Monday, January 25, 2010

Giada's Chocolate Amaretti Cake (for Mom)

Amaretti Cookies 2

It's been a rough few days for us here. The baby of the house, Moose, our beloved dog is not doing too well. I won't go into all the gory details or I will surely end up in a puddle on the floor as I type this, but to sum it up, he's having a problem with a disc in his back, which could eventually mean a very expensive surgery, but for now we are treating it medicinally and he is on complete rest, which mean he's confined to one room during the day and for a dog that had full rein of the house, I'm sure he hates it as much as I do. We are praying that his back heals and he's back to his ole self again so we can avoid the surgery.

For those of you who are dog lovers like me, I don't have to tell you how much this is breaking my heart. I've had a knot in my stomach for days and days, and I seem always to be on the verge of tears, but life goes on as they say and we had some celebrating to do cause it was my Mom's birthday Sunday, and when there's a birthday, there is cake.

Like many, many birthdays before this one, I made the cake. I guess being the only girl in the family, the responsibility of birthday cake baking falls on me. It's ok cause in case you haven't guessed, I love to bake.

Chocolate Amaretti Cake CU

Mom just turned 66. Twenty years and 2 months older than me. She looks good for 66. I pray those genes are in my blood.

Mom 66

I chose this cake cause I know my Mom loves amaretti cookies and I happen to have a big stash of them. Our local Job Lot (I'm sure you have store like it where you live) carries these amazing imported amaretti cookies made in Italy.

Amaretti Cookies

Crunch little bites of air filled almond cookies. Heaven.
I saw this recipe on one of the food message boards I frequent. I've had never made a Giada recipe before, even though I own 2 of her cookbooks. I always seem to turn to Ina when it comes to cakes, but I thought I'd give the fellow Italian a turn. I'm glad I did.

This cake was rich, but not overly heavy. A small slice was the perfect ending to a Sunday meal. I chose to sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar cause I thought it looked better, and would taste better than the cocoa Giada suggests.

Giada's Chocolate Amaretti Cake Printable recipe
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup baby amaretti cookies (about 2 ounces)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
4 large eggs
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for sifting

Oven to 350.

Spray a 9-inch springform pan the nonstick spray. Refrigerate.

Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds, for about 1 minute.
Combine the almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl.

Chocolate Amaretti Cake w fork

Add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse briefly, until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Clean the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again. Add the nut mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Clean the sides of the bowl. Blend again.

Chocolate Amaretti Cake fork CU

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes.Transfer the cake to a platter. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.


redforever said...

No, your mother looks GREAT. Happy birthday to her....

.....and hope your doggie gets better too.

Post Grad Hair Cut said...

Oh I will definitely try this recipe for the next family get-together we go to!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you tried this cake! And you even had amaretti cookies... :-)

Kim said...

We're the same age!! Or perhaps I'm really bad at math and you're a half year younger. Ah well. And my mom's the same age, too. Your mom looks beautiful and so does her cake. And, your photos are particularly gorgeous today.
I'm so sorry to hear about Moose. I hope he's going to be as pain free as possible. Poor thing.

Donna said...

All the best to you and the baby of the family. We brought home litter-mate dachshunds 12 years ago and when they were between 4 and 6 years both needed to have major disc surgery. Both dogs recovered very well and never had trouble with thier backs again.

Doreen Frost said...

Happy birthday to you mom!! So sorry your pup is not doing well :(