Posts Tagged ‘amaretto’

It was an honor to make desserts for the East Central Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Fire & Ice formal fundraising event this year.

It was tough to make a final choice for this year’s dessert. For the 2011 event, I made Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle Baby Cheesecakes and they were a crowd favorite. This year, event organizers, Darilyn and Julie, narrowed it down to Italian Tuxedo Parfaits and Andes Mint Baby Cheesecakes. Since the night’s theme colors were an elegant black and red damask pattern, the parfaits made the cut, and we moved the Andes Mint cheesecake babies to the 2013 short list.

It all starts with good-quality chocolate and my favorite amaretto liqueur, which appears not to have started the day as a full bottle. Sampling my friends, sampling.

Instagram photo from my kitchen

A tower of butter is needed to bake enough brownies for 240 guests.

Instagram photo from my kitchen

We served the light desserts in petite wine glasses.

Instagram photo from the Old Sanctuary kitchen

The recipe in today’s post makes one large triffle bowl full of deliciousness. Of course, it’s always fun to serve them as individual triffles.

(A special thank you to Mike, the Brookings Hy-Vee Produce Manager, who spent part of the morning picking out some of the best strawberries with me! …and for making sure I had enough Ghirardelli white chocolate.)

{Italian Tuxedo Trifle}

For the rich amaretto brownies:

1- 1/2 cups butter, melted

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon almond extract or bakery emulsion

4 Tablespoons Italian amaretto liqueur (I use Disaronno)

1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate,  finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease 9×13-inch cake pan or line with parchment paper (This is the first time I used Reynolds Wrap® Pan Lining Paper and I will definitely use it have used it again and again!)

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and cocoa. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs on medium speed until fluffy, about five minutes. Slowly beat in the cocoa and butter mixture. Add flour, salt, almond extract and amaretto liqueur; beat just until combined. Spread half of the brownie mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with finely chopped chocolate. Carefully spread the remaining brownie batter over the chocolate all the way to the edges. Bake for 35-37 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into bite-size pieces.

For the silky white cream:

4 ounces white chocolate

4 Tablespoons milk

2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract or bakery emulsion

2 cups whipped topping, thawed

2 pounds fresh strawberries

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt white chocolate and milk. Stir until melted. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in powdered sugar and almond extract. Slowly stir in melted white chocolate. Gently fold in whipped cream.

Slice most of the strawberries into bite-size pieces. You’ll want to save some whole strawberries for garnish on top.

In a large trifle bowl, layer brownies, cream and strawberries. Repeat layers until all the ingredients are gone. Refrigerate 3 hours before serving. Can be made one day ahead.

If you make this, snap a photo and share it with me on Twitter or Instagram @RandomSweets. They’ll all look so pretty!

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Liqueur is a staple at my house but that’s because I love to bake with it. I may be of the rare few who visit their local liquor store with a recipe for something sugary-sweet tucked away in my purse. Don’t get me wrong. I like to drink the stuff (the sweet girly drinks with paper umbrellas and fruit threaded onto mini swords are my favorite), but I guess I bake more often than I drink.  

I use amaretto liqueur in my baking quite often and a few people have asked me lately what it is. It’s an almond-tasting liqueur. Disaronno® is the brand I usually use.

This recipe has been modified from the Taste of Home Pistachio Bundt Cake recipe.

{Amaretto Pistachio Cakes}

For the cakes:

1 package yellow cake mix (13 x 9 cake pan size)

2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant pistachio pudding mix

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

For the white drizzle:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter, softened

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur

1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios

Grease a cake pan. I used my Pampered Chef Stoneware Mini Fluted Pan which makes six mini bundt cakes but you could use any type of pan you wishmuffins, mini loaves, square muffins, regular bundt pan, etc. 

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mixes, water, amaretto liqueur, eggs and vegetable oil. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour into the greased pan(s). Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, if you are baking small cakes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Just watch them closely so you can adjust your baking time to the pan size you are using. If you are baking one cake in a bundt pan or 13 x 9 pan, bake for 60-70 minutes.

Cool completely.

To make the amaretto drizzle, combine the powdered sugar, butter, milk and amaretto in a small bowl. Mix on low speed until combined. Add more milk to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cake. Lightly sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Do you have a favorite baking recipe that uses liqueur?

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One of my student employees, Hannah, turned 21 a few weeks ago and I thought it would be cool to bake her a cake with alcohol in it. Good thing the alcohol burns off in the oven because this cake is soaked in amaretto!


White Chocolate Amaretto Cake


1 package yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1 (3.3 ounce) package instant white chocolate pudding mix

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

1/4 teaspoon almond extract


1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur


1 container vanilla frosting

drop of almond extract

drop of amaretto liqueur

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a Bundt pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, pudding mix, 1/2 cup cold water, oil, 1/2 cup amaretto and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Blend well for approximately 3 minutes.

Pour batter into Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Make the glaze: combine butter, sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 cup amaretto in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove cake from oven and use handle of wooden spoon (or similar utensil) to poke holes in cake. Apply glaze while cake is still warm. Slowly drizzle glaze over cake, including the edges and center of the Bundt pan. Cool the cake in the pan for at least 2 hours.

Place the cake on a serving platter. Warm 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting in a small saucepan on low heat. Add a dash of almond extract and a dash of amaretto. Stir until drizzle consistency and the drizzle over the cake.

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