With Easter around the corner, now’s the time to plan your ‘figolli’ baking session! If you plan on baking this local delicacy, keep in mind that it’s a rather long and enjoyable process. Being prepared helps a lot.
- It all depends on the ingredients
A quick search on the Internet yields various recipes, even for those who are after special ones like gluten free ‘figolli’. The filling of the traditional ‘figolli’ involves using ground almonds. For the best taste, make sure you get hold of authentic ground almonds. This, along with the orange blossom water and the grated rind of local lemons is among the secrets for getting the flavour of the authentic ‘figolla’.
- Shapes and sizes
‘Figolli’ come in many different shapes and sizes. Most people use aluminium cutters that can be purchased from household goods shops but you can create ‘figolli’ in any shape you want. Create a paper shape and use it as a stencil on the dough. Carve around the perimeter of the shape using a sharp knife. Indeed, there are a variety of ‘figolli’ shapes. Some are long and lanky like the guitar and the mermaid while others have a bigger centre like the lamb, the duck and the butterfly.
Making ‘figolli’ is a long process especially when one is preparing them at home. The sweet pastry needs to stand for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. If this step is skipped, the pastry is much more difficult to handle. Each ‘figolla’ is made of two layers of the same pastry shape and it is essential to seal in the almond filling between the two layers before placing in the oven. Once your ‘figolli’ are baked, be careful when handling them, as protruding pieces like heads and tails tend to break off easily. If a piece breaks off, don’t worry too much, as you can ice it back in place when you’re decorating.
4. Delight in decorating
Once the ‘figolli’ have been baked and are completely cool, it’s time for the decorating fun. Traditionally ‘figolli’ are covered with a thin spread of icing and then royal icing is piped to create fancy patterns and designs. Another alternative is to cover them with melted chocolate. Following the cake decorating frenzy that has taken over the world, today many ‘figolli’ are also decorated using fondant and rolled icing. Decorating the ‘figolli’ can be as easy as splashing hundreds and thousands or any other sprinkles on the melted chocolate or icing. On the other hand, it can be an elaborate and full art session that can possibly see painting of scenes and even creating edible mosaics!
- Don’t forget the Easter Egg
The final step is fixing up an Easter Egg on top of the ‘figolla’. This is what ultimately makes this sweet an Easter treat.
Baking ‘figolli’ might be too much for those on a busy schedule or who are on holiday. If that’s the case, then simply drop by a confectionery or a supermarket. Nearly all shops will have ‘figolli’ on sale during these next two weeks. Just make sure to ask for the authentic one with the almond filling!
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