Chocolate Amaretti Cake

 
We have a wonderful Italian wholesaler near us that fortunately sells to the public. Their prices for imported goods are fantastic. They also carry quite a few harder to find Italian items – like Amaretti cookies – at very reasonable prices.
 
Now, I can eat bags of Amaretti cookies alone, but one of my favorite things to do with Amaretti cookies is to make Giada de Laurtentiis’ Chocoalte Amaretti Cake from Everyday Italian.  This cake is so easy to put together, so delicious and so elegant, it’s a quick solution to the question of what to serve when people come over for dinner.
 
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup baby amaretti cookies (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 4 large eggs
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for sifting

Preheat the oven to 350.

Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and refrigerate.

NOTE: Giada suggests using a butter flavored spray. I always use Baker’s Joy – it’s a combo of non-stick spray and flour.

Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds, for about 1 minute total.

Combine the slivered almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl.

NOTE: I used toasted almonds. A little extra flavor is a good thing!

Now add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse  until just incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again. Add the nut/cookie mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs a little and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer the cake to serving platter. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.

NOTE: Next time I may use a combination of confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder.

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