Chocolate Amaretti Torte

Surprisingly, this striking two-tone sponge is not as tricky to create as you may think. The secret is not to overcook the sponge.

Plus: This also tastes delicious served with a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce. This dessert can also be frozen. Defrost in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 90 g (3 1/4 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 g (1/2 oz) plain flour
  • 40 g (1 /2 oz) cornflour
  • 15 g (1/2 oz) cocoa powder
  • 5 strawberries, halved
  • cocoa powder, sifted, to decorate

Filling

  • 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into pieces
  • 300 g (10 1/2 oz) ready-made custard
  • 3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur or brandy
  • 450 ml (16 fl oz) double cream
  • 75 g (2 3/4 oz) Amaretti biscuits, crushed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Line three baking sheets with non-stick baking paper, drawing two 20 cm (8 inches) circles on two of the pieces of paper and a 33 x 15 cm (13 x 6 inch) rectangle on the third.
  3. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff, moist-looking peaks then gradually whisk in one-third of the sugar.
  4. Using the still dirty whisk, beat all the egg yolks and remaining sugar until thick and mousse-like and the mixture leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted up. Fold in the egg whites, then spoon half the mixture back into the egg white bowl.
  5. Sift the flour and half the cornflour into one of the bowls and gently fold in. Sift the cocoa powder and remaining cornflour over the second bowl and fold in.
  6. Spoon the plain mixture into a large piping bag fitted with an 8 mm (3/8 inch) plain piping nozzle. Pipe diagonal lines over all the drawn shapes, leaving a nozzle width between each line. Pipe the chocolate mixture into the gaps then bake for 5–6 minutes until the sponge is just cooked and beginning to colour. You may need to cook in two batches.
  7. Quickly invert the rectangle of sponge on to a fresh piece of non-stick baking paper, peel off the lining paper, trim to the size of the original drawn rectangle, then cut into two long thin strips.
  8. Press the sponge strips around the inside of a 20 cm (8 inches) springform tin, with the lightest side touching the tin.
    Trim the sponge circles to a little smaller than the base of the springform tin. Keep the best one for the top and press the other into the base of the tin.
  9. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Take the bowl off the pan and stir in the custard then the liqueur or brandy. Whip the cream until only just beginning to thicken then gradually whisk in the chocolate custard.
  10. Stir in the Amaretti biscuits then pour into the sponge-lined tin.
    Add the remaining sponge circle, paler side upwards and press gently down on to the filling.
  11. Chill for 5 hours or overnight, remove from the tin and cut into wedges.

Serve with the strawberries. Dust the plate lightly with sifted cocoa, if liked.

This is one of many great recipes from "Chocolate Success" by Sara Lewis.


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