Almond cake soaked in Amaretto liquor, layered with glazed Marcona almonds and vanilla mousse. My homemade version of one of my favourite Mini Indulgences from Seasons 52
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It’s my birthday weekend, yay! Birthdays don’t really excite me, I’m not exactly “bah humbug” about them but they’re just not really a big deal for me, I don’t do much to celebrate these days. But I am excited about sharing a couple of birthday inspired recipes with you this weekend hence the yay! Tomorrow, on my actual birthday, I’ll be sharing my birthday cake. But today I have these Amaretto Crunch Dessert Shots.
These might not seem super birthday themed at first look, but let me explain. Seasons 52 is a restaurant in America that I really love, they have an ever changing seasonal menu and it’s all delicious. The best part though is dessert, they bring you these little shots, or mini indulgences, of all kinds desserts – they have key lime pie, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter, carrot cake, pecan pie and more – all layered in a little shot glass. There’s no need to pick between desserts because you can try them all! My absolute favourite though was their Almond Amaretto Crunch, it’s a special one so they don’t always have it. Seasons 52 isn’t super expensive but it’s definitely pricey enough that we only ever go on special occasions, like birthdays – so I thought it was fitting to recreate my favourite mini indulgence for my birthday since I’m spending it in the UK!
These little dessert shots are so yummy. The almond cake is moist and packed full of almond flavour even before it’s sinfully soaked in Amaretto (I mean sinfully, I used about 1/2 cup amaretto on the cake!). Then there’s the creamy, fluffy vanilla mousse that is so smooth and delicious. And the glazed Marcona almonds, oh the almonds! They’re are ridiculously good, especially for something so simple! Marcona almonds are softer and sweeter than regular almonds, and when they’re coated in a crunchy, sweet and salty glaze they’re absolutely to die for! I’ll be making up a batch to just snack on with the left over almonds soon! There’s also supposed to be a pipette of amaretto in the top, but when it came to putting these together and taking photos I could not find the pipettes I bought especially – I still haven’t found them!
These little desserts are easy enough to put together too, you make each part separately and then layer them together in little glasses. I bought these in a charity shop last year, but you can find similar things on amazon too I’m sure! They’ll be great to impress dinner guests or for special occasions – super delicious and perfectly portioned! I don’t know what it is about individual portioned desserts that I love, they’re just so cute I can’t get enough! Of course, I won’t judge if you end up eating more than one portion 😉
Each part of this little dessert is delicious in it’s own right, so could even just make one and still be very happy. Or, you could make big cake out of – I would definitely ask for a large slice of that! The almond cake starts out as an 8″ round cake that I cut circles out of, so instead just slice it in half, fill and top it with vanilla mousse and sprinkle with glazed almonds and you have a delicious cake on your hands!
Yesterday I shared my Overloaded Easter Rocky Road Brownies which were the first photos I’ve shared that I edited with photoshop, but these are the first ones I actually edited with photoshop – these were what I used to teach myself! There’s definitely room for improvement, but I don’t think they’re too bad for my first attempt!
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- 5 large eggs, separated
- 150g caster sugar (super fine sugar)
- 170g ground almonds
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 125ml amaretto
- 100g Marcona almonds
- 20g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 60g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
- 1 1/2 tbsp cold water
- 250ml double cream, divided (heavy cream)
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 40g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line an 8" round cake tin.
- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Stir in ground almonds and almond extract until combined.
- Combine egg whites with salt, then beat with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
- Fold 1/4 egg whites into the almond mixture using a rubber spatula, the almond mixture will be very thick so you will have to be a bit more forceful than feels natural with egg whites!
- Gently fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 additions.
- Pour batter into the cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until skewer comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out. Poke a few holes in the cake and brush with a little of the amaretto. Leave to cool for 30 more minutes.
- Cut circles out of the cake, the size of your serving glass then slice those circles in half (as if you were making mini sandwich cakes).
- Pour the amaretto into a small bowl and dip each of the cake circles in them briefly. Rest on wire rack until ready to assemble.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it.
- Combine the almonds, butter and sugar in a large pan and cook on a medium heat, stirring all the time.
- Cook for 6-8 minutes until nicely golden.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Spread onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt. Leave to cool.
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water and placing a slightly small bowl inside (being careful to ensure no water spills into the top bowl).
- Put the 1 1/2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle on the gelatine, stir and leave to bloom for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Pour half the cream and vanilla extract into egg mixture and whisk together.
- Pour into a small saucepan and cook over a medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon - about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the top bowl of the ice bath and leave to cool to room temperature and thicken, whisking occasionally. About 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the custard mixture, then the other half.
- Place a layer of cake at the bottom of the glass, pipe a layer of mousse about the same thickness as the cake and then sprinkle a few almonds - repeat to form three layers of each.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours to allow the mousse to set.
- You can omit the amaretto if you'd like it to be alcohol three.
- Keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days
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