Almond Rosegons Recipe, Italian Biscotti Valencian Style
These sweet and crunchy buns called rosegons are very typical of the Valencian Community. They are very similar to other varieties such as the carquinyoli from Catalonia or the biscotti di Prato from Tuscany, places in the Mediterranean where almond cultivation is abundant. In short, they are the same, with a few variations, but essentially sharing the same basic ingredients: flour, sugar, egg and, of course, almonds.
Valencian almonds, of renowned quality, are produced mainly in Alicante. The Vinalopó basin, the historic region of Foia de Xixona or the Baix Segura mountains are areas where the quality of almond production is carefully guarded. This marvellous product can be used to make a traditional sweet that is perfect with a good cup of coffee as an afternoon snack.
Rosegons. | Shutterstock
Ingredients for the Rosegons:
220 g wheat flour
100 g sugar
100 g raw almonds in their skins
45 g butter
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of baking powder
How to prepare the rosegons
To begin with, soak the raw almonds with their skins in water so that they stick well to the rest of the dough. You can also add a little cognac, brandy or cointreau to the soaking if you wish.
Break the eggs into a large bowl and add the sugar. Beat well until the two ingredients are combined. Then add the butter, flour, lemon zest and almonds. Knead first with a wooden spoon and then with your hands and on the worktop.
Knead just enough so that the dough is uniform and compact. It should be a kind of shortcrust pastry, not elastic. Shape the dough into 2 loaves of 5 cm in diameter. Bake the dough bars in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes, just enough to bake them without browning them too much.
Take them out of the oven and cut the dough bars on the reverse side while they are still warm. They should be cut obliquely to make long but not too thick biscuits. One finger thick is more than enough. It is important to cut the rosegons with a sharp knife, not a serrated knife, as this produces a dirty cut and breaks the biscuits.
Place the freshly cut biscuits upright on the baking sheet that was previously used to bake them. To finish the rosegons, put them back in the oven for 10 minutes at the same temperature. Take them out and leave to cool before eating. The result is a sponge cake that is dry and hard but melts in the mouth, with the almonds in all their splendour.