Al CapPacino Cake

Cake, Dessert, Sweets

It has been way too long between drinks, of coffee, with our dear friend Al!

Our catch-ups have been few and far between in the post-Vittoria years, with us avoiding him out of guilt and he avoiding us until he had moved past the deep, deep shame.

Thankfully he realised the commercials were far less shameful than starring in Gigli or Jack and Jill, and our friendship is returning to normal. It didn’t help that we have remained vigilant in trashing Bevs D’Ang in the tabloids to help ensure custody issues remain resolved.

Al was in town wanting to talk smack about Chris O’Donnell and help sabotage the filming of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Like us, he also hates Depp for taking roles that should be going to our love/his dear friend, Keanu. As such, an Al CapPacino Cake with a tongue planted firmly in cheek was required to give us the energy we needed.

 

Al CapPacino Cake_1

 

While we sadly weren’t able to shut-down production of Pirates 17: Depp the Douche … yet (we are truly sorry everyone), the cake was moist, fluffy and had the perfect whack of coffee.

All in all, it was a win. Enjoy!

 

Al CapPacino Cake_2

 

Al CapPacino Cake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
225g caster sugar
225g soft  unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
200g plain flour
50g ground almonds
4 tsp instant espresso powder
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk

Icing
160g white chocolate
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
1 ½-2 cups icing sugar, sifted
Cocoa powder

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 23cm cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Combine flour, ground almonds, espresso powder, baking powder and bicarbonate soda in a bowl. Place this baby to the side (don’t worry, just for a bit…nobody puts baby in the corner … permanently).

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Stop, add one egg, mix to combine. Stop, add a third of the flour mixture, mix to combine. Continue until the eggs and flour are gone.

With the mixer running, add vanilla extract and milk to slightly loosen the mixture. Trust your gut, you may not need all the milk, you may need more. It should be loose and light enough to drop easily off a spoon.

Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch. Cool in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, before turning out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment.

When cool, literally and metaphorically, you can make the icing.

Icing
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly before stirring in the sour cream. Using a whisk, gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar. Add as much sugar as feels right to get the consistency you like, if thin, add more and if too thick add a little bit of hot water. Spread roughly, generously and playfully over the top of the cake. Dust lightly with cocoa, slice, serve and devour.

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Laura Amaretti Cookies

12 Days of Survivor Christmas

Ok, I have a confession to make. Ben and I only reconnected with Laura Morett to try and draw Ciera Eastin into our inner circle. Unfortunately Ciera was too busy trying to distance herself  from Blood vs Water 2’s seemingly villainous heathen Baylor Wilson, to whom she had been  compared.

While we would have been great PR for you Ciera, we understand. And Baylor – call us. We’re here for you.

Amaretti 1

Despite this cunning plot, Laura and I go way back. She was recruited to whip Ben and I back into shape after our failed attempt to join the cast of the Biggest Loser (*almost* making it onto a show for which you prepared by eating a minimum of five parmigianas per day is devastating, trust me).

We whiled away the day chatting about Sarah Palin, Shambo and other topics of significant mutual interest which enjoying a delicious amaretti biscuit or two. Laura was stern with the upper limit of two cookies per person, which was harsh but necessary – with Jill gone again  and Bob banished to crappy loser canyon, what incentive is there to power-eat our way back into Biggest Loser contention?

Despite Laura’s portion control, these biscuits are extremely easy to eat – particularly when warm. The dense, chewy almond filling heartily flips the bird to it’s somewhat posher cousin, the macaron. Plus, they are a breeze to whip up!

photo 3

Laura Amaretti Cookies
Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients
180g almond meal
50g plain flour, sifted
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 egg whites
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
20 almonds

Directions
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. In large bowl, mix together all ingredients except whole almonds gently until a uniform dough comes together.

Line a large baking tray with non-stick paper. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and space evenly on the tray. Press down gently on each dough ball with an almond.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden and set.