TWD: 15-Minute Magic – Chocolate Amaretti Torte

by Holly on April 14, 2009

You may have noticed that there is a lot of purple on my blog today. It will be there until May 16th to help raise awareness and to remember Maddie Spohr.

I know you are here for the torte, but I wanted to take a minute to announce the 2nd Annual Blogging for Babies Event. This year will be different than last year though due to recent events of the Spohr family to whom my heart goes out, especially today as they are gathering with their loved ones to remember Maddie and celebrate her life.

So, to remember Maddie, and all the families and babies who are affected by prematurity, my blog (and many others) have gone purple – the color for the March of Dimes.

Blogging for Babies is a food blogging event that anyone can participate in. The rules are simple:

1. Make something small – as in small in size or individual servings – sweet, savory, whatever – and post it before May 10th – they entries are small, as in Little Wonders, like the babies and families they are meant to pay tribute too!

2. When you blog about it, please link to this event notice, and if you have a story about children (yours, someone else’s, whoever) that you want to share, please do! Also, please feel free to use the Little Wonders badge on your post.

3. Please email the following for your post so I can include you in the roundup – send to phemomenon[at]gmail[dot]com:

Your Name
Your Location
Your Blog Name
Your Blog URL
Your Post URL (permalink)
A photo (250 x 250 pixels if possible)

I offered some prizes last year and have a few things in the works right now so stay tuned for more information on that! If by any chance you have something you would like to offer as a prize, please email me at phemomenon[at]gmail[dot]com

As some of you may know, I have been active with the March of Dimes for a few years now, but it never hit so close to home as on October 13, 2007 when Cole was born 7 1/2 weeks early at 3lb 6oz. After a relatively brief 28 day stay in the Newborn Intesive Care Unit (NICU) Cole was able to come home at a whopping 4lbs 12oz. He is now 18 months old, 16 mo 1 week adjusted. He is doing quite well considering what we could have been faced with, and for this I am and always will be eternally grateful.

This is not the case for everyone whose lives are touched by premature births and by this precious tiny people. That is why all my heart goes out to the Spohr family while they are dealing with the loss of their sweet little Maddie. I usually ask that you try to sponsor my little family team in our March of Dimes March for Babies walk (this year on May 16th), but this time, I ask that you go to the Spohr’s blog and see why I am passionate about the March of Dimes and the research and work that they do to work towards all babies, someday, being born healthy and strong. Instead of sponsoring us, please, if you can donate any amount at all, please donate it in remembrance of Maddie on the Spohr’s blog.

Even if you can’t donate, but you want to help, please participate in this Blogging for Babies event to get the word out about the March of Dimes. You could even sign up and create your own family and friends (or business or whatever) team and walk in a local March. Every little bit helps with raising awareness about this!

Thank you!!!


It is interesting that this week was my turn to choose the recipe since it is actually also my one year anniversary of being part of the fabulous Tuesdays with Dorie! I don’t know I would have done without this group and the support of the friends I’ve made here!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Laurie for being a genius and coming up with this idea in the first place, and thank you to Dorie for such a fantastic book and being so supportive of the group!

I chose the Chocolate Amaretti Torte for a few reasons: (1) My recipe choice had to be chocolate, of course; (2) I wanted to choose something that had no photo in the book, so that we could have the chance to all make it together; (3) Did I mention my need for chocolate… oh, yeah, I did; (4) I have never heard of making something like this, so I was completely intrigued.

Was I satisfied? Absolutely. I couldn’t find the cookies Dorie suggests, but thankfully, she said you can use most any brand with great results. The torte is chocolate and almond, combined at their very best. You can use the torte for a hot fudge sundae, as Dorie suggests, or to make mini tortes, like I did. I used three 5-inch paper pans to make my tortes.

The torte is great from the freezer, and great with the chocolate sauce on it, and great without it out of the oven, and great with the almond whipped cream. In other words, it is just a great recipe.

I hope that everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did! Thank you so much to everyone who bakes along this week!

Fifteen-Minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte

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.
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Snooky doodle April 14, 2009 at 7:32 am

oh this cake looks so good. I m gonna try it 😉 thanks for sharing

Marthe April 14, 2009 at 8:55 am

Thanks for picking this recipe, I liked it! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to taste the torte with the optional cream…. It curdled!

LyB April 14, 2009 at 10:42 am

Fantastic choice, Holly, dear! I love amaretto and was really looking forward to this one. It did not disappoint! Yours looks amazing! 🙂

Jin Hooi April 14, 2009 at 10:47 am

Thanks for choosing this recipe, it was great !!

