DATE, WALNUT & CHOCOLATE TORTE
SERVES 12 PREP + COOK 1 HOUR 10 MINUTES + COOLING
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
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.