Friday 6 December 2019

Recipe of the Day: Amaretti Crunch Cake with Orange Segments

Amaretti Crunch cake by Catherine Fulvio
Amaretti Crunch cake by Catherine Fulvio
Cannoli - a delicious dessert which originated in Sicily.
Limoncello and raspberry cake

Catherine Fulvio

Renowned chef Catherine Fulvio shares her favourite recipes, secret ingredients and techniques gleaned from family and friends

Amaretti crunch cake with orange segments

OK, so the amaretti are the most Italian thing about this cake, but believe me, it is absolutely delicious served with fresh orange segments

Serves 10

You will need 160g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

150g plain flour, sifted

140g caster sugar

3 eggs

4 tbsp ground almonds, plus extra for dusting

One-and-a-half tsp baking powder

150g amaretti biscuits, roughly broken

3 large oranges, segmented, to serve

Mint leaves, to decorate


Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C/gas 3.

Line the base of a 24cm springform tin with baking parchment. Brush the sides with melted butter and dust with ground almonds.

Place the butter, flour, sugar, eggs, ground almonds and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk until well-blended.

Spread half of the batter into the tin.

Sprinkle over the biscuits and then pour the rest of the batter on top, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the tin and turn it out onto a cake platter.

Serve with orange segments and decorate with mint leaves.


Cannoli originated in Sicily and are tube-like shells of pastry dough with a creamy filling of ricotta sweetened with icing sugar, made interesting by adding chocolate drops and really nice candied fruit and brought to a whole new level with a good few drops of Marsala!

Makes 10

You will need

200g plain flour

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp softened butter

2 tbsp caster sugar

60ml white wine

1 egg, beaten

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp of water)

1 litre extra virgin olive oil, for frying

Icing sugar, for dusting

For the filling:

400g ricotta

100g icing sugar, sifted

4 tbsp chopped candied fruits

4 tbsp Marsala

3 tbsp chocolate drops


Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and wine and stir in enough of the beaten egg to form a soft dough. Flatten the dough and wrap it in cling film, then rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces on a lightly floured surface. Roll each piece into thin 10cm circles. Wrap each circle around the cannoli mould and secure the edge with a little egg wash.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. To test if it's ready, drop a little dough into the hot oil and see if it turns golden. Using tongs, hold the cannoli securely while you submerge it in the oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden. While still holding the cannoli with the tongs, wrap a piece of kitchen paper around it and carefully remove it from the mould. You may need to place the cannoli back into the hot oil to cook completely. Place on a plate lined with kitchen paper and set aside to cool. Repeat for the remaining cannoli.

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, icing sugar, candied fruits, Marsala and chocolate drops and spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. When all the cannoli are cool, pipe the filling into each end and dust with a little icing sugar to serve.

Limoncello and raspberry cake loaf cake

I'm a big fan of limoncello, though I tend to use it mostly in cakes, creams and desserts rather than have it in a glass! It adds a zing that livens up everything. This loaf is lovely with a good cuppa - try fennel tea for a change.

You will need

For the filling:

150g golden caster sugar

50ml extra virgin olive oil

4 eggs

200g plain flour, sifted

4 tbsp rice flour

125g raspberries

Zest of 1 lemon

3 tbsp limoncello

One-and-a-half tsp baking powder

For the topping:

100g icing sugar, sifted

60g butter, softened

100g mascarpone

Zest of 1/2 lemon

10 raspberries, to decorate

Edible flowers, to decorate


Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment.

Using an electric beater, whisk the sugar, olive oil and eggs together until light and fluffy.

Fold in the flours, raspberries, lemon zest, limoncello and baking powder.

Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Transfer to a cooling rack and remove from the loaf tin after 20 minutes to cool completely before decorating with the frosting.

To make the topping, use an electric mixer to beat together the icing sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.

Fold in the mascarpone and the lemon zest.

When the cake is completely cool, spread over the topping.

Arrange the raspberries and edible flowers on top to decorate.

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