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Makeover Ricotta Nut Torte

 Makeover Ricotta Nut Torte
Looking for a special, lightened-up treat? Lots of thin layers and a luscious frosting make this cake a winner that's sure to draw plenty of oohs and aahs. —Suzanne Runtz, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
16 ServingsPrep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 2 cartons (15 ounces each) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each), grated
  • BATTER:
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
  • Whole hazelnuts and shaved chocolate, optional

Directions

  • Line three 8-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Coat pans with
  • cooking spray and sprinkle with flour; set aside.
  • For filling, in a small bowl, beat ricotta cheese and sugar until
  • smooth; beat in vanilla. Fold in pecans and grated chocolate. Cover
  • and chill.

2 of 2

Makeover Ricotta Nut Torte (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat shortening and sugar until crumbly,
  • about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each
  • addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla until well blended. Combine
  • the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture
  • alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until
  • a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10
  • minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a
  • serving plate; spread with 1 cup filling. Repeat layers four times.
  • Top with remaining cake layer.
  • Spread whipped topping over top and sides of cake. Garnish with
  • hazelnuts and shaved chocolate if desired. Chill until serving.
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice (calculated without optional ingredients) equals 372 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 281 mg sodium, 57 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.