Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
SERVES 6 TO 8
Bits of bittersweet chocolate and crushed amaretti cookies add a wonderful taste and texture to this cake. The recipe, which comes from my friend Raffaella, was given to her mother by an old woman called Peppina from Reggio Emilia. It is a simple cake, but one of my very favorites.
1 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup crushed amaretti cookies
Pinch of salt
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper and butter the paper. Sift the flour and baking powder together onto wax paper.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate and crushed cookies.
In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture one at a time.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes, then invert it onto a cooling rack. Carefully remove the parchment paper; set another rack on top of the cake and turn right side up. Cool the cake completely.
Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar and cut into wedges to serve.