The Mother of all Tortes – Hazelnut Torte

In honour of Mother’s Day earlier this month, I wanted to share with you one of the most amazing desserts that has been a specialty of my mom’s for years, possibly decades now.  It’s elegant, light and simply irresistible.

For my mom’s milestone birthday this year, we knew we wouldn’t be able to beat her baking skills and nothing purchased could compare.  We “tricked” her into baking her very own torte, while she taught me the process along the way…really I just spent most of my time grinding nuts.

Although it’s a simple recipe, it requires time for preparation along with attention and care for blending ingredients. Done right though, I guarantee you will have a dessert that will magically disappear.

Nut Torte Frosting 
7 large eggs 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup granulated sugar, divided 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/4 cups ground hazelnuts 1 1/4 cups ground pecans 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 Cups whipping cream 2 tablespoons sifted cocoa 1 tablesspoon instant coffee granules 3 tablespoons sugar

Prepare 3 8″ round pans by lining with circles of waxed paper Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit Prepare nuts by grinding finely.  DO NOT USE A PROCESSOR. Add baking powder, dry bread  crumbs and 1/2 teaspoon salt to nuts and mix well.

Separate eggs, put whites into large mixing bowl, yokes into a smaller one. Beat egg yokes well until thick and lemon coloured, add 1/2 cup of the sugar slowly, two tablespoons at a time and beat for at least another three minutes or more, add vanilla and mix well. Add nut mixture, stirring gently till mixed well.

Beat the egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon of salt with clean beaters until soft peaks form when beater is slowly raised. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of sugar two tablespoons at a time until soft peaks form.  (Do not over beat so that the egg whites become dry looking).

With a rubber scraper mix the whites and yolks together in a folding motion – just to combine.  DO NOT OVER MIX!  This must be done very delicately.  Divide into prepared pans.

Bake about 20-25 minutes until surface springs back when gently pressed with finger tips.

Cool, hanging upside down on cake rack for at least 1 hour.

Whip together frosting until stiff. Fill and frost cake.  Sprinkle top with a few ground nuts. Enjoy!