This torte may be one of my new favorite desserts. I like pecans as much as the next person, but prior to tasting this, I thought that this torte was only for the folks who have a serious love thing going on with those funnily-named nuts. This recipe was requested by one such person, and I’m so glad because, although this torte consists of very few ingredients, it is delightful and light and really needs no accompaniment.
It puffs up gloriously in the oven, just like a souffle, and then sinks back down once it begins to cool, immediately alleviating my concerns that I had accidentally made a giant 5-inch tall cake. Just like with a souffle, preparing the batter takes a little bit of patience, at least for me. “Folding” in egg whites is a very stressful task when coupled with my impatience, and I have to work very hard to resist the urge to just mix everything together in order to speed the process along. Resist the urge – it will be worth it.
Now for the whipped cream. I’m sure everyone has heard of/played word association games, like where someone says a word and then you say the word that immediately comes to mind in response. Well, I didn’t want to just make plain sweetened whipped cream, so I stared at the bag of pecans for a few seconds and immediately thought of maple syrup. I can’t help but associate pecans and maple, it is one of the best combinations in my opinion. So the whipped cream had to be sweetened slightly with maple syrup, instead of regular sugar. Major improvement.
Serve this for dessert, as a snack with coffee, or even as part of breakfast/brunch!
I also submitted this to Bake with Bizzy!
Pecan Torte Recipe (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
- 2 cups pecans
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 325°. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Combine the pecans, flour and salt in a food processor until finely ground; set aside.
Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat egg yolks and 1/3 cup of sugar until pale and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, fold in the pecan mixture and set aside.
Be sure to completely wash and dry the bowl and mixer attachments, and use the mixer to beat the egg whites until foamy. Add roughly 1/3 of the remaining sugar, and continue to beat egg whites until opaque. Then add approximately 1/3 more of the sugar. Continue beating until egg whites begin to form soft peaks, add remaining sugar, and beat until soft peaks are fully formed. Fold the egg whites gently into the egg yolk-pecan mixture. Folding in the egg whites too soon will deflate the batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until cake is lightly browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Run a butter knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the edges, and carefully transfer cake from pan to serving platter. Serve plain or with whipped cream.
Maple Whipped Cream Recipe
- 1 half-pint Heavy Cream
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
The cream will whip better if you chill the bowl and beaters in the fridge before preparing the cream, so that everything is as cold as possible.
Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the maple syrup and continue whipping until cream reaches desired consistency. Either serve immediately or chill until serving.