I've made this several times to rave reviews. It is delicious, not difficult, and very impressive. Don't forget the egg wash on the top crust. This step is crucial for a professional presentation, as I found out when I forgot it once!
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.
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- Calories: 509
- Calories from fat: 58%
- Protein: 5.3g
- Fat: 33g
- Saturated fat: 13g
- Carbohydrate: 51g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Sodium: 227mg
- Cholesterol: 74mg
- 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.
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