Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hungry for Walnuts - Hungarian Walnut Torte

So what do ya do when you have left over Maple Butter-Creme?  Well, since I really didn't want to make a second batch of Macaron, I decided that I would make one of my favorite cakes.

OK, technically it's not a cake, which is a good thing, cause I am really not all that into cake.  It's actually a Torte; and like most tortes, it's made with nuts instead of flour.  Which I guess is why I like them, cause I am kind of nuts myself.  I think of cake primarily as a vehicle by which you get frosting into your mouth.  This is not true of tortes.  They are extremely flavorful and, if the nuts are ground properly and they are baked correctly, they are decadently moist and delicious in and of themselves with no assistance from any frosting.  Thus, as you will see, my frosting layers on this torte are very very thin.

This particular torte manifestation is based on the Hungarian Walnut Torte or "Dios Torta" (Yes, it looks like Spanish instead of Hungarian, but the "s" is pronounced like "sh")

Normally, it would be covered in either Whipped Cream or Coffee flavored Whipped Cream, but as I said, I made just a little TOO much Maple Butter-Creme when I was filling the Macaron.  My excuse? Well, it's really hard to make less than 2 egg whites worth of Italian Butter-creme.  At least I am getting to share this torte now.

Hungarian Walnut Torte

(Dios Torta)

Unsalted Butter, for the pans
1/3 cup (.75 oz) (22g) Panko, finely crushed
10 oz (285g) Walnuts (halves, pieces or any combination there of)
10 large Eggs, separated
6.2 oz (175g) (3/4 cup + 2TB) Granulated Sugar
Maple Butter-Creme, left over from making Macaron ;)

Preheat oven to 350°and crush the Panko with a rolling pin.

Grease 2 round 9" cake pans with butter,

line bottom of pans with parchment paper, then grease paper in each pan as well.

Coat cake pans with a thin layer of bread crumbs and set pans aside.

Shell your Walnuts, if necessary, and place them in a plastic bag.

Crush them finely with a rolling pin. (do not use a food processor, as you may end up with Walnut butter)

Place the bag of walnut crumbs in the freezer to chill and solidify the oils within the nuts. (you want the nut meal to be fluffy instead of pasty, this is why the food processor is a no-no)
Place Egg Yolks and Sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until they become pale.

Slowly sprinkle the sugar into the bowl and continue beating the yolks until thick and pale yellow, 6–7 minutes.  (this is "ribbon" stage)

Test the yolks by rubbing a small amount between your fingers to ensure the Sugar has dissolved.  If the yolks feel grainy, go ahead an beat them a little longer.

Sprinkle one-third of the ground nuts over yolk mixture and fold them in, just until combined.

Repeat the process twice to use up the remaining ground nuts. (The batter will be very thick)

Set aside.

With a clean whisk, beat egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until stiff peaks form, 2–3 minutes.

Gently stir one-third of the whites into nut mixture.

This will lighten the batter enough to facilitate easier folding of the remaining whites.

Fold the remaining whites into the nut mixture in 2 additions.

Divide batter between prepared pans.

Tap the pans on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles. (you can also stab the batter with a butter knife, just like you do for Angel Food cakes)

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30–35 minutes.

Just until the torte is pulling away from the sides of the pan...

Let tortes cool in pans for 15 minutes, invert onto a wire rack, peel off parchment paper, and let cool completely.

Bring your Maple Butter-Creme to room temperature, if it looks slightly lumpy or separated, simply throw it in the bowl of your mixer and begin beating it in until it becomes smooth and creamy (makes the "slapping" sound)

Once the layers are completely cooled, place one layer on a cake board and apply a VERY thin coat of Maple Butter-Creme.

Place the Second layer on top.

Give the whole torte a very thin crumb coat.

Chill briefly (only about 10 minutes) then apply a second thin coat of Butter-Creme to the top only.

Press Ground Walnuts around the outside of the torte and garnish with Walnut halves.

MMMM It's been so long since I have made a torte, I almost forgot just how much I love them.  Mainly because they are not as sweet as cake....  I will even hazard to say that they are better for you than cake, because even though they DO contain Sugar, they are devoid of the refined flour normally present in cakes.


1 comment:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love this more "European" style cake. Flavors sound delicious.