amaretti chocolate layer cake

My mother made this cake in the weekend. It is an orange-tinted chocolate cake, layered with an Amaretto spiked icing, and topped with crushed Amaretti biscuits. It was truly delicious! Amaretto is a beautiful Italian liqueur with a strong almond flavour. Although it is bitter on its own, the liqueur is perfected by the tang of orange and sour cream in the cake and the sweetness of the frosting.

I didn’t make this cake – it was all my mum, which means I wouldn’t normally post about it. But there is something about the photos of this slice that strikes me. When I compare it to the slice-of-cake shots that fill my iPhoto, there is a clear difference…

Date Tamarind Cake, with a slumped shoulder.

Salted Spiced Caramel Slice, with some very rough edges and oozing caramel.

Nutella cake, getting his lean on.

And a slice of Russian Apple Cake about to give way.

You know what it is? Straight lines. For the first time I cut my cake perfectly – and don’t your eyes thank you for it!

Amaretti Chocolate Layer Cake
From NZ House & Garden
Serves 10 – 12

Chocolate and almond is a scrumptious combination in this fabulous layered cake that features both Amaretti – little Italian almond biscuits – and Amaretto, an almond-flavoured liqueur.

125g dark cooking chocolate
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
250g unsalted butter
11/2 cups caster sugar
4 No. 7 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, finely grated zest
21/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup sour cream (not low fat)
150g amaretti biscuits, crushed
200g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons milk, heated
2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.
Break chocolate into pieces and place in a small bowl. Pour over boiling water and stir until smooth. Add baking soda. Leave to cool.
Cream butter and sugar. Gradually beat in egg yolks. Add vanilla, zest and cooled chocolate.
Sift flour and baking powder together and fold in to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold gently through mixture. Pour into tins and bake about 50 minutes or until cakes are cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool slightly before removing from tins. Cool completely on wire racks before icing.
Icing: Place butter, icing sugar and cocoa in a food processor. Whiz for a few seconds. Add milk and liqueur and process again until combined.

To assemble: Cut each cake into 2 layers. Place 1 layer on a serving plate and spread with 2 heaped tablespoons icing. Top with another layer of cake. Repeat until all layers are sandwiched together. Cover cake completely with remaining icing and press crushed amaretti biscuits against the sides and top. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

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