Sweetbird Amaretto Syrup
With its classic combination of almonds and sweetness, amaretto is an unmistakable and popular liqueur from Italy. Although it is perfectly fine as a drink all on its own, amaretto shines best when paired with other beverages most notably coffee. When you seek a kick of amaretto but without the alcohol, look no further than Sweetbird Amaretto Syrup. This vegan-friendly syrup brings together the distinct flavour associated with the liqueur, meaning you can instantly add the taste of amaretto to cocktails, desserts and more.
Along with being approved by the Vegan Society, Sweetbird syrups also have the advantage of being free from artificial flavours, gluten and GMO.
Depending on the story believed, amaretto could have started life in the 16th, 18th or 19th century. Perhaps the strongest claim to the titles lies with the Lazzaroni family. Having moved to Saronno, Italy at the start of the 18th century, the family is reported to have served amaretto cookies to the regions king in 1786. It took a little while longer for the liqueur to be created, with the Lazzaroni family devising the drink in 1851. The liqueur made use of the aforementioned cookies, which were infused with a drop of caramel for colour.
Yet the most romanticised origin story goes all the way back to 1525. Bernardino Luini, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, was commissioned to paint Saronno churchs sanctuary. Because the church was in honour of the Virgin Mary, Luini decided to depict Mary in his artwork. For help with this, he requested the assistance of a model. His inspiration came in the form of a widowed innkeeper. Most accounts of the story claim the innkeeper fell in love with Luini, and, as a token of affection, she wanted to present him with a gift. As she lived a simple life, it wasnt possible to purchase a lavish gift. Instead, she got some apricot kernels, soaked them in brandy, and gave Luini her amaretto concoction. This original recipe was then passed down from generation to generation, and this is the purportedly secret formula used by the most famous amaretto liqueur Disaronno Originale.
Regardless of the story believed, it took until the 1930s for amaretto to gain in prominence. By 1940, production of the liqueur still in Saronno had developed into a major artisanal business. The product at the heart of production was Amaretto di Saronno now known as Disaronno Originale. The 1960s proved to be the boom period for Disaronno and amaretto in general to spread across the world. First it became popular across Europe, and then Disaronno became a global success after conquering the United States. As of today, it is one of the top selling liqueurs on the planet.
Coffee Cake with Amaretto Cream
A light coffee-flavoured sponge combined with a decadent amaretto whipped cream whats not to like? This cake is ideal for any occasion, whether its as a celebration cake or a naughty afternoon treat.
You can make the whipped cream at home in an instant using a whipped cream dispenser and cream chargers.
What you will need:
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180C. Grab two 20cm loose-bottom tins, butter them, and line with parchment paper.
- Put the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and place in the oven for about five-six minutes, or until they turn golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. When theyve cooled, use a tea towel to lightly rub the hazelnuts and remove their skin. Roughly chop up the hazelnuts.
- Using an electric whisk, beat together the caster sugar and butter until a fluffy mixture is formed. Note: this can take upwards of five minutes, so be patient. Add the eggs gradually, one at a time, until theyre mixed in well. Fold the baking powder and self-rising flour into the mixture. Now combine the coffee powder with a tablespoon of hot water, and fold this into the mixture along with three-quarters of the toasted hazelnuts.
- Place the cake mixture into the tins, ensuring theres an even amount in both and the surface is flat. Place in the oven for around 20 minutes. To check they have fully baked, test the surfaces are springy when touched and an inserted skewer comes out of the cakes clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
- Grab a whipped cream dispenser. Pour the fresh cream and Sweetbird Amaretto Syrup into the whipped cream charger and securely fasten shut. Screw a whipped cream charger into the device, and shake energetically for a few seconds to produce a light, fluffy, amaretto-infused whipped cream.
Note: Depending on the amount of whipped cream desired, it may be necessary to use multiple cream chargers/ more whipping cream. Add more syrup as required.
- Squirt the whipped cream on top of one of the cakes, place the other cake on top, and finish with the rest of the cream. Add the rest of the hazelnuts for decoration.