Giuliano Hazan taught this recipe to me years ago. It can be made a day ahead of serving.
Serves 8 to 10.
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
10 pairs of amaretti cookies
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1 cup heavy cream
Sugar to taste
Finely grated chocolate, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cheesecake pan or spring form pan.
Turn the pan upside down and tap it to shake off the excess flour.
Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until the mixture is soft and creamy. Separate the eggs, and set the whites aside for later. Beat one yolk at a time into the creamed butter and sugar.
Process the amaretti cookies in a food processor until powdery. Add the flour and run the processor until well combined. Add the pieces of chocolate and process until very finely chopped. Add to the cake batter and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
Whip the egg whites at high speed until they form stiff peaks. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the beaten egg whites to the cake batter and stir it in to soften the mixture. Carefully fold the remaining egg whites into the batter.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and gently smooth until the batter is even. Place in the upper level of a preheated oven and bake for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry. While baking, this cake will sometimes swell and then subside.
Whip the cream and sweeten to taste with a little sugar and finely grated chocolate. Allow the cake to cool before removing it from the pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Add a dollop of freshly whipped cream when serving.
This recipe is featured on show 1808, Happy Birthday - Buon Compleanno.
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