Hazelnut Apricot Torte

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Menu Part: Dessert
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 10

This torte is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Layers of cake are filled with apricot and spread with white chocolate cream. Chopped hazelnuts add delicate flavor and crunch.

Ingredients

3 oz. white chocolate
5 egg whites
1⁄4 tsp. cream of tartar
1⁄2 cup sugar, divided
2 tbsp. butter, softened
4 egg yolks
1⁄3 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking flour
1 tsp. salt
3⁄4 cup Oregon hazelnuts, roasted and finely ground

Filling:
3 cups heavy cream
10 oz. white chocolate
3 tbsp. hazelnut liqueur
3⁄4 cup apricot jam
1 1⁄2 cups roasted Oregon hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Steps

1. Melt white chocolate in double boiler, cool to lukewarm. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and gradually add 2 tbsp. of the sugar. Whip to firm, but not dry, peaks and set aside.

2. Cream butter and remaining sugar. Beat in yolks and mix in along with the hazelnuts. Lighten batter by whisking in 1 cup of the egg whites. Gently fold in remaining whites. Pour into greased, parchment-lined 11 x 17 x 1-inch baking pan. Bake in 375° F. oven for 10-12 min. or until golden.

3. For filling, heat cream to simmering. Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate until melted. Transfer to bowl and chill. When cold, beat to medium whipped cream consistency; beat in liqueur. Remove 1 1⁄2 cups of the filling and whisk in 1⁄4 cup apricot jam.

4. To assemble, trim edges off cake. Slice vertically in 4 equal pieces, about 3 1⁄2-in. long x 10-in. long. Stack three layers, spreading each with apricot jam and 1⁄3 of the apricot filling. Place fourth layer on top and spread top and sides with white chocolate cream. Press chopped hazelnuts into sides and decorate top with apricot jam and white chocolate rosettes. Keep refrigerated.