P&Q: 15 minute Chocolate Amaretti Torte

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70 thoughts on “P&Q: 15 minute Chocolate Amaretti Torte

  1. I was planning to make my own Amaretti cookies and was wondering about how many I would need weight wise to substitute the purchased ones. Anyone want to weigh out their cookies for me? :)

  2. I’d love to have a weight equivalent too. There are a few brands of amaretti cookies available here but the cookies are all different sizes. Thanks in advance! :)

  3. When I saw that Amanda of Amanda’s Cooking(http://amandascookin.blogspot.com/) made her own amaretti cookies I thought that was a great idea. Amanda was smart enough to ask Dorie for advise on how much cookies she needed weigthwise. Apparently we need 2.75 ounces!

    P.S. To those of you that are interested: I’m giving away a cookbook with Dutch recipes (written in English), go check it out here: http://culinairydelights.blogspot.com/2009/04/big-3-0-combined-with-giveaway.html

  4. I’m making this for my Passover dessert. Thanks Holly for the great choice. As for Ingredients in the cookie, The ‘secret recipe’ sates:
    Sugar, Apricot Kernels (19%), Egg White. I don’t know where I would find apricot kernel! I would however add a teaspoon of Amaretto di Saronno liquor to intensify the flavor. Can’t wait to try this one.

  5. No food processor here… but that’s not going to scare me away (hey, if not having an ice cream maker doesn’t keep me from making ice cream, then I can surely make a freaking torte without a food processor).

    So, you think I can just put the cookies and the nuts into a ziploc bag and give them a good whack with the ol’ rolling pin??

  6. I couldnt find amaretti cookies in my local grocery. I am going to look again this weekend at a different store. If I cant find them, I cant find them.

  7. Thanks for the weight equivalent, Marthe and Amanda! I was hoping to have enough amaretti cookies left for the recipe, but no such luck. I guess I’ll have to go out and get some!

  8. Thanks Marthe and Amanda! I couldn’t find the cookies in stores here either, I think I have a recipe in one of my cookbooks but will find one online if all else fails.

  9. I found amaretti cookies at Starbucks of all places. Not the brand Dorie uses. The box came with 7 cookies (in a red box)and I used all seven. The cake is to-die-for delicious. It tastes great at room temperature but even better out of the freezer. YUM!

  10. Pinkstripes, how many ounces is the box? (If you still have it in hand) And, if don’t mind answering, how much did the cookies cost?

  11. Thank you Amanda and Marthe! I found Dorie’s favorite brand at a gourmet grocery store but they were $9.50 for a 7oz package and I just couldn’t spend that much. But I found a different brand at World Market and I think that cost $2.49 for a 7 oz package. So if anyone has a World Market nearby, check there!

  12. I don’t remember the weight and I think they cost about $4.00. It probably was less than the 2.75 ounces Dorie says to use, but the cake worked out. I think a good substitution could be the meringue cookies from Trader Joes.

  13. FYI: The weight on the Starbucks Amaretti cookies is 1.76 oz. and the brand is Amaretti Del Chiostro Autentici… however, only 6 cookies came in my box (and it was the last one they had).

  14. I used a 4.5 ounce package that I found for $6 at Whole Foods. It was a packaged item sold in the bakery…called Biscotti Amaretti (leading the bakery guy to tell me that they didn’t sell amaretti, just biscotti.) They were about 1″ in diameter and there were about 16 in the package. I used them all (not being sure whether these were Dorie’s big ones or little ones!) and the cake came out really well, even though I apparently used almost twice as many as most people ?!?!

    Mike, ladyfingers or savoiardi are different – softer and without the nut flavor. I think you need something that will turn in dry crumbs to replace flour.

    The cake was really good!

  15. I am just wondering…(and I understand there might be gnashing of teeth when you read this) if Nilla Wafers might work as a substitution for the amaretti?

  16. Oh Jill, thank you so much! I never thought to look at World Market, but there’s one just across the street from my office. I’ll try there first. Otherwise, I’ll probably make my own. I just can’t justify $11 a tin for them … even though we’d eat whatever was left. It’s just a little too much for this month’s budget.

    I’m looking forward to making these!

  17. eeks i haven’t been able to find these (checked 3 different stores) and don’t have time to make my own this weekend with easter and all … but I’ll try my best!

