Kona Macadamia-Caramel Torte

Notes: As the westernmost state, Hawaii has been pivotal in introducing us to a whole range of foods and flavors from the Far East and South Seas. This rich dessert uses Hawaii's signature nut. Make up to 2 days ahead; store airtight at room temperature.


Makes 16 servings

Recipe from


Nutritional Information

Calories 509
Caloriesfromfat 58 %
Protein 5.3 g
Fat 33 g
Satfat 13 g
Carbohydrate 51 g
Fiber 0.6 g
Sodium 227 mg
Cholesterol 74 mg


2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz.) roasted, salted macadamia nuts
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, cut in chunks
1 large egg
1 cup whipping cream
1 large egg white, beaten until frothy


1. Reserve 3 or 4 whole nuts for garnish. Rub remaining macadamias in a towel to remove excess salt; lift nuts from towel and set aside.

2. With your fingers or a food processor, mix or whirl flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and butter until mixture is fine crumbs. Add egg and mix with a fork or whirl until dough holds together; pat into a ball.

3. Press 2/3 of the pastry over the bottom and sides of a 1 1/2-inch-deep, 9-inch-wide round cake pan with removable rim. Cover and chill. Roll remaining pastry between 2 sheets of waxed paper into a 9-inch-wide round. Chill flat.

4. Meanwhile, pour remaining 2 cups sugar into a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan. Set over medium-high heat and stir often until sugar melts and turns pale amber, about 7 minutes.

5. Pour in cream (mixture will bubble up) and remove from heat. Stir until sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in nuts (except those reserved for garnish). Let nut mixture cool 10 to 20 minutes, then pour into pastry shell.

6. Peel 1 sheet of waxed paper from pastry round and invert pastry onto nut-filled torte. Peel off remaining paper. Fold edges of top pastry in until flush with pan rim. Press pastry rim with the flour-dipped tines of a fork to seal. Brush top of torte lightly with beaten egg white.

7. Bake in a 325° oven until deep golden brown, about 1 hour.

8. Cool in pan on a rack 10 to 20 minutes. Run a thin knife between pastry and pan rim. Remove rim and let torte cool.

9. Garnish with reserved macadamia nuts. Cut into thin wedges.

May 1998
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