Apricot Hazelnut Torte

Husband Gerry and I, married 36 years, love it when our children and grandchildren visit. One cake that gets “oohs” and “aahs” from the family every time is this luscious torte. It’s as light as a feather and tastes heavenly. Plus, it looks so beautiful, it’s perfect for special occasions.
—Enid S., Emsdale, Ontario

Yield: 12-14 servings.

1 cup ground hazelnuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar, divided

2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup pureed canned apricots
1/2 cup apricot jam, warmed
Whipped cream, sliced apricots and whole or chopped hazelnuts, optional

In a bowl, combine hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, water and vanilla until lemon-colored. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

Fold a fourth of the dry ingredients into egg yolk mixture. Repeat three times. Fold in egg white mixture.

Line two greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper; grease the paper. Spread batter evenly into pans. Bake at 350  for 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in apricots. Split each cake into two layers. Spread filling between layers and over sides of torte. Spread jam over top. Garnish with whipped cream, apricots and hazelnuts if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Source: Enid S., Emsdale, Ontario
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