Friday, 10 June 2011

Sharing a Recipe - Turkish Torte

I have a friend in Canada that has been patiently waiting for my Turkish Torte recipe so without any further ado, here it is.
I am not shy in saying I think I  am a fairly good cook of entrees and main courses, however,  when it comes to deserts, it's unlikely I would make a contestant for New Zealand's Top Baker as  usually I fail at deserts. Therefore, when I find a great desert recipe that works for me I am happy to share it with the World.
Turkish Torte is a recipe I used to make when I was living in the Middle East and I cannot for the life of me remember where the original recipe came from or how it somehow got lost between shipping my effects back to NZ and being left in my kitchen draw in Abu Dhabi.  However, I have scoured the Internet and although I cannot find the exact recipe, I have found the basic torte recipe and added the extra ingredients from memory that gave it that "Turkish" flavour.  If you google Turkish Torte you will find several recipes but not with the same magic ingredients which as far as I am concerned entitle it to have the name "Turkish" in it.

This Torte is a very sweet, rich desert. My original recipe had rosewater which is easily available in all Middle Eastern grocery stores. However, if you are living in New Zealand or Australia you should be able to buy rosewater  from your local Pharmacy.  Rose water is not an essential ingredient but adds a delightful aroma and flavour to the whipped cream which is used to top your torte.

I baked my torte a couple of days ago to make sure the balance of ingredients were correct. I  have one little piece left in my fridge and I am about to devour it once I post this blog.  I  took a few photos and added some finishing touches as you can see above.  I think this is a great desert to serve Al fresco in Summer after a light lunch.

Turkish Torte

1/4  (quarter) cup of pistachio nuts

1/2  (half) cup of chopped figs  (these can be replaced with chopped dates) although I prefer the figs in this recipe

1/2 (half) cup of roughly chopped dark cooking chocolate OR 1/4 Cup of chocolate cooking morsels (40% cocoa minimum)

1/4 (quarter) cup of  Turkish delight chopped into small bite size pieces  - optional

6 egg whites (large eggs)

½  (half) cup of caster sugar (superfine sugar)

1  tbsp Rosewater (to add to whipped cream) - optional

Thick Cream for whipping

9”  (22cm) spring form cake tin

(I use a measuring cup for all my ingredients; I do not weigh them for this recipe)


Chop the Turkish delight and figs (don’t forget to remove the stalk of the fig) into bite size pieces then place in a large mixing bowl with the pistachios (reserving a few pistachios for decoration). 
Chop the chocolate roughly and add to the mixture above, stir all this mixture together until mixed evenly.  You can use a ¼ of a cup of Chocolate morsels instead of the ½ cup of chopped chocolate if you wish.
Beat the egg whites in a food processor or with electric hand beater until thick and peaks begin to form.
Slowly add the Castor sugar and beat again until forming stiff peaks and it has a sheen.
Gently fold the meringue mixture into the chopped Turkish delight/figs/chocolate/pistachio mixture.
Having lined the base of a spring formed tin with baking paper, carefully place the meringue mixture into the tin and gently level the top.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees Centigrade (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 40 - 50 minutes

After 40 mins check that the Torte is cooked throughout by testing with a skewer, do not allow the Torte to brown too much on the top. It should be crisp on the outside. If it needs a little longer you can cover the top with foil to stop any further browning.
Remove from oven once cooked and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin and then cooling further on a wire rack. I actually turn my oven off and open the door and allow it to cool down in the oven before I remove it.
The cream can be whipped prior to serving and be spread on the top of the Torte.  Don’t forget to add the rose water to the cream while beating.  The rose water is optional but does add a bit of Marrakesh to it. 

Sprinkle a few of the pistachios over the top of the cream you could also scatter some crystallized rose petals on top or real rose petals as I have done for pretty effect.

I apologise for the poor photography as I had to take the photos at night

I like to serve the torte with a Raspberry coulis and sprinkle a few rose petals on top.  You could also scatter over some crystallised rose petals for a pretty effect.

Hot Tips
* Meringue is best made on a dry not humid day so it is nice and crisp on the outside.
*Make sure your mixing bowl or food processor is perfectly clean prior to beating the egg whites as if the  slightest bit of grease is present they will not beat properly.

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