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Chocolate Amaretti Cake

I tasted something like this cake in Italy years ago and it came with a small glass of Amaretti liquer on the side – divine!  This is perfect for a dinner party and can be made 1 or even 2 days in advance, it’s very moist on the inside yet has a lovely bite from the almonds and Amaretti biscuits.

Serves 8-12

Ingredients

  • 150g (6ozs) good dark chocolate (at least 55% cocoa solids, 70% chocolate makes this very rich and wonderful)
  • 50g (2ozs) Ameretti biscuits
  • 100g (4ozs) flaked slivered almonds
  • 175g (7ozs) sugar
  • finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 100g (4ozs) butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • cocoa powder or icing sugar for dusting
  • 20.5cm (8 inch) spring-form tin
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Method

  1. Line the base of the spring-form tin with greaseproof paper and butter the sides of the tin (I usually just wipe a butter wrapper along the sides).
  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water, in a oven at 120°C/240°F/Gas Mark ½ or in a microwave.
  1. Place the Amaretti biscuits, flaked almonds, sugar and orange rind in a food processor and whiz until the biscuits and almonds are almost finely ground (I like to leave them a bit gritty).  Add the butter and the eggs and whiz until blended, then add the melted chocolate and whiz briefly until blended.
  1. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and pop straight into the oven.  Cook for 30-35 minutes until the centre of the cake puffs up a bit and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before carefully transferring to a plate.  The top of this is quite crisp and cracks quite easily so I always dust it with lots of icing sugar or cocoa powder before serving to hide any imperfections!
  1. Note:  If you don’t have a food processor you will need to use ground almonds instead of flaked and place the Amaretti biscuits in a plastic bag and grind up with a rolling pin.  Beat in a large bowl in the same order as you do with the food processor.