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Chocolate & Amaretto cakeAlmond Chocolate & amaretto cake As you can imagine, with the move to Vancouver, things have been pretty busy for the last few weeks. I’ve been working long shifts on the show Arrow, the longest one being 17 hours so far and therefore just have not had much time to do my favourite thing, that being baking. Not only have I not the time, I don’t have any of the utensils yet. The flat I moved into is quite new so we just about have cutlery and some saucepans. It’s funny when you move into a new place, how at first you think you have enough to get by and gradually over time you realise what you have missed. The other night I steamed my vegetables and went into the cupboard to look for a drainer, we didn’t have one. I am therefore resting my saucepan filled with hot water against a plate to let the water run down and hope that my peas don’t escape with it. I didn’t think I’d miss baking as much as I do but I’ve always loved it and found I look forward to it. I also miss the cake club I used to go too and the fun conversations with the girls. My plan is to set one up whilst I’m here and run it for a few months so will keep you posted with that! It will be a lovely way to meet people and keep the tradition going. Chocolate amaretto and almond cake IMG_8140 I’d be happy to make this cake again that’s for sure. This is actually an old recipe of mine, well not super old, but unfortunately it’s not one I’ve made in Vancouver as I haven’t managed to get round to baking one yet (will happen soon!). Rather I made this cake for my friend Sophie’s house party that she had a few weeks before I set off for Vancouver. It was one of those super fun house parties where we just met so many random, funny people, the music was brilliant and there was a cake section too, which didn’t last very long that’s for sure. Sophie made some incredible blondies, which I have never had before and am now addicted to, and there were other treats and themes of the night such as 11pm cake and cava, 2am tea and toast. The challenge was to stay until 6am for some bacon butties. We stayed pretty long but didn’t make it for the bacon butties unfortunately but still had a wonderful time. So getting back to the cake, I had seen this cake in delicious magazine and could not wait for an excuse to make it. Not only does it combine three of my favourite things, chocolate, amaretto and almonds but the picture looked incredible, the recipe seemed pretty simple and therefore I could think of nothing better to do than make it. I discovered the combination of chocolate ad amaretto when we were in Bath a few years ago and were waiting to order some Gluhein. Craig was at the front of the bar and one of the girls had two cups of hot chocolate and amaretto in her hand and was calling out to the people who had ordered it. Turned out she had made one too many, therefore had two cups spare, and Craig being at the right place at the right time gained the benefit of this and we ended up with two chocolate and amaretto’s for free. The first sip was melt in your mouth delicious. Obviously it was more like set your mouth on fire but the combination of the smooth delicious chocolate with the almondy amaretto just worked together so well, simply a match made in heaven. Therefore I am not surprised that several cake recipes now contain chocolate & amaretto. It was a treat to find this recipe and it is one I will definitely repeat as the amaretto soaks into the sponge of the cake giving it a gooey, soft and delicious centre (think Guinness cake). Be careful though it’s extremely addictive. I found myself picking at my own cake a ridiculous amount (the alcohol probably didn’t help) and this is not good to do when you’ve made a cake for a party. One slice simply isn’t enough!

Chocolate, Amaretto & Almond Cake

Hands-on time 25 min, oven time 35-40 min, plus cooling


  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 6 medium free-range eggs, separated
  • 180g golden caster sugar
  • 50ml amaretto

For the ganache topping

  • 200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 100g double cream, at room temperature
  • 30g whole skin-on almonds, sliced
  • 20g flaked almonds (I unfortunately didn’t have these thus the big bulky almonds on top but you can make do with them)

Method 1. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform or loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper. Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. In a large saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir in the ground almonds, then cool for 5 minutes. 2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer for 5 minutes (or use a balloon whisk) or until pale and creamy. Stir in the chocolate mixture until combined. 3. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer (with clean beaters) or balloon whisk until stiff peaks form when the beaters/whisk are removed. Stir the amaretto into the chocolate mixture along with a large spoonful of whisked egg whites to loosen the mixture then, using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the rest. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake on the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes until the cake is risen and firm to touch. whipped egg whites 4. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 5. For the ganache topping, put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) and melt gently. Alterntively heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it rwaches a runny consistency. Remove from the heat, leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, then slowly stir through the cream until it forms a thick ganache. Set aside to cool, covered with cling film touching the surface. IMG_8139 6. Heat a medium frying pan and toast the almond slices and flaked almonds for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and leave to cool. Chocolate, amaretto & almond cake 7. Spread the cooled ganache over the cake, then decorate with the toasted almonds and serve.   Chocolate and Amaretto cake