"There is no better way than to learn from a master."

David Rossi
has been learning his craft under the eye of masters.



I learned this recipe for Pear and Chocolate Cake from Ugo Alciati of Guido Ristorante in Costilgliole d'Asti while attending ICIF (International Culinary Institute for Foreigners) in Italy in 2002."

Amaretti Cookies

Amaretti are classic Italian almond flavored macaroons that can be served with coffee or espresso. They also make crumbs for crusts  and are used as an ingredient in other recipes.

When they come out of the oven amaretti are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. As they cool they become crunchy all around.

The amaretti should be dried for use in this recipe.


Almonds are California's largest tree nut crop in total dollar value and acreage. They rank as the largest U.S. horticultural export. Approximately 6,000 almond growers produce nearly 100 percent of the commercial domestic supply and more than 75 percent of worldwide production. Nearly 80 countries import California almonds.

The United States is by far the largest market for almonds, overseas, Germany is the largest market for almonds, consuming about 16 percent of the export crop, followed by Spain at about 15 percent. Other major importers include the Netherlands, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, China and Spain. The Pacific Rim nations are a rapidly growing market for California almonds. Source: Almonds Are In

Pear and Chocolate Cake with Amaretti Cookies

From David Rossi

As pictured in La Grande Cuciana del Piemontein 14 Menu d Autore ©Copyright 2000


4 each - Pears

1 cup - Dried amaretti cookies*

1/2 cup - Scharffen Berger Natural Cocoa Powder

4 each - Whole Eggs

2 each - Egg yolk

4 tablespoons - Sugar

1 cup - Milk

2 cups - Cream

2 tablespoons - Bacardi Rum

2 tablespoons - Flour

2 pinches - Baking powder


Peel the pears and slice them lengthwise.

Place them on the bottom of a buttered and floured baking dish.

Beat the eggs with the sugar, add cocoa powder and rum.

Incorporate the flour and the baking powder, add cream and milk, previously brought to a boil.

Then fold in the crushed amaretti cookies.

Cover the pears with this mix

Bake at 280 F for about 80/90 minutes.

Let cool, cut into squares

Serve with a couple of the moist Amaretti Cookies and a good cup of coffee or espresso.

Serves 8 to 12 depending on the size of the cut square.

If you can't find Amaretti cookies in a local store, you can always make your own. Amaretti Cookie Recipe

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Interesting Facts!


"Pears are one of the few fruits that do not ripen successfully on the tree. They are harvested by hand when they reach full maturity but before they are ripe. Pears will ripen after they harvested. Choose a pear that is bright and fresh looking with no bruises or external damage... "
US Pears

Scharffen Berger Chocolate

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker is the only American chocolate company founded in the last fifty years. It has returned to the basics of chocolate making, using restored vintage machinery imported from Europe.

Beans are carefully selected from a wide range of cacao-growing countries and regions, including Venezuela, Ghana, Madagascar, the Caribbean, and Indonesia.
Source: Scharffen Berger