Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chocolate Amaretti Torte

 I baked this cake today, in remembrance of my sisters birthday.
It is delicious, a simple little cake!

Chocolate Amaretti Torte

6 large double amaretti cookies
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For the Glaze:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. water

For the Almond Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. confectioners sugar

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat to 350° F. Butter an 8" round cake pan, line with parchment or waxed paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour. Tap out the excess flour. Place the prepared pan on a parchment lined baking sheet.

 Put the amaretti and almonds in a food processor and pulse to grind them finely and evenly.

 Put the butter, sugar and eggs into the processor and process until the batter is smooth and satiny. Add the melted chocolate, and pulse until it is thoroughly incorporated.

Turn the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out almost clean. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake pan and unfold the cake onto the rack, The cake will be very thin. Peel off the paper liner, invert the cake and cool to room temperature. When you are ready to glaze the cake, put the cake still on the rack over a sheet of waxed paper to catch the drips

To make the glaze:
Put the chopped chocolate into a bowl.
Stir the cream, sugar an dater together in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and wait 1 minute, then, using a small rubber spatula, gently stir until the glaze is smooth, blended and shiny. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and with a long metal spatula, spread it over the top, allowing it to spill over the sides of the cake; then smooth the glaze over the sides. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set the glaze.
( I found the glaze much too runny, I would let it cool before glazing the cake)

To make the almond whipped cream:
Working with a hand mixer in a medium bowl, whip the cream on medium low speed until it holds soft peaks,. Beat in the almond extract and sifted confectioners sugar.
Slice the cake and top each slice with a spoonful of almond whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Enjoy!

January 31st

thinking of Debbie on her birthday
I miss her very much

New Jewelry

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Parsnip Chive Gnocchi

 I am taking part in a bi-weekly food challenge with a group of friends. I chose parsnips for this challenge.
I followed the recipe pretty much exactly but added mushrooms to the garlic butter sauce.

Parsnip and Chive Gnocchi

 1 lb of parsnips
 1 1/2 cups of sifted flour
 1/4 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
 1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped (I used dehydrated chives)
 salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel the parsnips and cook in a large pot of boiling water until tender (approx 25-35 minutes). Drain and allow the parsnips to cool and dry.

2. In a large bowl, mash the parsnips. Slowly add in the flour and mix thoroughly. Add in the chives, Parmesan cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the gnocchi mixture into a thick snake-like shape (about 1 inch diameter). Cut the snake-like gnocchi mixture into small 3/4 inch pieces. Roll each small 3/4 inch piece into an oval shape. With your thumb, press the gnocchi, into the back of the tines of a fork, creating a ribbed imprint. 

4. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the gnocchi into the pot of boiling water. 
The gnocchi is ready when it floats to the surface. Drain and serve.

Because this gnocchi has such a nice flavour on its own, I served it with a simple garlic mushroom butter sauce. To garnish, I used freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Yum!! This recipe is a keeper, one that I will make again and again!

This recipe yields 4 servings.

 mashing the flour into the parsnips

 the dough is ready to work with

 rolling the gnocchi on the back of a fork

sliced mushrooms for the sauce

yum, ready to eat!