15 Minute Magic Chocolate Amaretti Torte

Once a baking test
Now a Pesach tradition
Try the steps below

Fifteen-Minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte
Page 276-277, Baking: From My Home to Yours

Makes 8 Servings

6 large double Amaretti di Saronno or 18 mini amarettini cookies (2.75 oz) (other brands can be used as well)
3/4 cup almonds (blanched or not; whole, sliced or slivered)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For the Glaze:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

For the Almond Whipped Cream (Optional):

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

1 or 2 amaretti or amarettini, crumbled, or a few spoonfuls of toasted sliced almonds, for decoration

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8×2-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment or wax paper and butter the paper. Dust the inside of the pan with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Put the amaretti and almonds in a food processor and pulse to grind them finely and evenly. Turn out onto a piece of wax paper and set aside.

Put the butter, sugar and eggs into the processor and process for about 3 minutes, until the batter is very smooth and has a satiny sheen. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed so the ingredients blend evenly. Pour in the amaretti and almonds and the melted chocolate and pulse just until they are thoroughly incorporated. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out almost clean – streaky is more what you’re looking for. The cake will dome slightly and the top will look dry; it might even crack – don’t worry. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake onto the rack. The cake will be very thin. Peel off the paper liner, invert the cake and cool to room temperature right side up.

When you are ready to glaze the cake, put the cake, still on the rack, over a sheet of wax paper (the drip catcher).

To Make the Glaze:

Put the chopped chocolate in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup or in a bowl with a spout.
Stir the cream, sugar and water together in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and wait for 1 minute, then, using a small rubber spatula, gently stir until the glaze is smooth, blended and shiny. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and, with a long metal icing spatula, spread it over the top, allowing it to spill over the sides of the cake; then smooth the glaze over the sides. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes to set the glaze.

To Make the Optional Almond Whipped Cream:

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a medium bowl, whip the cream on medium-low speed until it holds soft peaks. Beat in the almond extract. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl and fold it into the cream with a rubber spatula.

Slice the cake and top each slice with a spoonful of almond whipped cream, if you have it, and a sprinkling of crushed amaretti or toasted almonds.

Playing Around:

Dorie says: I like to use this cake as the base of a hot fudge sundae. Top each wedge of cake with a fat scoop of ice cream, cover with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce and top with a respectable amount of whipped cream, some toasted almonds and, if you’re the old-fashioned type, a maraschino cherry.

Individual Tortes:

Prepare four 4-inch round cake pans, divide the batter among the pans and bake for about 25 minutes. If you need to make more servings, the recipe is easily doubled.