Brazilian Walnut Torte
Another Christmas recipe!
Truth be told, I almost didn’t post this Brazilian Walnut Torte recipe today. I just wasn’t pleased with the photos.
But then I gave it some thought and decided that I just couldn’t live with myself (oooh, how dramatic!) if you guys didn’t have this amazing rich, moist, out-of-this-world walnut torte at your Christmas table.
Also, it would just break my grandma’s heart because she has been so anxious to see her recipe on the blog that she already called me a bunch of times asking “Is it going live tomorrow?”. I guess it’s only fair, since she spent a lot of time on the phone with me this week, teaching me how to make this and troubleshooting my silly mistakes.
Funny thing: while I was typing that last paragraph, she sent me a message on Facebook – Yes, my grandmother has Facebook! Can you believe it? – saying: “Olivia, you haven’t showed me the torte. How was it? Did it taste good? Did it look good?”. The “taste good” part is just her being silly, because she knows I am totally in love with this torte. The “look good” part though… Well, let’s say there’s always next Christmas.
What I love about this recipe is that there’s no added fat other than the walnuts natural oil. And yet, this is the moistest cake you will ever taste. Mind blowing, I know! ?That being said, the recipe does ask for one pound of walnuts. But please, believe me, it is totally worth it!!! Besides, it’s supposed to be a Christmas dessert. And you know that there are no calories for Christmas. The elves take them all!
If you’re really worried, just have a lighter breakfast – like my Guilt-Free Christmas Morning Muffins – to save the calories for this decadent dessert at night!
The torte is filled with what we call in Portuguese “baba de moça”, that translates to “girl’s drool”. Ha! But don’t worry, it is just a cream made with sugar syrup, egg yolks, coconut milk and corn starch. No real drool here, thank God!
If you wanna make a 80+ year old Brazilian grandma happy, please give this walnut torte a try this holiday season. And then come here to tell me how lip-smacking good it was, so I can print the comments to give it to her.
- 500g walnuts (aprox 4 1/2 cups), plus more for decorating
- 500g sugar (aprox 2 cups and 3 tablespoons)
- 10 egg yolks
- 10 egg whites
- 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 5 egg whites
- 3/4 sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cold water
Making the torte:
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Prepare a large round cake pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Reserve.
- In a food processor, process the walnuts until fine. Reserve.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until pale. Add the breadcrumbs and the walnuts and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Don't worry if the batter is heavy. It's supposed to be like that!
- In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer (or by hand), whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the torte comes out clean.
- Let the torte cool completely, then run a dull knife around the edges to loosen and remove from pan into a cake stand or plate.
Making the filling:
- Make a sugar syrup by bringing the water and the sugar to a boil in a saucepan, over medium high heat, and boiling until the sugar is dissolved. Keep boiling - do not stir! - until it thickens, about 15 minutes. To know the right consistency, juse a candy thermometer and wait for it to reach 212F degrees.
- Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Once cools, add the egg yolks and 2/3 of the coconut milk. To the other 1/3 coconut milk, dissolve the corn starch and return to the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Bring it back to the stove and cook, under medium heat, stirring consistently, until it thickens. Reserve.
Assembling the torte:
- Using a serrated knife and holding the torte firmly, cut the torte horizontally into two even layers.
- Carefully pour the filling, still warm, on top of the first layer.
- Place the other layer, cut side down, on top of the filling and press down gently to make it level.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, place all the frosting ingredients in a heat safe bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Fill a saucepan (large enough for the mixer bowl to rest in it) with water and set it to boil. Lower the heat to a shimmer. Then, rest the bowl in the saucepan, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom. Whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and check to see if it has reached a temperature of 160-170F degrees. Remove from saucepan.
- Using a hand mixer, mix until stiff peaks forms and the meringue has a glossy look, about 12 minutes.
- When ready to serve the torte, cover with the meringue frosting and decorate with chopped walnuts.
- Merry Christmas! :)
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