Haunted Masquerade Dinner Party: Chocolate Amaretti Cake

This traditional Italian dessert will add just the right touch to the end of the meal.

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Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis of Everyday Italian on the Food Network.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup baby amaretti cookies (about 2 ounces)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
4 large eggs
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for sifting

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9-inch springform pan the nonstick spray. Refrigerate. Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds, for about 1 minute.

Combine the almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl. Add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse briefly, until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Clean the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again. Add the nut mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Clean the sides of the bowl. Blend again.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes.

Transfer the cake to a platter. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.

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