This is a wow dish. In every sense of the word. Not only does it taste delicious, and incredibly unique, but its simple presentation is classic and elegant, and very difficult to get wrong. The flavours of the chocolate and the nutty amaretti are the perfect combination, giving a rich and indulgent cake that pairs beautifully with silky cream and tart berries.
While it has become a Christmas Day staple in our house, it would also work well in summer, as the berries add a lightness to this rich cake, but honestly, it is tasty enough to eat at any time of the year in my opinion. A dusting of icing sugar is all this cake needs to complete its sleek look, and I can say that it has left guests happy every time we have served it in my house, with compliments to its appearance, as well as its beautiful taste.
I have been making this cake with my mum for many years now; it was once ‘her’ dish, but I think now I can lay claim to it too, due to the number of times I have made it. In fact, I was even going to use it as the showstopper in my school bake-off once – I remember vividly practising it over and over in preparation, but alas, I was eliminated in the semi-finals, so, unfortunately, the world never got to try this recipe. However, it is here now for all of you to enjoy, so I guess you’re the real winners.
I have made this Chocolate and Amaretti Cake so many times now the steps feel trivial, but I do remember it looking daunting at first. It is helpful to weigh ingredients out beforehand just because there are quite a few stages involved. It isn’t a difficult recipe by any means, just one that requires a little organisation. But I promise you, your patience and care will be rewarded when you taste the finished product. Chocolate lovers, this is for you!
Chocolate and amaretti cake
- 110 g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
- 2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
- 110 g unsalted butter
- 110 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs (separated)
- 60 g amaretti biscuits, crushed (the hard crunchy kind)
- 60 g plain flour
- icing sugar, cream and fresh berries (to serve)
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a loose bottomed 20cm sandwich tin with butter, then line with baking parchment, and butter again. Dust the greased tin with flour. This is a little fiddly, but it doesn’t have to look good or be perfect, it just helps to ensure your cake comes out nice and easily when cooked. I find it’s best to get this out of the way right at the start, so you don’t have to mess around trying to do it later.
- Break the chocolate into a bowl and add the amaretto liqueur. Melt in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring between each one until the chocolate has fully melted. The mixture will go very thick, but don’t worry. Leave this to cool.
- Beat the caster sugar and butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy. This will take less time if you use an electric mixer, but it isn’t essential. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, and then stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Finally, fold in the crushed amaretti biscuits and flour with a metal spoon, until fully combined.
- Put the egg whites into a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. The egg whites should rise and stay as a peak when you lift the mixer out of the bowl. Whisk in the 1 tbsp sugar to make a glossy meringue.
- Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 3 batches, using a spatula. You want to do this slowly and gently to try and keep the air in the mixture as much as you can.
- Pour your mixture into your cake tin, and then bake for 25-30 minutes, until it is just firm to the touch in the centre.
- Remove the cake, and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove from the tin onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Sift a generous amount of icing sugar on top of the cake, and serve with plenty fresh berries and cream.
Gather your ingredients
Grease and line a cake tin, then dust with flour
To a bowl, add the chocolate and the amaretto liqueur
Melt in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stir, and leave to cool
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy
Separate the 3 eggs
Beat in the yolks one at a time
Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture
Finely crush the amaretti biscuits
Stir the flour and amaretti biscuits into the mixture
Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form
Add 1 tbsp sugar, and whisk to form a meringue
Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 3 batches
Pour into the prepared cake tin
Spread to the edges with the back of a spoon
Bake at 180C for 25 minutes
When cool, place on a large plate and surround with fresh berries
Dust with icing sugar
and serve with fresh cream