I don’t often have cake failures. I’ve been baking since I was seven. But when I do, they hit me hard.
The first time I made this – a Donna Hay recipe – it went wrong. It looked fine, coming out of the oven, but when you cut into it there was a hole running the whole width of the cake, so that each slice had a hole right through it. The sort of thing which, if you’d tried to achieve, would have been impossible.
It tasted delicious, but it was a failure. I whizzed the whole sorry thing up in a food processor and froze the crumbs. They will be delicious on some ice cream, as a topping, or put in milk shake mix ins.
I had a rare afternoon nap and then it came to me: I had forgotten to put the milk in. I had made it in a bad mood, and got distracted. The original method is also a ‘bung it all into the food mixer’, which is where I also went wrong as I lost track of the ingredients.
This is a simple cake – simple to look at, simple to make, but the ingredients add up. It has nearly £5 of white chocolate in it. Of course, you could put any old white chocolate in it, something cheap, but I think good quality white chocolate makes a difference. I use Green and Black’s white cooking chocolate. Then there’s the amaretti. The rest is regular baking fayre: butter, eggs, flour. Oh and milk.
I have adapted this so it’s all done by hand. I felt I got a better result. If you want to, you can bung everything save the amaretti crumbs into a food mixer and mix away until smooth, then rejoin the recipe at the putting into the tin stage.
Because this recipe contains amaretti – almonds – it is not suitable for anyone with nut/almond allergies.
This is what you need:
185g very soft unsalted butter
220g caster sugar
a teaspoon of vanilla extract
250g melted white chocolate, slightly cooled
300g self raising flour
310ml of milk
160g crushed amaretti biscuits
A few amaretti, crushed, for decoration after cooking.
This is what you do:
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and flour a 3l bundt/ring tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar, add the three eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract. Now gently mix in the melted chocolate. Then add the flour and, little by little, the milk.
Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin, sprinkle the amaretti crumbs (I pulse them in a food processor) over the cake mixture. I use a skewer to gentle feather them through the mixture, but you don’t have to. Now top up with the rest of the cake mixture.
Bake for about 45 minutes. Check with a skewer to make sure it’s cooked. Make sure it comes out clean.
Leave to cool for ten minutes, then turn out and sprinkle a few crushed amaretti over the top if you’d like.
This cake fills the kitchen with amazing Viennese coffee house smells as it cooks. It’s even better the next day. The white chocolate gives the sponge an amazing lightness and a taste you can’t quite put your finger on. And the amaretti crumb layer is just amazing and marzipan-ish in taste (so absolutely no good if you hate marzipan).
This cake tastes fabulous, and I really love how it improves with keeping. I made it with valrhona dulcey blond chocolate (like a posh caramac bar, if you remember that) which needed to be used up, and had to give half to my neighbour for fear of eating all the cake myself.
I am so pleased to hear that. I do remember that choc!