Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Marcella Hazan's Chocolate Amaretti Cake

Although I never joined her in a glass of Jack Daniels, Marcella Hazan had a great influence over my kitchen.  My first Italian cookbook was her The Classic Italian Cookbook:  The Art of Italian Cooking and the Art of Italian Eating.  When she arrived in the U.S. from Italy as a new bride, Marcella couldn't cook.  That talent came out of necessity.   Missing her native cuisine and not finding it in the restaurants of New York City, she set about to recreate the dishes from her native land, insisting on only the freshest ingredients.   We are the beneficiaries of her effort.  Marcella passed away last week at the age of 89.  She will live on in the kitchens of homes and restaurants and teach succeeding generations to cook Italian.

Chocolate Amaretti Cake slightly adapted from a recipe by Marcella Hazan

1/2 pound butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup flour
10 pairs of amaretti (the 4 ounce pairs wrapped in colorful papers--not the small unwrapped ones)  ground to powder form in a food processor
2 ounces of semisweet baking chocolate, finely grated
A 9" round springform pan

1.  Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2.  One at a time, separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the butter mixture.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and the ground amaretti.  Add to the butter mixture a little at a time beating until thoroughly mixed.
4.  Add the grated chocolate, mixing well.
5.  Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Gently stir in 4 Tbsp of the whites to the cake mixture.  This will loosen it somewhat.  Fold in the remaining egg whites.
6.  Butter and flour the baking pan, knocking out the excess flour.
7.  Pour the batter into the pan.
8.  Bake in the uppermost level of the oven for 1 hour.  Start testing for doneness at about 45 minutes.  It's done when a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
9.  Loosen the side of the springform pan.  Let it sit to settle a little while.


  1. Thank you for this recipe:)
    I have baked w/ amarettis in a carrot cake if I remember correctly..this will be lovely..and I happen to have some..Who can resist those papers?
    It looks perfect Bonnie.

  2. This looks so fancy, is this the one you made? Fantastic! I am beginning to think that you can make ANYTHING!

    1. The Baker made the cake. It's from last year.

  3. What a lovely way to remember Marcella. Though her popularity was never that of Julia Child, her influence certainly was. She will be sorely missed. Blessings...Mary

  4. aaah I have a Word for this Bonnie: amazing!!!!!

  5. She was truly an inspiration in the kitchen. I will always gravitate towards her many classic recipes where the flavour of the individual ingredients shines through.

  6. What a beautiful story.


  7. yummmm yhummmmm have never heard of her but then you knew i would not since i don't cook. bravo for her learning like she did from not knowing how.

  8. I'm so pleased that you are celebrating her life. I'm working on a post myself. The food world has lost one of their greats. Fabulous cake Bonnie and so full of flavor.

  9. I hadn't heard she had passed away - I have one of her cookbooks, and her artichoke ravioli is one of my favorites. That looks delicious - I don't use my spring form pan enough - I think that needs to change!

  10. Sounds like a wonderful cake! Lovin' your fun cake dish too-enjoy:@)

  11. You make me wish I had known about her, Bonnie. Sounds like I missed out. This cake sounds delicious. blessings ~ tanna

  12. From not having a clue to writing a cook book --that's quite the progress and shows a love for cooking that she nurtured over the years --- and the cake looks and reads delicious!

  13. Looks delicious! I would love to have a slice and a cup of coffee with you!!! Wouldn't that be fun!!! We could talk about our favorite chefs and cookbooks. I read cookbooks like novels, and have dozens!!! I love Ina Garten....she is so good. I also loved Julia!!! And of course Jacques Pepin, and Two Hot Tamales, and James Beard, and Bobby Flay, and...and...and.......
    xo Kris

  14. I met her once in a cooking class, and she only wanted to know if people had made her recipes and how they turned out. She shunned any kind of celebrity that day. At any rate, this is a cake that is now part of my repertoire. I lost my book--I actually think one of my daughters took it--so thanks for posting the recipe. Everyone loves this cake! It's always a hit.


I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.