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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Amaretti Torte

amaretti-torte

Years ago, when we were teenagers, my cousin Phyllis got a part-time job at a very well known Italian bakery in New York City. I was already living in Florida at the time, where anything Italian pretty much didn't exist. We didn't even have a Domino's for crissake! I was so jealous picturing Phyllis covered in powdered sugar, surrounded by piles of cannoli, zeppole, sfogliatelle and numerous other delectable Italian pastries. What a dream job!

Phyllis was always very petite. I asked her once how she managed not to gain weight working in such a fairyland of sugar, butter and pastry cream. She told me that at first, it was hard not to sample everything in sight. But, that after a while, she got kind of sick of being around all of those pastries, cookies and cakes and lost her appetite for them. Impossible, I thought! Sacrilege! But, after a year and a half of baking for this blog, including a year of TWD, I kind of understand what she meant.

amaretti-cake3

I've always considered myself to have a major sweet tooth, though I never really baked much before SGCC. It was, and is, very exhilarating and rewarding to try new things and share them with you here. I've created desserts that I never dreamed I would ever be able to pull off! And, I have! But, to be honest, I just don't get that same thrill looking at a freshly baked chocolate layer cake cooling on my kitchen counter that I once did. Ganache and Italian buttercream don't hold the same allure for me anymore. I find that after just a few small bites, I'm done.

How could this be? Am I jaded? Have I really lost my desire for sweets?

I don't think so. I just think that too much of a good thing is sometimes.....well.....too much!

So, has this unwelcome phenomenon ever happened to any of you? And, if so, how have you handled it? I'd really love to know.

amaretti-2

That being said, I really must tell you that I had no problem at all scarfing down a big slice of Dorie's Chocolate Amaretti Torte! It kinda did thrill me. (Maybe there's hope for me yet!) She calls it "15 Minute Magic" because the whole recipe can be whipped up and ready to bake in under fifteen minutes. Although, you'd never guess after tasting it. It's another flourless recipe, using ground almonds and amaretti cookies for substance. It is rich, dense and fudgy - almost like a brownie - but with a bit of a nubby texture from the nuts. Coated with a glossy dark chocolate ganache and topped with an almond kissed whipped cream, it was an absolutely dreamy dessert!

amaretti-cake4

Kudos to Holly from Phe.MOM.enon for choosing this week's fabulous TWD recipe. You can find the recipe for this torte on Holly's site. You can also see lots more Chocolate Amaretti Tortes over at the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll.

53 comments:

Debbie said...

Looks absolutely delicious. I have to say I have NEVER tired of cookies, cakes, etc. I just love them....always have. Wish I could tire of them a little!!!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

At first I was going to say that I never tire of the stuff, but then again, I don't get much chance to tire of it. I don't keep sweets in the house for fear I'll eat too much. If I want a treat, I go out and buy one of something.

Then I realized that both this recent Easter and past Thanksgiving I had tons of leftover sweets in the house for a week. Since most of them were homemade, I couldn't bring myself to trash them, so I ate a lot of them. After a while I did tire of them. Maybe it was because I always ate the same ones. If I were in a bakery with an endless variety, It would probably take much longer.

The variety thing is a big factor. I've been eating cookies, ice cream, and lemon cake for the past three days, and I'm sick of those, but I could still eat this tart!

Katrina said...

Cookies are my downfall, and I was making them by the ton. I'm now taking a little break from them--also because I'm "dieting", but I think it will "help" me love cookies even more the next time I make a GREAT one.
As for TWD, I think it's easy to burn out. I am just sharing, sharing, sharing! ;)
This torte was definitely a good one! Yours look de-lish.

Jennifer said...

Wow, sometimes I wish I could tired of baked goods. Okay, maybe not, but I do wish I could learn some restraint! As I think I ate one thin slice of this torte, followed by another thin slice, and so on...

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

Looks great!!

FJK said...

Beautiful cake (and photo)
Re: getting tired of what you used to love. Yes, it has happened to me. I posted about See's Candy once a week for a year and it I ended up totally off what had been a major treat for me.
Still don't crave it any more I guess that's good but haven't lost the 20 lbs I gained eating so much of it for a year!

duodishes.com said...

That's amazing. It's thick, pure chocolate and cookie flavor. Overload to the max.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks absolutely fabulous and so do your pictures!

cheers,

Rosa

Scate said...

