"Finishing in cantucci and vin santo" has become an expression of a convivial and friendly atmosphere throughout Tuscany.
The peaceful solution to any disagreement!
Now you can find it for all tastes: with walnuts, hazelnuts, chocolate, pistachio, orange ...... but the ONLY Tuscan cantuccio is the classic one, with almonds.
Ingredients for cantucci
- 450 g of white flour 00
- 400 g of sugar
- 200 g of peeled almonds
- 4 eggs
- a spoonful of honey
- a pinch of salt
- the grated rind of a lemon
- one packet of ammonia for cakes (NO YEAST!)
Sift the flour with the salt.
Roughly cut the almonds.
Beat the eggs with the sugar and the honey then add them to the flour, add the ammonia dissolved in two tablespoons of warm water and add the almonds.
Mix with your hands until the mixture is solid and compact. Sprinkle the dough with other flour and divide it into long loaves of about 6 cm in width and 1 cm in height.
Line the plate with parchment paper and place the pats well apart. Cook for 15 minutes at 180 ° in a static oven, or at 160 ° for 25 minutes in a convection oven.
Don't worry about the smell of ammonia! It will disappear when the nooks have cooled!
It is used instead of yeast because it gives greater fragrance to dry doughs.
Baked and FUNDAMENTAL cut the loaves into oblique slices of 1 cm thick, otherwise they are not cantucci!
The name cantuccio comes from "canto" or "corner", then a piece of bread cut at an angle.
Place them on the plate, from the side of the cut, and put them back in the oven at 150 ° for 5/10 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve the cold cantucci.
Well preserved, in closed envelopes or in airtight jars, they will last weeks ... .. not at my house !!!!!!
The history of the cantucci
In the second half of the 1500s, “biscottelli” with almonds already existed in the court of Catherine de Medici.
But we will have to wait until 1691, the year in which the academy della Crusca in Florence, for the first time, calls "cantuccio" a sliced biscuit, made with flour, sugar and egg white.
But the cantuccio (or Prato biscuit) as we know it today is dated 1858, created by Antonio Mattei's biscuit art which in that year opened its Biscuit factory in Prato and began to crank out the dry almond biscuit that soon crossed the boundaries of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, earning the honorable mention at the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1867.
Cantucci and vinsanto
The "death" of the cantuccio is traditionally soaked in a small glass of vin santo.
But not everyone agrees!
A winery in Gaiole in Chianti has put a logo on the label of its vinsanto showing the ban on dipping the biscuit into wine.
It seems that for the producers the "zuppetta" is a scar to good taste because the biscuits alter the scent and taste of the wine.
According to the experts, in order not to contaminate 2 excellences, according to my humble opinion, the union of these 2 excellences creates a third one.
Do you agree with me?