I have been reading a lot recently about the benefits of alternative ingredients, spelt and buckwheat instead of regular flour, agave nectar and honey in place of sugar etc. I’ve already reduced the sugar in my normal brownie recipe, use maple syrup and or/honey in my granola and so on. Little steps but I don’t want to simply throw out all those recipes that we love – I can just do a bit of tinkering here and there.
I often make spelt bread and like its earthy slightly nutty flavour but was a little apprehensive about cake baking with it, how would it behave, would it rise, would it be heavy? Well, what a marvellous surprise, these little cakes are fluffy and light, rose perfectly and are a real treat.
We have chocolate left over from Easter and an open packet of amaretti biscuits I was keen to use which is what gave me this idea. I crumbled some of the amaretti over the top of the cakes as you can see in the picture and also crushed a few and added them to the batter before baking. They add a nice extra dimension and texture but if you really want that almond hit you might add a couple of drops of almond extract. Or, I hear myself think, perhaps add some Amaretto to the icing (grown ups only)…. Alternatively dispense with all things almondy and make them simply chocolate if you prefer. Anyway, here they are, the cakes themselves are not seriously sweet but taste just right when combined with the chocolate ganache topping and am I right in thinking these almost qualify as health food…..
Chocolate and Amaretti Spelt Cakes
100g golden caster sugar
100g white spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
6 amaretti biscuits
Preheat the oven to 180 and put 6 large (muffin rather than fairy) cake cases on a bun tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the eggs and then sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix in the milk and add 4 crumbled amaretti if you are using them. Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire tray.
For the topping melt 25g dark chocolate, 25g milk chocolate and 4 tablespoons double cream, mix together and leave to cool and thicken. Spread over the cakes and sprinkle over the remaining 2 crushed amaretti if using. Makes 6.