Gorgeous. I love these little ameretti cookies- so i'm sure the torte is devine. It is sitting next to a cup of coffee if i eat it right now, or a little shot of something if later tonight... you've got me dreaming!

Jeff said...

You have not lost the desire just hit the rut. Happens to the best of us when we do something. There was one year where the idea of sitting in front of a smoker waiting for a brisket to finish up made me want to run into the street.

I just found ways to make firing smoking fun again. If you are curious I took up meat curing which taught me something new instead of the monotony of brisket/pulled pork/ribs and still had me babysitting a smoker.

Jill said...

Your torte looks fabulous! If I ever get sick of sweets, I'm over it by the next day!

Colleen said...

Oh my this torte looks stunning...wicked actually. Gotta make it I think....for me birthday that's coming up...and I can eat it all by myself heehee....hugs Susan xxx

Ingrid said...

Ha, that was kinda funny. I thought for sure you were going to say that the torte was just okay after read how you've become dessert jaded. :)

While you may be tired of eating dessert I'm certainly not tired of admiring your dessert photos! Bring 'em on and while you're at it ship me the dessert I'm not far off of I-4 or the toll road 417!
~ingrid

Helene said...

I never get tired of tasting sweets. I love your torte, it's beautiful.

The Food Hunter said...

I can't imagine life without sweets! Love the tort.

Snooky doodle said...

this cake is a must try for me . It looks delicious! I too sometimes get fed up of desserts and chocolate while baking however it doesn t last long since after a while a nicely decorated cake it really tempts me :)

pinkstripes said...

Your torte looks fantastic! YUM.

(I used to work in a store that sold chocolate covered everything, and nuts, and dried fruits--and I got sick of it too!)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Maybe I should join TWD. I baked a chocolate amaretti cake to take to my aunt's today and didn't even know that's what your group was doing. Yours looks luscious and so do the photos.

Ronda said...

That looks beautiful!!
XO

Linda said...

What a GORGEOUS torte!!!!

I totally relate to what you're saying. I'll taste what I bake(as I need to know how to describe it), but will rarely eat an entire serving of anything that I bake.

As long as you don't tire of your fav sweets, you are not jaded. I can go to town with a pan of homemade brownies or bowl of malted milk ice cream --- anytime, anyday! ;)

Meg said...

It looks beautiful! I bet it is quite rich!

anna said...

Ooh, I love amaretti cookies! That cake sounds fantastic. I'm planning to start a pastry career very soon and I'm sure once I get into the work I won't be too tempted - one can only handle so much sugar in a day. My first job was scooping ice cream and I couldn't stand the smell of frozen cream and hot fudge for quite a while - it was in my pores!

Nina Timm said...

When I first started this blog, I posted everyday so I baked or cooked everyday, but sometimes I had to put myself under such immense pressure that I kinda lost the passion and soon it became very evident in my meals...and hubby and the children soon started to complain. So these days, I cook or bake when inspired and all is well again in the Timm household!!!! The torte looks delicious and a 15 minute recipe for Dorie, must be a record!!

Sophie said...

WAw, this torte looks absolutely fabulously yummie !!!

Tracy said...

I must try that!

I do get burnout from cooking and blogging. Sometimes I let myself take a break from both, and it eventually passes.

Dani said...

Because of your pics I think this cake just jumped to next-in-line in my kitchen LOL

I kinda know what u mean about not desiring the sweets as much as before my blog... I still get a shiver when I see them, but it is more of an asthetic thing than a sweet tooth thing....

but that doesn't stop me - i just give it away after the photos are done! and i hope it doesnt stop u!

Jescel said...

Oh my.. that sounds and looks absolutely fabulous! You may just be experiencing a sort of burn-out from baking..just take a li'l break and i'm sure you'll be back. I haven't reached that point yet, but then again, I'm not baking every week! (I'm trying not to, because we can't afford to buy new clothes in these times, lol!)

emiglia said...

That looks incredible! I'm definitely going to try this one.

I've never had that problem before, but it's mainly because I don't allow myself to bake that much! I try to reserve baking for the weekends... much better for my jeans' size.

Kelly said...

Your tort looks lucious! When I was going to culinary school in the evenings the last thing I wanted to do was cook and bake at home. Now that I am taking a break I find myself more open to baking and cooking. I find if I mix it up, cook savory things to break up the sweets, and if I formulate my own recipes it helps a lot with the sugar burn-out.

5 Star Foodie said...

This amaretti torte looks absolutely perfect!

vibi said...

