is firm and can be spooned).
(*) The original recipe does not specify the weight of the whites so I considered the weight of the white of a medium egg (about 35g).
(**) The mixture has the right consistency when it takes a little effort to pipe it on the bakig tray; If you think that the mixture is a bit too loose, try to leave the kisses (once formed) on the baking sheet overnight at room; in this way they should hold their shape while in the oven.
A smily kiss,