I have noticed that I keep miniaturizing the pies and cakes I"ve been baking lately. That, and I tend to also double or triple the recipes. I am guessing my reasoning (if I have any) is that if I make them small, they're easy to give away (and I won't eat them all), and as long as I double or triple the recipe, I'll have ENOUGH small cakes and things to make sure some of the neighbors, family, and so on all get a sample.
Eventually I'll be running up and down the streets of the neighborhood, handing out miniature things to all the houses…kind of like a paper route, only tastier.
But I digress.
This week's recipe, the Chocolate Amaretti Torte, WANTS to be doubled. Or tripled. Or quintupled. Or octupled. It's really, really, REALLY good. I doubled the recipe and made four 4" cakelets and three dozen mini tortes out of all that. And I think tripling would have been even better, because then there'd be more left for me. I mean my FAMILY. Yeah, that's what I meant.
The Chocolate Amaretti Torte was selected by Holly of Phe/MOM/enon, and usually I wait til the end of the post to say this, but if you want the recipe, AND BELIVE ME, YOU DO, then you must head on over to Holly's site (which is a worthwhile journey in and of itself) to read her post and take a look at the recipe and scribble it down on the back of an envelope or a legal pad or your arm and then head out to the store to get what you need to make it, and come home and MAKE IT RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Or – and this is a good idea, too – buy Dorie Greenspan's book and flip to page 276 where the recipe begins and get going on it.
That said, here's my Chocolate Amaretti Torte story.
First of all, it's a good thing that I decided to read through the P & Q (Problems and Questions) on the TWD site for this recipe. I was planning to bake the tortes a day or two before Easter so I could bring some to Easter brunch at my cousin's house. I hadn't looked at the recipe yet, other than the picture, which, I know, is quite pathetic of me, but there it is…and so I didn't realize that Dorie recommended a specific brand of Amaretti cookie for this recipe. In reading the P&Q comments, I discovered that these cookies weren't always easy to find, and that there was a pretty good chance that none of the grocery stores I shop at would have them. Hm! Good to know. Fortunately several people had made the cookies themselves, and a couple had also posted recipes or links to recipes, so I figured if I couldn't get the Amaretti at the one store I planned to go, I'd make them. And, as fate would have it, the store didn't have the cookies, so I ended up making them. You can read about that here.
Once I had the Amaretti baked and cooled, I could finally make the tortes. The recipe is wonderfully quick and simple (yes, really – 15 minutes from food processor to oven), with just a few ingredients.
The recipe calls for almonds, but I was (I thought) saving some of my almonds for another dessert, so I used MOSTLY almonds and some macademia nuts and walnuts to make up the correct quantity for Dorie's recipe.
Other than that, I followed the rest of the recipe exactly.
Or pretty much exactly – mine were tortelets and mini tortes rather than one full-blown torte.
(The batter looked kind of curdled when the sugar, butter and eggs were combined…but it was nothing to worry about in the long run.)
The only other change I made in the recipe was with the glaze. It called for heavy cream, and I'd purchased a pint while I was out shopping for Amaretti and other things, but when I opened the container to make the glaze, something was off. It smelled funky. I tasted it, just to be sure (because sometimes milk or cream around the opening will get an off smell even though the contents of the container are perfectly fine), and it kind of tasted okay, but kind of tasted like…watered-down turpentine. And since turpentine and chocolate don't really go together all that well, I poured the pint down the drain (oh, and I checked the expiration date – it should have been fine, so maybe the cows at that farm actually LIKE turpentine and that's why the cream picked up the flavor) and just used the third of a cup or so of heavy cream I had in the fridge and added about 5 ounces of unsalted butter. Why? Because I had it. And I knew nothing bad would come of it, unless you count weight gain and hardening of the arteries as bad, but the heavy cream will do that, too, so the substitution was acceptable.
(Doesn't look pretty at the moment, but just keep stirring and everything will be just fine.)
My four tortelets. (I don't know why I didn't take pictures of the tiny mini tortes after I'd glazed them…probably because I was trying to hide them from the rest of the family.)
The tiny little mini tortes were a huge hit with my tiny little offspring and my not-so-tiny husband. Bite size, melt-in-your-mouth perfection. I had to keep shooing the family away from the food. Despite my best efforts, the number of mini tortes dwindled from 3 dozen to 2 1/2…to 2…to just 18 little tortes. Annoying, but understandable.
I gave some of the tortelets away and kept one (okay, two) for us.
You know, so I could take pictures.
For the blog, of course.
And for the good of all mankind.
For other Chocolate Amaretti Torte stories, check out all the other Tuesdays with Dorie blogs!