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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.