Clivia April 14, 2009 at 10:56 am

Thanks for choosing this! I loved making an amaretti cake.

jaysfavoritefoods April 14, 2009 at 11:33 am

Delicious choice!!!

Pamela April 14, 2009 at 12:01 pm

It looks fabulous and rich, Holly. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to bake along with you this week. It looks like a luscios choice.

myfamousrecipe April 14, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Thanks for choosing such a wonderful recipe this week! Your mini-tortes are lovely.

Michelle April 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Nice and gooey! Looks great!

Sweet as Coco April 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Wow, looks fabulous! Love that you are participating in March of Dimes! I may have to participate in that!

Thanks for hosting this week! Sorry I wasnt able to bake along!

chocolatechic April 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for such a great pick.

Cristine April 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Your torte looks great! Thanks for hosting this weeks recipe!

Thanks for the info on March of Dimes, too!

Lauren April 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm

You’re the best. Great choice. A home run for my Passover dinner. Congratulations on the new gig too!

Manggy April 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Ooh wow, excellent choice– looks fab! I hope I can contribute to the event– it is a great cause! 🙂

carmencooks April 14, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I couldn’t find the amaretti and didn’t have time to make my own; but am determined to make this torte soon. Great pick – it looks like everybody really liked it!

Kayte April 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Oh, I like the idea of making little ones in paper pans…great choice. Very lovely job…the texture of yours is amazing! Great pick, my family loved it, thanks!

Jamie April 14, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Thanks for a great pick this week!

Leslie April 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

This looks so yummy! I wish I could have baked it with you this week but I’ll have to catch up later.

Lady Baker April 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm

first of all, I love the idea of the baking/blogging in honor of March of Dimes! I’m in! Will have to look through recipes to find something extra special!

As for the torte–my husband thanks you for choosing this. He loves rich chocolate desserts and this is one he truly enjoyed! We froze half of it so we would not be tempted to eat the entire thing just the 2 of us !! GREAT choice and I know he’ll be looking for this when he needs his chocolate fix–and with it being so easy to put together, it’ll be a mainstay I’m sure! 🙂

Oh–and I noticed the ‘perfect’ chocolate brownies post–can’t wait to try those in between Dorie recipes!

Karen April 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm

This was fabulous and loved by all in our house! Thanks for choosing a delicious recipe! 🙂

natalia April 14, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Ciao ! Thanks for choosing this recipe ! and thanks for telling us about the Blogging for Babies.

Tracey April 14, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Your torte looks lovely! I made a mini too 🙂 Thanks for your pick this week. I’d never had amaretti cookies before so it was a new experience for me.

Madam Chow April 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm

This was a great pick – my husband and I loved it, and I left off the glaze!

Amy April 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm

This looks fantastic, Holly! Too bad I had to miss out this week. Those chocolate brownies below are looking pretty awesome, too! 🙂


Kim April 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Such a great pick. I loved it.

doughmesstic April 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm

These look fantastic Holly! I really wish I could have played along!

Teanna DiMicco April 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Thanks so much for the great pick this week! And I will definitely blog something little and send you a link… what a great cause!

Marthe April 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Your torte looks really good!! Thanks for a great pick!

Erin April 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Thanks for a great pick! I agree that chocolate is always best 🙂 It was nice to have something both easy and delicious this week!

Kara April 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Excellent choice, Holly. Well done! I loved the torte and so did everyone I shared it with.

Secret Server April 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm

This recipe was incredible. thanks for picking it. I had mine with ice cream too.

bakingwiththeboys April 14, 2009 at 7:11 pm

I love discovering the recipes with no pictures. Thanks for choosing this – I probably would have skipped it otherwise.

pinkstripes April 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Thanks for choosing this recipe. It was wonderful. GREAT CHOICE!

CB April 14, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Love the quickness of this recipe! I am kicking myself for not making the almond whipped cream. I bet that bumped up the deliciousness a notch. Thanks for chooosing a good one!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

slush April 14, 2009 at 7:48 pm

It looks fantastic Holly! I am so sorry I didnt get to make it. My Grams funeral and Brody’s broken foot really did me in. Much love for you babe! xo

Jules Someone April 14, 2009 at 7:55 pm

This had the added bonus of being suitable for Passover. Nice choice! I liked it even though I messed up. Ah well. Thanks!

leanne April 14, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Wonderful recipe. Your as usually looks great. Thanks for the pick.

Jill April 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm

This was such a great pick. I was intrigued too, and so very happy with the results!

