At this time of year, I tend to over indulge a little, not too much, but enough to make me think that, yes, I really do need to go to the gym or grind out some miles along the canal bank.
This recipe was the start of the Christmas downfall for this year.
It’s rich, very, very rich indeed, a huge, decadent slab of tart, bitter chocolate gently flavoured with Italian liqueur. A small slice with a cup of coffee is enough for anybody.
This cake sat in the kitchen next to the kettle, small slithers of it disappearing whenever I passed.
Melt 350g of good quality dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently bubbling water. Don’t stir. Don’t prod. Just watch the chocolate slowly disintegrate.
In a small pan, slowly heat six tablespoons of Amaretto di Saronna until it’s warmed through, before adding it to the chocolate and stirring it in. Heating the booze helps to stop the chocolate seizing into a solid mass and ending up in the bin.
Amaretto di Saronna is an almond flavoured liqueur that, curiously doesn’t contain almonds. The flavour comes from apricot pits and other flavourings. It reminds me of marzipan.
Mix it with an equal measure of Southern Comfort and you’ve got a Sicilian Kiss.
Next, mix 50g of finely crushed amaretti biscuits into the melted chocolate and then stir in the beaten yolks from four large eggs.
Whisk the four egg whites in another bowl until thick and soft, then beat in 200g of caster sugar, a little at a time to make a glossy meringue.
Slowly and gently fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture, and pour the mixture into a buttered and lined cake tin, 20cm in diameter.
Bake for thirty-five to forty minutes at 180c, then turn off the oven and leave the torte inside to cool for at least an hour. Don’t take the cake out of the tin until it’s completely cold.
Dust with cocoa powder and serve with creme fraiche or mascarpone.
This torte is from the Italian part of Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen.