Thursday, October 6, 2011

Amaretti Torta

Do not be fooled by the name, this delicious Torta does not have does, however, have a dash of Grand Marnier

I decided to make this recipe to serve as a light dessert after a dinner of Paparadelle with Meat Ragu. Unfortunately, in my mad dash to get groceries for the night, I did not research what an Amaretti cookie actually is (a specialty italian cookie including eggwhites and almonds).  I knew I heard of them, but did not realize I would need to go to a specialty super market.

Instead I subbed with a light coffee flavored cookie from Biscoff and the result was still a very light and elegant cake with a zing of flavor from the chocolate chips and orange marmalade.   I want to try this again in the near future using the correct cookie. With it's sweet flavor and light, elegant quality, this would be the perfect sweet treat to bring to a baby shower or brunch.

20 whole amaretti cookies, plus 8 amaretti cookies, crushed, for topping
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liquier (Triple Sec, Contreau, or Grand Marnier)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup orange marmalade

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 10-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

Combine the 20 amaretti cookies and the chocolate chips in a food processor and process until the mixture is very finely chopped.  Set aside.

Using and electric mixer and a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale yellow, about 2 minutes.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, incorporating each yolk before adding the next.  Once all the eggs are added, continue to cream the mixture together until light and fluffy, about 4 more minutes.  Add the orange liquer.  With the machine on low, add the flour and the chocolate amaretti mixture, mixing well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites (using the electric mixer and clean beaters) until stiff peaks form about 3 minutes.  Add one third of the whipped egg whites to the batter and mix until combined. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter until just barely combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn the cake out onto a platter and cool to room temperature.  Spread the orange marmalade over the top of the cake in an even layer, and sprinkle with the remaining amaretti cookies.

If you are a fan of this recipe you should also try Giada's Ricotta Orange Pound Cake with Strawberries.

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