Rustic California Walnut Torte

  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 120 mins

The mellow nutty flavour of freeform walnut meringue floats atop layers of cloudy-soft cream. For a refreshing alternative try replacing the berries with orange segments.


2 cups California Walnuts, toasted
1-2/3 cup superfine sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup egg whites (about 7 eggs), at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted, divided
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries or orange segments, divided
1 cup shaved bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup California Walnuts, chopped


  1. On parchment paper, trace three 7-inch (18-cm) circles leaving 1-inch (2.5-cm) space between. Arrange on large baking sheet; set aside.

  2. In food processor, pulse walnuts, 2/3 cup (175 mL) sugar and cornstarch until it becomes a fine meal.

  3. In medium bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form; slowly add remaining sugar until meringue holds stiff peaks. Fold in nut mixture.

  4. Using spatula, spread meringue evenly over each circle. Bake in 200F (94C) oven 2 hours. Turn off oven and leave meringues to cool completely.

  5. In medium bowl, beat cream and vanilla 5 minutes or until soft peaks form.

To assemble:

  1. Gently remove meringue and arrange on cake plate. Cover with 1/2 of melted chocolate; top with 1/3 of cream and 1 cup (250 mL) berries. Repeat with next layer.

  2. Top with last meringue and remaining cream. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and chopped walnuts.