Tag Archives: Amaretto

Amaretto

One of the many things which make exploring Italian foods so enjoyable is the ability to rationalize drinking the liqueurs found in the country. Included among them is my favorite of spirits, Amaretto.

One of the elder liqueurs (it’s been around since the early 16th century), it’s a spirit that leaves me very happy. It’s versatile as it mixes well with both creams and other liquors. It has that almondy taste to it which makes it a good syrup for desserts. It’s also quite sweet, making it a favored choice over the bitterness of gin and whiskey. For me, it’s the perfect spirit.

How Amaretto was invented is as follows: In 1525, Bernardino Luini was commissioned by the Santa Maria delle Grazie in Saronno, Italy, to paint a fresco of the Madonna. Bernardino turned his efforts toward finding the perfect model for the painting – She must be patient, poised and, most of all, beautiful. He found his model at an inn, where the young lass worked. For the next few months they worked in intimate settings, never more than a few feet apart. The young girl fell deeply in love with the artist. As a gift of her love, she created a sweet, almond-flavored liqueur for Bernardino. This was supposedly the first Amaretto.

Luini, who obviously didn’t know when he had a good thing going, dumped the broad who invented Amaretto. Probably because his work, although quite good, couldn’t stand up to Da Vinci’s Last Supper, also found at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. If I had to compare my work to Da Vinci’s, I’d take a bottle of booze and move on to a new gig as well.

There are as many recipes for Amaretto as there are distillaries. It can be made with almonds or the stones of peaches or apricots, as well as a variety of other spices. It’s very rare for two Amaretto’s made by two different companies, to taste exactly alike.

I bring this topic up, as I am tired and have a sore foot. So instead of getting all political on you, I decided to read up on the history of the drink I am currently having.

Salud!


IMBB 8: Amaretto Cheesecake with Apricot/Amaretto Glaze


As I am an amaretto Fuh-REAK, and I loves my cheesecake, it was quite natural for me to migrate to the Amaretto Cheesecake. I found this recipe on the web (in several locations) and altered it a bit in order to give it more of an almond flavor, as well as ensuring the crust is well baked. I also put instructions in order to bake this in a water bath, a method I find more effective in making a crack-free cheesecake.

Crust
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup Almonds, chopped toasted
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Butter, melted

Filling
4 packages Cream Cheese(226g each), softened
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Flour
4 Large Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur

Glaze
1/2 Cup Apricot Jam
1 Tablespoon Amaretto liqueur

1. Setup: Preheat the oven to 325F. Fit piece of parchment paper into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

2. For the crust: Combine Graham crackercrumbs,almonds, sugar, and butter until it has the consistency of wet sand and easily formsinto packsin your hand; press onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Waterproof the springform pan by wrapping the bottom of the pan in 3 sheets of aluminumfoil. Place pan in oven andbake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making filling.

3. For the Filling: Combine cream cheese, sugar, and flour, mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just until combined.Blend in sour cream, almond extract and liqueur; pour over crust in the springform pan.

4. For the water bath: Fill up 2 quart saucepan with water. Place on stove, and bring to a simmer (185F). Place springform pan in roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with simmering water to halfway up the side of the springform pan.

5. For the baking: Place roasting pan in 325F oven for 90 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 45 minutes. Finally place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

6. For the glazing: To glaze cake, combine jam and liqueur in a saucepan; heat until warm and smooth. Pour over cheesecake before removing sides of pan. Garnish if desired. Makes 10-12 servings.


Almond Amaretto Mousse

Mousse
Also known as ‘The Poisoned Bullwinkle’ (you’d have to ask Tara), this is a wonderful dessert, easy, but involved. Prepare to have several dishes to wash after all is said and done. But it is entirely worth it. The initial recipe had called for more whipped cream as garnish, but I thought that redundant. The toasted almond worked far, far better.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 16 oz heavy cream
  • toasted slivered almonds, for garnish

Put the sugar, butter, egg yolks, and Half & Half in a heavy, 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a slow rolling boil. Let boil for 2 minutes, still stirring constantly, ensuring the mixture is silky smooth. Remove from the heat.

Strain into a bowl and ice that bowl down in a larger bowl of ice. Continue stirring until the mixture is cool. Add the extracts, Amaretto, and lemon juice and mix well. In a seperate bowl whip the heavy cream. Fold it into the
mousse. In yet another bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff (not dry), then fold them in as well.

Fill wine or champagne glasses with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. When serving, top with toasted almonds.

Serves 8 – 10