Ricotta Almond Torte
1 3/4 cups ground toasted almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
20 whole almonds (garnish)
2 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tbl. sugar
1 tablespoon creme de cacao
1 tablespoon amaretto
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup creme fraiche or lightly whipped cream
3 tablespoons grated chocolate
CRUST: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter 9″ springform pan. Grease small baking sheet. Combine ground almonds, 1/4 cup sugar and butter in large bowl and mix well. Press almond mixture into bottom and sides of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.
Combine 2/3 cup sugar and water in small heavy saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium high and cook until caramelized (mixture should be rich medium brown). Remove from heat and quickly dip and swirl whole almonds in caramel. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Set aside for garnish. Quickly pour remaining syrup over crust. Let cool about 30 minutes.
FILLING: Combine Ricotta, sugar, creme de cacao, Amaretto and vanilla in processor and blend until smooth and creamy; do not over process. Gently blend in creme fraiche. Fold in chocolate. Transfer to crust and freeze torte for at least two hours. Just before serving, loosen crust from pan using sharp knife; remove springform.