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Fragrant, easy-to-make Italian amaretti chocolate cake (torta facile amaretti e cioccolato) combines bittersweet almond and rich chocolate flavors.
Great for every occasion.

200 g (7 oz) amaretti,
50 g (1.7 oz) semisweet chocolate, ground
100 g (3.5 oz) butter, softened,
4 eggs,
120 g (4 oz) sugar,
120 g (4 oz) flour,
1 tsp yeast,
1/4 to 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
cocoa powder, for sifting



1. Put amaretti in a processor. Pulse until cookies are finely ground.

2. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

3. Mix butter with sugar for 20 seconds. Add egg yolks and mix for another 20 seconds. Add amaretto liqueur, flour, yeast, ground amaretti and chocolate. Mix for 30 seconds.

4. Fold in beaten egg whites.

5. Pour into a greased and floured pan.

Bake for 45 minutes at 175 C (350 F). Let cool.

6. Just before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder.


Amaretti cookies were invented in the early 18th century in the town of Saronno, Italy. That is why they are sometimes called Amaretti di Saronno. A bishop or cardinal  from Milan surprised the town of Saronno with a visit. A young couple of residents of the town, welcomed him and paid tribute with an original confection. On the spur of the moment, they had baked cookies made of egg whites, sugar and crushed apricot kernels or almonds. The visiting bishop was so pleased  that he blessed them with a happy and lifelong marriage. The result was preservation of the secret recipe over many generations.

Amaretti (meaning ‘little bitter things') is the Italian name for macaroons.They small, domed-shaped biscuits that are crunchy and crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle.

Amaretti cookies are made from ground almonds (or almond paste), together with sugar and egg whites and can be flavored with liqueurs or chocolate. Sometimes, two baked biscuits are sandwiched together with buttercream, ganache or jam.

In Italy these biscuits were served with a liqueur or sweet dessert wine, but they can also be a great accompaniment to a bowl of gelato (ice cream), sorbetto (sherbets), semifreddo or mousses. Another favorite way to use amarettis is to finely grind them and then add them to desserts (such as trifles) for added flavor and texture. There is also a mini version of amaretti, called amarettini.


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