Tortoni is an Italian frozen cream dessert usually flavored with a liqueur and topped with
almonds and maraschino cherries. The difference between ice cream and tortoni is in the
way they are made. Ice cream is made by blending rich materials, cream and sugar and
sometimes eggs, and then churning air into the mixture with an ice-cream maker. With tortoni,
air is whipped into egg whites and into heavy cream, and the two mixtures are folded together,
and simply placed in the freezer until frozen. The dessert is usually attributed to Giuseppe
Tortoni, a Neapolitan who owned the popular Café Tortoni in Paris in the early 19th century.
It’s assumed that tortoni was one of the ice creams sold at the café.
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon dark rum
1 cup amaretti cookies, finely crushed
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
12 candied or maraschino cherries
Prepare a 12-opening muffin tin with paper liners.
Whip cream until slightly stiff. Add sugar, vanilla, and rum.
Continue to whip until cream holds in stiff peaks. Fold in crushed cookies.
In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the cream mixture.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin liners.
Place in the freezer. Freeze about 2-3 hours, or until firm.
Before serving, garnish each tortoni with almonds.
Top each portion with a cherry.
You can add additional chopped almonds and cherries to the cream mixture before freezing, if desired.
NOTE: This recipe contains uncooked egg whites for those with health concerns.
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