Emily Rose April 14, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Thank you so much for this wonderful pick! I really loved this torte and I can’t believe how easy it is to throw together- I will make it again and again!

n.o.e April 14, 2009 at 9:57 pm

I loved reading your reasons for choosing this recipe, Holly. It was fun and a very cool cake technique to learn. Sounds like you are doing some awesome work for the MoD.

Amber Marie April 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Thanks for picking this – I really enjoyed! Love the purple and the cause. 🙂

Anne April 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Holy cow Holly, your torte looks amazing! I’ll have to try again and keep a better watch on the time. Thanks for a fun choice- I love learning something new. Your blog post about babies is sweet, too. I’m glad your little guy is doing so well and hope to participate in your event! 🙂

Peggy April 14, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Loved this torte. Great pick! Yours looks fabulous of course!! Thank you so much.

Amanda April 14, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I am so glad you chose this. Since joining TWD in October I step out of the box much more often. I probably never would have made many of the recipes I have if it weren’t for TWD. Thank you for choosing this!

My heart goes out to the Spohr family, how hard that must be, I just cannot imagine 🙁

Erin O. April 15, 2009 at 12:03 am

They look delicious! Nice work!

Maria April 15, 2009 at 12:21 am

Great pick! The torte looks wonderful! Best wishes to the Spohr family.

Audrey April 15, 2009 at 12:39 am

Holly, thanks for picking this…I might not have tried it otherwise, and it’s so so good.

Connie Weiss April 15, 2009 at 2:10 am

That looks GREAT!

I have formed a team to March for Maddie in Layton on May 2nd if you would like to join us.

margot April 15, 2009 at 5:15 am

Great choice! I was so excited that it actually did only take 15 minutes and it was delicious.

Talita April 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Wow! This cake looks really yummy! Good job!

Gabe's Girl April 15, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I absolutely love this recipe. I profusely thank you for choosing it! Truly wonderful. Yours looks amazing. Thanks again.

Stephanie April 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm

great choice!

Katy April 15, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Yum! It looks great!! I can’t wait to try it when I can find (or make) the amaretti cookies, lol!!

steph- whisk/spoon April 15, 2009 at 8:38 pm

so glad you picked this recipe–it’s a definite winner!

Carol Peterman April 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I loved this torte! I ate Amaretti cookies growing up and haven’t had one in probably 25 years. I am so happy to have rediscovered how good these cookies are thanks to you. This is a great recipe I will no doubt make many more times. I love the beautiful photos of your torte.

Di April 15, 2009 at 11:45 pm

My husband definitely thanks you for picking this one. =) He’s a much bigger almond/amaretti fan than I am. And Brianna had fun helping me push buttons on the food processor.

TeaLady April 16, 2009 at 12:54 am

Guess I will have to make this. Your pics are wonderful. Great choice.

Liz April 16, 2009 at 3:16 am

Awesome pick! I wasn’t sure how I would like it, but we ended up loving it around here! Thanks!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog April 16, 2009 at 4:02 am

This was a great pick….chocolate, easy, tasty! Thanks!

theeclecticconnoisseur April 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I stopped by for the Choc Amaretti Torte recipe and I was excited to learn about Blogging for Babies. What a great cause! I will definitely be participating as soon as I decide what to make. You should stop by my blog when you get a chance –


Mermaid Sweets April 17, 2009 at 4:18 am

Thanks Holly, I LOVED this – and so did everyone else. A top notch recipe.

kimberly salem April 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm

happy TWD-versary, Holly!! 🙂 you are awesome. such a great choice & nice pics! i didn't get to try the almond whipped cream, but that sounded yummy too.

Mary Ann April 17, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Holly- I has taken me a couple of days to comment on this post, but I have come back and looked at it so many times.
The story of the Spohr family absolutely broke my heart. I am familiar with premature births and the disappointment that comes with some of the outcomes. I plan on participating in your Blogging for Babies. What a wonderful event.
I am so glad that Cole is doing well and that he is healthy.
Thank you for doing this.
and the TWD pick was great too.

Joy the Baker April 18, 2009 at 6:19 am

What a lovely and thoughtful post. Really Holly. And sweeeeet torte too!

potsandpins April 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Hi! Just discovered you and had a great time reading thru your blog. I was hoping to find the recipe for the coconut-butter-thicks, but didn’t…so what do I have to do to get the recipe? You name it, I’ll do it! xo, Nan

Jaime April 19, 2009 at 7:15 pm

thanks for a great pick holly! i really enjoyed this recipe 🙂

What's for Supper? April 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Holly…this recipe was very good. Thanks for picking it. We really enjoyed it here! April 22, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Totally in love with this!

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