Rachel Allen states she tasted a cake rather like this in Italy years ago, served with a small glass of amaretto liqueur – divine, well what do you know so did I and she’s right it is divine. I’d been trying out a few recipes both of my own and well known writers but none of them lived up to that glorious slice of cake I ate in Todi, Umbria … until this one came along, it fitted the bill perfectly.
So what cake am I blathering about? Chocolate Amaretti Cake from Rachel Allen’s Rachel’s Food for Living. Why is it so special I hear you shout? Well, where do I begin? Dense, moist, rich chocolate cake with a heady scent of almonds with a slight back note of orange, now does that sound good or what?
The cake works well both as one to have a wee slice of with a morning coffee or as a dessert, to my mind a slice of this with some freshly whipped cream, a few strawberries and a good espresso would be pure heaven.
The almonds really do help retain the moisture in the cake giving a lovely, almost squidgy texture to the cake which I love, and somehow despite this the cake doesn’t feel overly heavy to eat, in fact it seems lighter than many of the flour based chocolate cakes I’ve made and eaten over the years. In classical times Romans presented gifts of sugared almonds to important dignitaries as well as personal friends. At weddings they also tossed almonds at the bride and groom as a symbol of fertility, maybe this dessert would be good for the upcoming Valentines Day?
In keeping with the cake I had in lovely Todi I scattered the cake with slivered almonds before baking, which helped give a great crunch to the cake too.
It is also a keeper of a recipe that actually physically keeps well too if you can keep your greedy mitts of it, and believe me you’ll be struggling. On a serious note the cake will keep well for around a week in an airtight container.
Live to eat or eat to live? With food like this it’s got to be live to eat hasn’t it, and this is certainly food to live for!