7 oz Amaretti (see note)
2 tb Granulated sugar
5 tb Sweet butter
1 oz Chocolate, unsweetened
6 oz Chocolate, semisweet
7 oz Amaretti
4 oz Almond paste
1/3 c Amaretto liqueur
1/4 c Sugar, granulated
1 1/2 lb Cream cheese
4 lg Eggs
1/2 c Heavy cream
MAKE CRUST: Butter the sides only (not the bottom) of a 9-inch
spring-form pan (about 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep). Grind the Amaretti
very fine in a food processor or blender. Mix with sugar in a mixing
Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler, stirring
occasionally. Add the melted mixture to the Amaretti crumbs and
sugar and mix thoroughly. (Don't wash the double boiler; you'll be
using it again in a minute.)
Turn the mixture into the prepared pan. With your fingers,
distribute it evenly over the bottom and press it down into a very
firm, compact layer. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
MAKE FILLING: Adjust rack 1/3 up from the bottom of the oven and
preheat to 350 degrees F. Partially melt chocolate in the top of a
double boiler, then uncover and stir until completely melted. Remove
the top of the double boiler and set aside to cool.
Break the Amaretti coarsely into a bowl and set aside. Cut the almond
paste into small pieces, and beat on low speed with an electric mixer,
while gradually adding the Amaretto liqueur. Beat until thoroughly
mixed and set aside.
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the
sugar and beat until smooth again. Add the almond paste-Amaretto
mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add the melted chocolate and
beat well again. Add the eggs one at a time, beating at low speed
until they are incorporated after each addition. Add the heavy cream
and beat until smooth. Add the coarsely broken Amaretti and stir
gently only to mix.
Turn into the prepared pan, pouring the mixture over the bottom crust.
Rotate the pan gently to level the batter. (Don't worry if the mixture
comes almost to the top; it won't run over.)
Bake 45 minutes. It will seem soft and not done, but don't bake any
more; it will become firm when chilled. The top of the cake is
supposed to look bumpy because of the large chunks of Amaretti. Let
cool completely at room temperature, then carefully remove the sides
of the pan and refrigerate the cake (still on the bottom of the pan)
for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
* This is adapted from Maida Heatter's "Book of Great Chocolate
Desserts," (Knopf 1980). It won me a blue ribbon at the Martha's
Vineyard Agricultural Exhibition and Fair in 1983. If you ever find
yourself in front of a firing squad, this makes an unbeatable last
* Amaretti are Italian almond-flavored wafer cookies. They are
usually sold in metal tins with the wafers wrapped in packages of two
inside the tin. You can also buy Amarettini, which are the same
flavor but much smaller and not individually wrapped. Since you're
going to grind some of the wafers and break the others into chunks,
it doesn't matter which size you start with. One brand is Amaretti di
Saronna, Lazzaroni & Co.
* This is an expensive cake, both in terms of the cost of the
ingredients ($15-$20) and the number of calories.
: Difficulty: moderate to hard.
: Time: 30 minutes preparation, 45 minutes baking, overnight cooling.
: Precision: measure ingredients carefully.
: Jan Wolitzky
: AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA