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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