I always donate one of these lightly sweet, heart-shaped tortes for our church bake sale. The congregation never gets to see it, however--the ladies in charge quickly put it aside for one of them to buy!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Walnut halves
- 1 cup cold milk
- 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
- Grease two 9-in. heart-shaped pans. Line with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, milk and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Pour into prepared pans.
- In a bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar; beat until stiff and glossy. Fold in chopped nuts. Spread evenly over batter, sealing edges to sides of pan. Arrange walnut halves over meringue in one pan.
- Bake at 300° for 55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks. Invert so meringue side is up; cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mix until thickened. Fold in whipped cream. Place plain cake, meringue side up, on serving plate. Spread with half of the filling; top with remaining cake. Frost sides with remaining filling. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Sweetheart Walnut Torte in Taste of Home February/March 2000, p25
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