My go-to cake recipe book at the moment is the Clandestine Cake Club
one. If you don’t have it, you should. Go buy it now. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but the recipes all work – don’t you hate it when you buy a book and nothing you make from it works?
So when I was looking for a cake for Jim’s birthday this weekend, it was the place I looked. I gave him a couple of choices and the one he decided on was an amazing sounding Chocolate and Amaretto Cake. Jim loves all things almond so with almond meal, amaretto and amaretti biscuits in it I don’t know why I even thought there would be a decision to be made.
Chocolate and Amaretto Cake:
4 large eggs
50 g Caster Sugar
200g Self raising flour
100g Ground Almonds
1 Sachet of pane degli angeli ( An Italian vanilla flavored raising agent) or 1tsp baking powder with 2tsp Vanilla extract – i used the baking powder as even waitrose didn’t have the raising agent.
200g Butter, Melted
200g Good quality dark chocolate, chopped
200g Amaretti Biscuits crushed
2 tbsp Amaretto liqueur (going to be honest – I used much more!)
Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C and grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
In a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar together using a wooden spoon. Add the flour, almonds, baking powder and vanilla and melted butter and mix well. Stir in the chunks of chocolate, amaretti biscuits and Amaretto liqueur, mixing well. You should mix this cake by hand to retain the chunky texture.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes until the top is firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, the transfer to a wire rack to cool.
The one addition I made was to add a chocolate ganache to the cake – as if it didn’t seem decadent enough right?
I made a simple ganache by heating up 225ml of double cream and stirring in 225g of chocolate with a couple of glugs of amaretto to make sure nothing was left out in the almondy stakes.
Once it had cooled I spread the ganache on the cake in a slightly haphazard fashion and sprinkled on some more crushed up amaretti biscuits around the edge and popped a couple of full ones in the middle for a little fanciness. Luckily for me I couldn’t find full sized amaretti biscuits, but Waitrose had little ratafia ones which worked out much better I think. Plus as I had to buy two 150g bags to get the 200gs required for the recipe, we
have had loads left over for snacking!
And the verdict – Amazing, even if I do say so myself. Jim’s BIL isn’t really a cake fan and he said it was his favourite cake ever and even asked for the recipe to be emailed over! I take that as a big win! The cake is deliciously almond-y, and the layer of ganache probably isn’t needed but boy, is it nice. If you have a special cake to make – I suggest you try this one.