This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Holly of Phe.MOM.enon: 15 Minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte. As the recipe promises, prep time really is just fifteen minutes. Since the entire recipe is made in the food processor, Dorie states that if you can push a button, you can make this torte :)
Aside from ground almonds, one of the main ingredients in this torte are amaretti cookies. I had never heard of amaretti cookies before. They're "Italian macaroons," and most recipes seem to indicate that they are made of almond flour/paste, sugar, and egg whites. A quick search on google will yield several recipes that you can try if you'd like to make them at home yourself.
The amaretti cookies that Dorie favors are made by the Lazzaroni family and are made with slightly different ingredients. According to legend, almost three centuries ago, the Cardinal of Milan unexpectedly visited the town of Saronno in Italy. To honor him, two young lovers, Giuseppe and Osolina, quickly baked up a mixture of sugar, apricot kernels, and egg whites, creating crisp, airy cookies with an unusual bittersweet flavor which they wrapped in pairs to symbolize their love. The Cardinal was delighted and blessed the young couple, who married and lived happily ever after.
The amaretti cookies can be found in various locations, such as specialty shops and Italian markets. I found mine for about $6 at Central Market which is only located in Texas. It was a small package, so that works out to about $41 per pound, actually. I heard others found some for about $3 at World Market, though they were made by another company.
There were some complaints about how expensive the cookies were; I suppose if I was getting a whole pound, I would mind paying that much for cookies, but considering I didn't need that much for this torte, I didn't think it was too much to spend. A single slice of something like this can cost you about $6 if you're dining out, so it's all relative. I'm sure the other cookies taste great too, but I imagine there's a difference in taste when you're comparing cookies made from apricot kernels versus ones made with almonds.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I took my first bite of this torte, but I loved it. It had a nice, nutty flavor to it with a very subtle fruity undertone and the texture was somewhat similar to a slightly chewy brownie. The almond whipped cream paired really well with it, though I could also see enjoying it with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce too! I love that this torte comes together in just fifteen minutes, yet looks like it could have taken much longer, making it great for entertaining ;)
Thanks Holly, for choosing this torte - I enjoyed trying something a little different. If you would like the recipe, you can find it here or here. Make sure you visit the TWD Blogroll to see what everyone else thought about this chocolately treat!
* Recipes notes:
- The box of amaretti cookies I found was only 2.3 oz whereas the recipe calls for 2.75 oz if you are going to use some to top/decorate the torte. If you're only using it for the actual torte, 2.3 oz is just fine. I simply used all but one cookie half in the torte, saving it for the topping. To make up for this in the filling, I added just a little bit more ground almonds.
- I made mine in a 9-inch round pan and it was done in just 20 minutes (it was also a dark pan).
- Wrapped well, this will keep 2 months in the freezer.
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