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Author Notes: My mother kept a record of her prolific entertaining—who was invited, what was served—on 4x5 file cards in one of those old wooden recipe boxes with the hinged lid. I recently came across an Italian-themed dinner party menu that included tortoni, a childhood favorite I had completely forgotten. Allegedly invented in 1911 by an Italian restaurateur in Paris, this rich dessert straddles the line between ice cream and soufflé, managing to be both decadent and light. —gluttonforlife
For the tortoni:
- 3 egg whites (at room temp)
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cold espresso
- 3 tablespoons Kahlua
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped very fine
- In a mixing bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and continuing beating to form stiff peaks. Set aside.
- In another bowl whip 2 cups heavy cream with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup coffee until stiff peaks form. With motor still running on low speed, add remaining 1/4 cup coffee, Kahlua and toasted almonds. Fold into beaten egg whites.
- Spoon mixture into an 8-inch springform pan, cover with plastic wrap and wrap entire pan with foil to catch any leaks. Freeze overnight.
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 tablespoons agave nectar (or corn syrup)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- pinches sea salt
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and stir in remaining ingredients, mixing well and allowing to thicken. (Add sweetener in increments and stop when it's where you like it.) Cool.
- To serve tortoni, unwrap and remove springform ring. Pour chocolate sauce into a squeeze bottle and create decorative swirls on top, or simply drizzle with a spoon. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Slice into wedges.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Italian Dessert
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