  18. Hi everyone, and thanks Marthe!

    I made my own Amaretti cookies and yes Dorie said 2.75 ounces. NOTE: Dorie also said if you decide to make your own cookies, make sure you only use the dry and crunchy parts, in my case that was the edges. Homemade amaretti cookies tend to be chewy in the middle. If you need a recipe here’s the one I used http://amandascookin.blogspot.com/2009/04/homemade-amaretti-cookies.html

    This torte is amazing, absolutely fabulous! MELT IN YOUR MOUTH goodness at room temp. I didn’t try it from the freezer though! Too bad it’s all gone :(

  19. if you are in TX, i got a 2.3oz box of the exact brand Dorie recommended (it had 6 large cookies in there – wish i had checked here first about the weight) at Central Market for about $6. it was in a red box, not tin, and it’s expensive for such a small amount but not THAT expensive, in my opinion. sounds like World Market is cheaper though – didn’t think to look there.

    i am making this tomorrow and can’t wait to taste it!

  20. Not only did the torte taste fantastic, it really did take only 15 minutes to get it in the oven. I am amazed at how much Amaretti flavor comes through from the cookies. They are deliciously potent little things.

  21. I actually ordered mine on Amazon because I grew up on the ones that are dorie’s favorite. I have also been making my own for the past couple of years too. If you cruise on over to my blog there is a recipe for them, just search for amaretti. All the recipe contains is almond paste, sugar, flour, an egg, and confectioners’ sugar.

  22. I made my torte and used mini amarettini cookies I found at a specialty Italian market in Salt Lake (Caputo’s for you here in UT). I didn’t use Dorie’s favorite brand because they only sold them in 2lb bags for about $32. The guy at the market was helpful and found another 7 oz package for about $3 which worked perfectly.

    This was easy to make and tasted awesome with all the components together. I highly recommend making the almond whipped cream – it is different and perfect with the cake!

    Thanks SOOOO much to everyone who is baking along with me this week! You all ROCK!

  23. Thanks to Jill. I went to World Market over lunch and found the 7oz bag for $2.49. We actually have an Italian specialty grocery store in my neighborhood but I know the cookies would have been more expensive there. I am sure I would have gone there first if she hadn’t posted. Of course, I spent a lot more than $2.49 at World Market but that’s my own issue.

  24. After hearing about the Amaretti cookies at World Market I had to try them; I had just bought the Amaretti cookies Dorie suggested from my local Italian market. No comparison, sorry; the World Market cookies barely taste like almonds, have a slight chocolate/cinnamon flavor and have a fine crumb. The original Amaretti cookies really have a pronounced almond flavor and a much coarser texture. I am sure the WM cookies will work but not sure how the flavor difference and/or texture will affect the final product. True, one is $2.05 per ounce compared to 35 cents per ounce, but there is a reason one is more expensive.

  25. I found my cookies for under $3.00 in the gourmet foods section of TJ Maxx…they are so yummy! I hope I do not eat them all before I made the torte! These are not the ones Dorie recommended, but they are almond-y and delicious!

  26. Fit chick – you are probably right. I have never had amaretti and did not care for the ones I bought at World Market. I made the torte last night and it was good. Who knows how different it would have been with the others? I am still happy with the purchase because that kind of cookie is not something I would normally snack on.

  27. I found the cookies at a local Italian market. If you’re in the SoCal area the market is called Claro’s and it is a chain, so you can look it up and see if there’s one near you. The box they sell is 7.05 oz for $5.99.

    I’ll be making my cake this weekend.

  28. I certainly didn’t intend to steer anyone to some bad cookies, but the expensive ones aren’t an option for everyone. If anyone does a side-by-side comparison of a homemade version vs. Dorie’s favorite brand, I’d be interested in hearing the results.

  29. Jill, the WM cookies are not bad cookies; I ate quite a few, actually I ate too many! They just don’t have the almond flavor of the one’s Dorie suggested. I am sure any amaretti cookie will work, I just wanted everyone to realize there are differences in each manufactures cookies.

  30. Hi Fit Chick – your taste test was helpful. I think I’ll add a little bit of almond extract to my torte to increase the almond flavor.

  31. Kristen-Thanks for mentioning the substitution of Nilla wafers!

    I did manage to find amaretti, in a small Italian bakery. I’m going to let the cookies sit out overnight and most of tomorrow…hopefully they will be a little more crunchy once they are exposed to air.

  32. I’m passing on this weeks. I just made carrot cake for pur little boy’s birthday, and we had cupcakes the other day and now Easter candy. Too many sweets.

