A totally indulgent dessert which is rich with chocolate and mascarpone and spiked with the beautifully almondy amaretto. If you want a non-alcoholic version then you can of course omit the liqueur from the filling; you’ll still get a delightful hit of almond from the amaretto biscuit base. If you are making this gluten-free omit the Ferrero Rocher decoration.
This is a non-bake cheesecake, so it needs time in the fridge to firm up. It needs three sessions in the fridge so make sure you allow enough time. Either make it the day before or the morning of the evening you intend to serve it. You need about three hours for the filling to fully set before you add the ganache which then needs an hour in the fridge.
I was serving this at the end of an Italian-themed dinner party. If you’d like to do the same look out for my ox cheek ragù and roasted beetroot and walnut pesto with ricotta for main course ideas.
You will need a loose-bottomed cake tin; I used one with an unclippable outer ring.
- For the base:
- 160g amaretti biscuits, crushed to resemble bread crumbs
- 50g butter, melted
- For the cheesecake filling:
- 150g best dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)
- 500g mascarpone
- 200ml double cream
- 100g icing sugar
- 50ml amaretto liqueur
- For the ganache topping:
- 100g best dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)
- 100ml double cream
- Optional decoration:
- 9 Ferrero Rocher (leave out if making this gluten-free)
- Cocoa powder
Step 1: Make the base by mixing the amaretti biscuits with the butter until combined and then press into the base of the tin. Level out with the back of a spoon and put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set.
Step 2: Begin to prepare the filling by carefully melting the dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Ensure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, nor should any liquid go in to the chocolate otherwise it will seize up and you will have to start again. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool.
Step 3: Whilst the chocolate is cooling, sieve the icing sugar in a separate bowl and add the double cream. Whisk until it forms stiff peaks then add the amaretto liqueur and fold in (or whisk very gently) until combined.
Step 4: Only once the chocolate has cooled but is still liquid (this is very important as you do not want the chocolate to seize up), beat in the mascarpone cheese using a spoon or whisk. Mix until smooth and evenly combined.
Step 5: Gently fold in the cream mixture until smooth.
Step 6: Spread evenly over the set biscuit base, loosely cover and return to the fridge to set for at least three hours.
Step 7: To make the ganache topping, break the remaining dark chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat the remaining cream until just boiling and then pour into a bowl and add the chocolate. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes and then stir; the chocolate should melt into the cream and begin to thicken as it cools. (If the ganache splits, try adding a little bit of warm milk and whisking until smooth. You can eat the ganache split, it just isn’t as aesthetically pleasing!)
Step 8: Once cool, spread evenly over the set cheesecake and return to the fridge to fully set (about an hour). If you would like, arrange some unwrapped Ferrero Rocher on the top and sift a little cocoa powder over the top.
Step 9: Once ready to serve, carefully remove from the tin. You may need to run a pallet knife around the edge before removing.