Let's face it, kitchen disasters happen to the best of us. Just like anything else in life it's how you handle these little mishaps that matter. You can either be upset about what happens and let it ruin your day or you can make the best of the situation.
Let me set the scene: It's two days before Christmas 2012, and in between all of the usual holiday cooking I was preparing a chocolate amaretti tart for a party I was attending later that evening. I choose this particular tart not only because its delicious and one of my favorite desserts but also because its super easy to put together and I was short on time. Little did I know what was about to happen.
I was running around the kitchen like a chicken with its head cut off; when the cake timer started beeping. With 10 different cooking projects going on at once I carelessly reached into the oven to remove the tart. Anyone that has ever worked with a removable bottom tart pan knows a lot of attention needs to be paid when lifting these pans. One awkward movement and the entire bottom will release. Hence my disaster. The tart was accidentally extracted from the pan onto the stove top; crumbling instantly.
I was able to salvage a nice chunk of the tart but nothing that was presentable for the party; which at that point was just a few hours away. There was no time to bake another dessert and no time to run out and buy something (not that that was even an option). I'll admit that initially panic did set in; but I took it in stride and decided there had to be something I could do. And that's when I remembered the individual trifle dishes I had.
Dessert turned out perfect. I layered the crumbled cake with some macerated strawberries and homemade whipped cream and no one was the wiser.
Chocolate Amaretti Cake
(adapted from Giada DeLaurentis)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup amaretti cookies (about 2 ounces)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
grated orange peel
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Refrigerate. Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds, for about 1 minute.
Combine the almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until they are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl. Add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse briefly, until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Clean the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again. Add the nut mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Clean the sides of the bowl. Blend again.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes.
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoons sugar
Place your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes. Then place all the ingredients in the cold bowl and beat just until stiff peaks form. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups of whipped cream.