    Thanks for the heads up on the egg whites, Barbara, I still need to use mine up. I was thinking meringue cookies.

  33. I got tired of looking at bought a couple bags at World Market. Can’t beat the price – plus, it only used 1/2 bag at that… I added some amaretto for more almond flavor. :)

    If the taste of the batter is any indication of the cake… it’s fantastic! Yes, I left some for the pan. It’s in the oven now – can’t wait to see the final. Thanks for finding the cookies at WM!

  34. I used the cookies at WM and thought they were fine. The almond flavor was nicely strong and they weren’t too fine textured. I wonder if the brands are different in the different WM stores? Anyway, I just finished the cake and photographed it and it’s FANTASTIC. Really good and the almond flavor is a perfect match to the richness of the chocolate. Definitely a keeper recipe – thanks Holly!

  35. Amy – I know this is a lot later, but I just made mine without a food processor. It took some good old fashioned muscle with my mortar and pestle to grind the almonds and cookies…and maybe it wasn’t ground as finely as it would have been otherwise, but the torte was still fudgy and delicious. No longer 15 minute magic, but magical nonetheless… Plus I can pretend I worked off all the calories I ate ;)

  36. Related question–while I’m making Amaretti, how do you think they’d be for cheesecake crust? Have to make a cheesecake and can’t use graham crackers on passover…

  37. I think ginger snaps would be really yummy, but it would make it a whole different torte. In mine, the almond flavor of the amaretti combined with the almonds really came through strongly and it’s (IMO) the essence of the cake. I think of you used a different flavor cookie, you might want to try a different nut as well – maybe pecans over almonds. I think the ginger and almond would compete too much otherwise. Or, I think someone suggested using ‘Nilla Wafers which might be neutral enough to not overwhelm the flavor of the almonds, but still give you the texture you need.

  38. Heheh .. no, but I did keep cutting tiny slivers of it every time I walked into the kitchen. I think I was trying to convince myself that the smaller slivers were calorie free. :)

  39. I used the World Market cookies….and then ate a bunch of the extras. My hubby and I both liked them a lot. He wouldn’t let me take it to work with me either. Apparently he is going to polish it off!

  40. I also used the WM cookies – they tasted wonderful – but I’m sure the Italian market ones were better. I didn’t have any around to taste-test. And I’m sure no one knew the better. The torte was a big hit – I made the almond cream (with some amaretto) – this is a simple torte keeper!

  41. That does it. I made two stops for cookies–but I should have stopped here FIRST. Starbucks it is…my post will be a day late…because the raves from all of you just decided me: I am not using the fake almond “Italian” cookies I picked up…just. won’t. do.

  42. OK, so why did I wait until Sunday afternoon to try and buy Amaretti? The regular type grocery stores are closed(Easter Sunday), so I tried the Italian specialty store (also closed) and both Whole Foods in Saint Paul and Minneapolis (both open but no Amaretti!). So after work today I went back to the Italian speciality shop (Broder’s) and they had Bisconova Amaretti 7oz for $3.50. They said don’t buy the ones in the tin if you are baking (the extra cost is the tin). So I have extras for coffee in the morning! Was it just me or did everyone else lick all the spatullas clean :) That was some good tasting batter! Baked up quite nice and now cooled and wrapped in plastic on the counter. The glazing and eating have to wait until tomorrow evening. No photos, sorry. The camera is back from South Africa, but not back to my house until the weekend.

  43. I am visiting grandchildren in Colorado. I couldn’t find any amaretti cookies here in Longmont, but went over to Boulder today. There is an awesome cookware, gourmet store there, Peppercorn on Pearl Street, and they had Bellino brand cookies at a good price. The store is worth a detour, if you are near the area. I will be late posting, but am determined to bake this cake. According to the TWD bakers, it sounds delicious. Are there any comments about baking at this altitude of 5000 feet? I googled high altitude baking, but am not sure if I should make adjustments. Thanks for any input.

  44. So didn’t get it glazed until Thursday night. At first the glaze didn’t look so great in the mizing cup, but really nice on the cake. And the taste? I think my co-workers are going to be very happy tomorrow!

  45. Question: Dorrie suggests in “Playing Around” to use this cake as a base for a hot fudge sundae; has anyone done this? If so, did you glaze the cake? (seems like that might be overkill as she suggests topping the ice cream with a bittersweet chocolate sauce)

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