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Pecan Torte with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Pecan pie can be quite sugary—which is why many people love it—but this torte is a nice not-too-sweet alternative. Ground pecans and a good amount of eggs bake into a meringue-like cake. Garnish with a big dollop of boozy whipped cream.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups (7 oz./220 g) pecans
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) granulated sugar

For the bourbon whipped cream:

  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. bourbon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line the bottom of a 9-by-3-inch (23-by-7.5-cm) round cake pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine the pecans, flour and salt and process until finely ground; do not overprocess.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the egg yolks and 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) of the granulated sugar on medium-high speed until pale and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the pecan mixture.

In a clean bowl, using the cleaned whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they start to foam. Slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and beat until the whites start to increase in volume and become firm, gradually increasing the speed to high. Beat until the whites form medium peaks but still look wet. Carefully fold one-third of the whites into the pecan mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the torte onto a plate. Peel off the parchment paper, then turn the cake right side up.

To make the whipped cream, in a clean bowl, using the cleaned whisk attachment, beat the cream, confectioners’ sugar, bourbon and vanilla until the cream just holds its shape. Serve the torte garnished with the cream. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013).