Walnut Meringue Torte

Time and Effort: 40 minutes of preparation, 1 hour of baking. This recipe involves 3 separate parts, so it’s fairly time consuming, but nothing is particularly difficult.

History: This recipe is from the 1947 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

Worth adding to Your Recipe Repertoire: A resounding yes!

A torte is a European-style cake that involves layers. It never really took off as a common home-baked dessert here in the Midwest. However, my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book from 1947 does include 4 torte recipes. This one was a dandy!
The variety of layers make it seem fancy, but it really didn’t involve any difficulties in preparing. All of the ingredients are easily accessible, and the result was beautiful as well as delicious.
My family liked that it was light and airy- a nice way to end a complete meal. Its presentation would also make it a good option for serving as a birthday cake or to a group of friends. I think my book club would love it!
The three parts of this torte are a thin vanilla cake, the walnut meringue, and the cocoa flavored whipped cream. The cake is denser than most American cakes, and it has a chew. The walnut meringue is baked on top of the cakes giving it a light, crispy finish. The cocoa whipped cream is just the right amount of sweetness and moisture to complement the rest of the ensemble.

Recipe:  Walnut Torte

1/2 C shortening (I used butter)                  1 C flour

1/2 C sugar                                                        dash of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract                                     1 tsp. baking powder

4 egg yolks                                                         1/3 C milk

Cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla; add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk.  Pour into 2 waxed paper-lined  8 inch layer cake pans.  Spread with Walnut Meringue.  Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 hour.  Cool.  Put layers together and frost with Chocolate Whip.

Walnut Meringue:  4 stiff-beaten egg whites, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, gradually add 3/4 cup sugar; beat until glossy and sugar is dissolved.  Fold in 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts.

Chocolate Whip:  Beat 1 and 1/2 Cups of heavy cream until stiff.  Add 1/3 cup of cocoa and 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar.

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