For crêpe, place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or a blender and process until well combined. The mixture will be the consistency of heavy cream.
Brush a 9 or 10 inch skillet with melted butter and place over medium heat until butter just starts to smoke.
Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet. Swirl the batter with the pan lifted over the stove eye until the bottom is coated with a thin layer of batter. Place pan on the stove eye and cook until the surface of the crepe loses most of its glossiness and the top is set. At this point, most recipes will tell you to flip the crepes; mine were cooked through without flipping, so I just slid them out of the skillet and onto a plate.
Repeat process until all crepe batter is used. Allow the crepes to cool completely.
For filling, whip heavy cream in a large bowl on medium-high speed with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Gradually add the granulated sugar. Mixture will begin to thicken.
Gradually add in the unsweetened cocoa powder.
Add the amaretto liqueur one tablespoon at a time, and then add the almond extract.
Whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
For ganache, roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium-high heat until just boiling.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Mix in the Amaretto and whisk again until smooth. Allow to cool slightly before using.
To assemble, center a crepe on a serving plate.
Using a pastry brush, very lightly coat the crepe with chocolate ganache while it is still thin (if ganache begins to set, you can gently heat it in the microwave at 20 second intervals).
Thinly spread a little whipped filling over the ganache and top with another crepe.
Continue brushing, spreading and stacking, ending with a crepe on top. Set aside.
When remaining chocolate ganache is of spreading consistency, use to frost the cake. Let stand at room temperature until set.
**Halve the ganache recipe unless you are making truffles as well
**If making entire ganache recipe, remaining amount can be chilled and rolled into truffles. Roll truffles in cocoa powder and garnish top of cake, if desired.
Baked Alaska with Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Ice Cream
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, room temperature, separated
Vegetable oil, cooking spray
6 cups chocolate ice cream (3 pints)
12 large egg whites, room temperature
3 cups sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the cakes: Sift 1 1/3 cups sugar, the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt into a bowl.
Combine oil, water, and vanilla.
Whisk egg yolks with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.
With machine running, slowly pour oil mixture into yolks, and then add sugar mixture.
In a clean mixer bowl, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed, gradually adding remaining 2/3 cup sugar, until medium-stiff peaks form.
Mix one-third of the whites into cake batter, then gently fold in remaining whites.
Divide batter between two 12-by-17-inch parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Bake until cakes are set and spring back when touched, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
Assemble the baked Alaska: Coat six 11-ounce bowls or ramekins with cooking spray; line with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang.
Cut out 6 cake circles to fit in bottoms of bowls (we used a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter), and place one in each bowl.
Top each with 1/3 cup chocolate ice cream, smoothing surface.
Cut out 6 cake circles to fit on top of ice cream (we used a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter), and place on ice cream.
Freeze until set, about 30 minutes.
Top each cake with 1/3 cup ice cream, smoothing surface. Cut out 6 cake circles to fit on top of ice cream (we used a 4-inch round cookie cutter), and place on ice cream. (This should fit just at the top of the bowl.)
Cover assembled cakes with plastic wrap overhang, and freeze for at least 4 hours.
To remove from bowls, open plastic wrap, flip cakes onto a baking sheet, and remove plastic wrap. Freeze cakes while making meringue.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Make the meringue: Heat egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water, whisking often, until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes.
Transfer bowl to mixer, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes.
Cover each assembled cake with 1 cup meringue.
Bake until meringue is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Alternatively, hold a small handheld kitchen torch at a 90-degree angle 3 to 4 inches from surface of meringue.
Move flame back and forth until browned and caramelized.