Ringing in the new year with dinner at home turned out to be a good idea. A good idea for the hosts--us--that is. It snowed and snowed. Our intrepid fellow celebrants didn't let that stop them! Traveling from south and north, they showed up ready to party. While we were unable to convince the men to wear their tuxes, we ladies sparkled!
Jane patiently waits to enjoy her dessert as The Baker serves the table with one of his most requested sweets. It is one that I've shared before but bears repeating. The amaretti cookies are readily available in Italian grocery stores and online. We always have a tin in the pantry as they keep for a long, really long, time.
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.
We like to serve it with whipped cream to which a dash (or more) of Grand Marnier has been added.