Flourless Walnut Torte with Coffee Whipped Cream

I found this recipe after the holidays when I was looking for something to bake with leftover bags of walnuts. This recipe is just awesome and I believe it initially came from Bon Appetit. I can’t find enough words for how good it is. Light and fluffy, easy to make and awesome compliments from everyone who tried it. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Ingredients

• 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons walnuts (about 5 ounces)
• 4 large eggs, separated
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
• 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals dissolved in 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
• 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Walnut halves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grate the walnuts in a food processor until they become a fine meal, but not pasty. Use on/off turns. Set aside 2 tablespoons ground walnuts for garnish.

2. Butter bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until well blended. Stir remaining ground walnuts into yolk mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into nut mixture in 2 additions. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

3. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife between cake and pan sides to loosen; remove pan sides. Cool cake completely on rack (cake will fall in center). (Cake can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)

4. Using electric mixer, beat cream, powdered sugar, coffee mixture, and vanilla in large bowl until peaks form. Spread coffee whipped cream onto top of cake. Sprinkle top with reserved ground walnuts; arrange walnut halves in center of cake. Cut cake into wedges.

Makes approximately 8 servings.

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The Importance of Kitchen Tested Recipes

Recipes Galore

There are millions of recipes on the Internet and in cookbooks. Most come with pictures that look beautiful and enticing enough to make you want to try it out. But, before you go out and buy the ingredients and put all your time and energy into a new meal, appetizer or dessert, make sure it has been kitchen tested.

My Experience with Untested Recipes

It’s easy to cut and paste a bunch of recipes into a website or publish a book of recipes in order to get the sale. It’s a lot harder for the authors to verify that they have tried the recipes before they published them. About 10 years ago, I bought a book by a couple of award winning cooks. I thought I had a goldmine of meals and desserts. The pictures made the finished products look so good and the recipes were easy to follow. However, the finished products didn’t look anything like the pictures and, to boot, they just didn’t taste good. Recently, I took a recipe for a simple loaf of bread off the Internet. I haven’t made bread in a long time and when the recipe didn’t call for proofing the yeast, I thought something might be wrong. Since it had been a while since I made bread, I wondered whether someone discovered a different proofing process. Nope. The bread should have been proofed the old-fashioned way – sitting in sugar and water until it bubbled. High school home economics 101.

So, before you print a recipe off the Internet or buy a cookbook, make sure the author has actually made the darn thing.