Oh! Susan... poor you. I can't even start to imagine how it must be to lose the sweet crave... the twinkle in your eyes when admiring pretty pastries and buttercreamed cakes.

Nope, truly... I can't help you here, I wish I could, but my love for sweets is still untouched even after 30 years of baking.

All those cakes and torts, and pies, and sweets you bake are sooooo wonderful looking and must be just equally tasty... it's a shame not to have lost even a little of the appreciation.

Truly hope you find a way to rekindle that love...

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It's so funny, because this was exactly what I was planning to try to make next from the book. I made her "almost fudge gateau" for Easter and my family almost melted from pleasure.

Leslie said...

Umm, no, I'm still extraordinarily attracted to the things I bake.

Your torte looks amazing! I love how it looks, how you photographed it, and how it's not calling your name. Hoping that happens to me soon before I have to buy a new wardrobe.

Brilynn said...

It's definitely happened to me... And sometimes I think I'm going to take a baking hiatus, but then a new day comes and I have an itch to bake. I might not even want to eat anything sweet, but I have a need to bake. Even when I try to stop, I can't.

Proud Italian Cook said...

How could you ever resist this? Just look at that photo! I'm always looking for a little something something with my coffee.

Allen said...

What a delicious looking torte!

Manggy said...

Ooooh, that looks glorious. I can see how it can become the antidote to your dessert-ennui.
I think when that happens to me, it's just flavor-fatigue. Too much dairy. Sugar. Fat. Chocolate. Sometimes it's good to mix it up with fresh/"raw" desserts, those that use fruits only for sweetness, nonfat ones, or very sharp citrus flavors. If worse comes to worst, then you can take a short break, we'll still have your awesome *savory* recipes :)

Lucy said...

Oooh my your torte looks deliciously rich! Yumm :)
The jading problem sounds awful! Although I must admit I already have the same problem around cakes...cookies still hold the same allure they always have though! The only cure would be to take a break but I would miss your posts !

onlinepastrychef said...

If you are suffering from baking fatigue, you are certainly not alone! When it's your job, it can feel like "just a job." I'm actually glad that I'm no longer working in a professional kitchen; baking is fun again for me!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Gorgeous photos, and great blog!

Mary said...

I have never gotten sick of baked goods...yet. But I totallly see how you could....it will be a sad day when I am not jonesing for chocolate :).

The Food Librarian said...

Not even a Dominos? Oh no. You cake looks lovely! And I'm in love with your cake stand!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that torte is super-beautiful! you know, i work in a NYC bakery, and i don't have the slightest desire to eat anything there anymore...i see and make the same stuff day in and day out, and it doesn't interest me like it did when i started. home baking, though, is a different story for me. i love to eat what i make at home, mainly because they are things i really want to make.

Elyse said...

Wow! This torte must have been super delicious if it could overcome your newly-acquired "eh" to treats. I hope this never happens to me--you're right: it would be totally unwelcome, but I completely understand. Here's hoping that your sweet tooth comes back soon!

gine said...

looks delicious :-). I'll have to try your recipe :-)!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Gosh, that looks amazingly good! 15 minutes? Heaven help the diets!

RecipeGirl said...

We had an Italian dinner party last night and one of the desserts was an amazing chocolate espresso torte... looked very similar to your decadent creation!

You never really baked much before you started your blog? Amazing. You must have had a hidden talent there that was waiting to burst out!

Kevin said...

That looks so moist and chocolaty and good. The amaretti and chocolate combo sounds great!

Elissa said...

I am so impressed with your photography but also your creativity. I'm always so stuck on how to decorate cakes and tortes! Can you tell me how you prepared the leaves you put on top?

Lisa said...

This is so up my street! pity I've given up baking for the moment!! I need to shift the pounds I put on over Christmas, Valenitnes, Mothers day, Easter... etc etc...

:-(

Nicole said...

That is to die for! Happy belated Easter!

AmyRuth said...

Sweets have always been my first choice - sweets vs. savory. Always, judge a restaurant for its desserts. Silly me. Now, with this baking blogging, like you, it takes a really big Wow to WOW me. I took a little blog vaca so I'm looking forward to rewinding the torte. I'll let ya know. hehe Yours looks luscious and moist not brownie like at all. Perfectly wonderful. Glad you had a good holiday and I enjoy your blog.
AmyRuth

Peter M said...

The pics here are stunning! If you didn't tell us Amaretti were in this, it would likely be a mystery to most after taking a bite but a little mystery in food is good.