Tag Archives: Amaretti

Moist Plum and Amaretti Bake

Utterly delicious and dead easy, I cut this traybake up to make lots of bite-sized sponges that are delectably easy to just pop in as I’m passing the cake tin – which is left out permanently. Sweet plums combined with ground almonds provide a gorgeous Autumnal moistness to these sponges and the crumbled amaretti biscuits add a lovely depth of flavour. Ideal with a cup of tea, coffee or just on their own!

Makes loads – it depends how you cut up the traybake – I think I made about 40 poppables! (Forgot to count – sorry!)

What you need…

1 x 30 x 23cm traybake tin, buttered and lined with parchment paper or Bake O Glide

4 large plums, slightly under-ripe

125g self-raising flour

75g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 large, happy eggs

200g caster sugar

200g butter, softened

Zest of 1 orange, grated finely

7 amaretti biscuits, crumbled

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Halve and de-stone the plums and then cut into wedges. Set aside.

Tip the flour, almonds, baking powder, eggs, caster sugar, butter and orange zest into your food processor. Whizz until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Tip the mixture into your traybake tin and spread it about evenly.

Scatter over the amaretti crumbs and top with a layer of plums. I arranged mine in lines of wedges all facing the same way but that’s not necessary as the sponge rises and hides them anyway.

Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out dry.

Cool in the tin, dust with icing sugar and cut up into whatever sized sponges you fancy. Enjoy these lovely little moist gems of Autumnal sponge.

Inspired by…

Country Living magazine

How easy…

I made them before breakfast on Sunday morning – deliciously relaxed, very easy.

 

 

 

Vanilla and Amaretti Cheesecakes with Balsamic-Infused Strawberries

I saw a version of these completely delectable little cheesecakes on Saturday Kitchen and thought that I must give them a go. Wow! The TV didn’t do them justice – the rich, smooth creaminess of the cheesecake is perfectly contrasted by the warm, sweet, lusciousness of the strawberries, their flavour emphasised by balsamic vinegar (most unexpected). They look fabulous, are so easy to make and taste out of this world!

 Serves 4

 What you need…

 4 x chefs’ rings, 5.5cm diametre x 6cm deep (easily available online)

10 Amaretti biscuits

250g cream cheese

125g caster sugar

125g crème fraiche

240ml double cream

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

for the strawberries

200g strawberries, hulled and quartered

2 teaspoons caster sugar

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

What to do…

In a large bowl, tip in your cream cheese, caster sugar, crème fraiche, double cream and vanilla seeds. Whisk until smooth and thickened up so that the whisks leave a distinct trail.

Place the chefs’ rings on a flat plate, lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into each ring, pushing the mixture down to make sure there are no gaps. Smooth off the top with a palette knife and pop them in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set. If you are having friends around for dinner, you can do this bit in the morning and leave the rest until you are about ready to serve.

Just before you are ready to serve, pop your Amaretti biscuits into a plastic zip-lock bag and using a rolling pin, crush them inside the bag to create a dusting.

Remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and set aside at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Place the Amaretti crumbs on a plate and then dip each of the cheesecakes in their chefs’ rings into the crumbs, 2 – 3 times if necessary – to make sure that the end is thoroughly covered. Dip both ends in the Amaretti crumbs.

Then, hold your breath (!) and lightly shake each cheesecake from the chefs’ ring onto its serving plate. Despite your total disbelief, it will gently drop down the ring and then plop out beautifully onto your serving plate – looking gorgeous!

Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over a high heat. Tip in the strawberries and sugar and cook, stirring continually for about 1 minute. Pour over the balsamic and cook for a further 1 minute.

Spoon some of the strawberries onto the plate alongside the cheesecake. Absolutely delicious – the strawberries contrast the cheesecake perfectly, both elements enhancing the flavour of the other. Serve your vanilla and Amaretti cheesecakes with balsamic-infused strawberries together with a wee glass of Disaronno Italian liqueur or a lovely little dessert wine to complete the indulgence! Yum!

Tip…

Chefs’ rings are almost like slices of metal piping you might expect on a building site! Another description would that of a cookie cutter, double the normal depth.

Inspired by…

Stuart Gillies, with James Martin on Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Really easy, the only nervy bit is when you’re watching the cheesecake slowly drop through the chefs’ rings but be patient, and it will be fine!