This cake is a re-re-re-bake, but it is SO good that I had to write my own post about it, too.
I first saw this over at Zorra’s (who had seen it at Claudia’s (foolforfood), who in turn had learned it directly at its origin at the River Café) and immediately knew I had to try it. And it was just as good as it sounded.
Of course, my version has been scaled down to the kitchen budget of the postgrad unemployment stage, but even without butter, vanilla beans and fresh Périgord walnuts it’s still so very good. I’ve made it various times already and it has since impressed various coffee table gatherings and my Ph.D. group. I could also call it “Supervisor Whisperer Cake”, which alone earns it three stars in my book.
Since the cake is rather heavy, I stick with the smaller measurements of Zorra and in addition use the amount of dough to make two small cakes (diameter 16 to 18cm). They look more elegant, make a great gift for a coffee invitation (even if you forget the walnuts…) and you still have one spare in the fridge for yourself.
Almond Amaretto Cake (“Supervisor Whisperer Cake”)
- 75-80g walnuts, cracked (e.g. from the 200g pack of Trader Joe’s at Aldi)
- 50ml Amaretto liquor
- 140g sugar
- 1 leaflet vanilla sugar (ca. 8-10g)
- a few drops of vanilla aroma/vanilla essence
- 150g margarine
- 150g grated almonds (or hazelnuts, if those are cheaper), no matter whether sweet or unpeeled. I combine 75g peeled grated almonds with 75g grated hazelnuts, simply because it’s the more economical.
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 40g flour
- 2 eggs (medium)
- 80g bitter chocolate (plus a few flakes of butter, optionally)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F)
- Start by hacking the walnuts into smaller bits (not too small), then set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar, vanilla sugar, vanilla aroma/essence and the margarine until smooth.
- Blend in the grated almonds/hazelnuts.
- Next, blend in the eggs, one by one.
- Add the flour and, atop of the flour, the baking powder. Blend.
- Add the walnuts and mix them into the dough.
- In the last step, pour in the amaretto and blend until evenly dissolved.
- Grease a round cake form (or two – I swear by an adjustable cake setting ring with a silicon mat underneath. I got it on sale a few yeas ago and it’s great! As a second form, I use my soufflé form (16cm diameter), but I grease it really well), possibly powder sides with a spoonful of grated almonds or hazelnuts.
- Fill the dough evenly into the form(s).
- Bake in the lower third of your oven at 160°C (320°F) for about an hour.
- After baking, allow the cake(s) to cool out. In current German weather, just place it on the balcony/outside windowsill for 15 minutes!
- For the chocolate covering, melt the chocolate over low heat. A few flakes of butter (I didn’t try that with margarine yet, it may also work) make the consistency smoother. Don’t lose patience and turn up the hear, or you’ll have a burned lumpy mess and trying to even it out with water is a bad idea that will never get hard again (I, uh, read that somewhere…)
- Spread the chocolate covering evenly onto top and sides of the cake(s). Give it a few hours to dry, then you’re ready to coerce your supervisor into allowing you to file your thesis.