I had the pleasure of discovering this great Italian ice cream at a restaurant in Chicago, called the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder, yummmmmmy! Well, since I don't live there and can't live without this delicious dessert, I created this one. This tortoni is so decadently smooth and creamy and the DiSaronno takes it to another level! My gourmet adult daughter says it's the best thing she has ever eaten!
- Chop the macaroons (the macaroons I buy are the soft macaroons from Target, chocolate dipped ones or plain ones).
- Place on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and bake them at 225 degrees for 45 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring several times while baking. You want then dried and crunchy.
- Cool and place in Ziploc bag.
- Toast the sliced almonds until lightly browned.
- Cool and then coarsely crush them.
- Mix them in with the toasted macaroons.
- Freeze the macaroon/almond crumbs until needed (this can be done hours/days in advance or while you are making the sugar/water/egg mixture and it's cooling). I will usually double this part of the recipe and keep a bag for later. It's a time saver for when I make it again.
- Boil the water and sugar until it reaches 235 degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, until the syrup spins a thread when dropped from the tip of a spoon), this will take a little while, be patient.
- Just before sugar water is to temperature, beat the egg yolks with mixer until it starts to get pale and fluffy.
- Drizzle the hot syrup into eggs gradually while beating.
- Cook the egg mixture over a double boiler for 7 minutes while constantly mixing on a low speed.
- Whip into the egg mixture 1/4 cup of DiSarrono (if you prefer no alcohol you can substitute 1 tsp almond extract).
- Chill in refrigerator for 40-50 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream, vanilla and powdered sugar (and 1/2 tsp almond extract for no alcohol recipe) until stiffly whipped.
- Whip in 1/4 cup DiSaronno.
- Remove egg mixture from refrigerator and mix in 2 1/2 cups macaroon/almond crumbs.
- Gently fold-in egg/macaroon mixture into whipped cream mixture.
- Place foil cupcake wrappers or pretty martini/parfait glasses or serving dishes on cookie sheets.
- Using a large ice cream scoop or spoon, mound individual portions into each dish.
- Crush remaining macaroon/almond crumbs and sprinkle generous amount on top of each portion.
- Place one cherry on top of each one.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours.
- After tortoni is frozen, place servings into large Ziploc bags and keep in freezer and use as desired.
- This Tortoni can be frozen in a single resealable container. Just scoop frozen tortoni into serving dishes and sprinkle with crumbs and place cherry on top.
- Note: copy cat recipe for DiSaronno works well for this Tortoni. 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 3/4 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup dark corn syrup, 1 1/2 cups 80-proof vodka, 1 tablespoon pure almond extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix sugars and boiling water in glass pitcher or bowl. Stir until dissolved. Add corn syrup, stir well. Add vodka, almond and vanilla extracts. Cool and store in sealed container (empty vodka bottle re-labeled). Makes 3 cups.