Cocoa beans were one of the New World's offerings to Europe in the sixteenth century. Southern Italians embraced this new ingredient more than their northern neighbors, using it in sweet confections as well as in some vegetable dishes such as Caponata.
The combination of semisweet chocolate, amaretti cookies, and Amaretto liqueur in this chocolate cream dessert makes for a sublime ending to a dinner party. Be sure to use good quality chocolate such as Lindt or Ghiradelli. I serve this in individual goblets, or use it as a filling to make chocolate pie.
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cold milk
1/2 cup lightly packed King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (7 ounces) finely grated semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur
3/4 cup coarsely chopped amaretti cookies
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan and mix well with a wire whisk. Add
2 tablespoons of the milk and whisk until smooth. Sift in the flour a little at
a time and continue whisking. Add the remaining milk and whisk to blend.
Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly,
until it starts to thicken slightly. Add the chocolate and continue whisking until
the mixture reaches the boiling point. Whisk for a minute, taking care not to let
the mixture burn, then remove the pan from the heat.
Add the vanilla extract, butter, and liqueur and blend carefully with a rubber
spatula. Cover the mixture with a sheet of buttered wax paper and let cool about
Blend in the cookies, and pour the mixture into individual serving dishes or
into a decorative serving dish. Cover with buttered wax paper and refrigerate at
least 4 to 6 hours or until set.
Just before serving, sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top.