DATE, WAL­NUT & CHOCO­LATE TORTE

Homes+ (Australia) - - EASY FOOD -

SERVES 12 PREP + COOK 1 HOUR 10 MIN­UTES + COOL­ING

9 egg­whites

1½ cups caster su­gar

11/3 cups chopped pit­ted fresh dates ¾ cup chopped wal­nuts, toasted ¼ cup plain flour, sifted

200g dark choco­late, melted TOFFEE WAL­NUTS

½ cup wal­nut halves

1 cup caster su­gar

1/3 cup wa­ter

CHOCO­LATE GLAZE

1/3 cup thick­ened cream

150g dark choco­late, chopped whipped cream, to serve

ONE Pre­heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan. Grease and line a 26cm spring­form pan. TWO Us­ing an elec­tric mixer, beat the egg­whites and su­gar in a large clean, dry bowl for about 6 mins or un­til thick and glossy.

THREE Mean­while, com­bine the dates, wal­nuts and flour in a medium bowl.

Lightly fold into the egg­white mix­ture with choco­late. Spread into pre­pared pan. Bake for 50 mins or un­til firm.

FOUR Leave torte in turned-off oven with door slightly ajar un­til cool.

FIVE To make toffee wal­nuts, line a large oven tray with a sheet of bak­ing pa­per. Place wal­nuts on tray. Roast in oven on sep­a­rate shelf with torte for about 10 mins or un­til lightly browned and fra­grant. In a small saucepan, com­bine su­gar and wa­ter. Stir on low heat, with­out boil­ing, un­til su­gar is dis­solved. Dip a pastry brush in wa­ter and brush down the inside of the saucepan to dis­solve all su­gar crys­tals. Bring to the boil; boil, un­cov­ered, with­out stir­ring, un­til the toffee turns golden brown. Re­move from heat. Add wal­nuts and turn to coat in toffee. Use a fork to lift wal­nuts from toffee; place sep­a­rately on same pre­pared tray un­til cooled and firm, about 30 mins.

SIX To make choco­late glaze, stir cream and choco­late in a small saucepan on low heat un­til smooth. Trans­fer glaze to a small heat­proof bowl. Stand at room tem­per­a­ture, stir­ring ev­ery 20 mins or un­til thick­ened slightly. The glaze needs to be thick enough to pour and hold its shape. SEVEN Place torte on serv­ing plate. Pour choco­late glaze over cake to cover the top and driz­zle over the side a lit­tle. Top with toffee wal­nuts and serve with whipped cream, if de­sired.

Not suit­able to freeze. Choco­late suit­able to mi­crowave.

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