Am I obsessed with walnuts? Why yes. Yes I am ;). I bought a huge bag of walnuts at ALDI and this was one of the first recipes on the list to try. It’s sort of like a brownie, but not exactly. Kind of like a fancy brownie. It starts with a simple meringue (which gives it a lighter texture than your traditional brownie) but what makes it amazing is all the delicious chocolate and finely ground walnuts that get folded in. Chocolate and walnuts are basically a match made in heaven.

It’s delicious plain or topped with some lightly sweetened whipped cream, but if you top it with some vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce it’s even better. Don’t ask me how I know ;). I’m pretty sure you’ll love this recipe. Give it a try! Did I mention that it’s grain and gluten free? It is! And since it has dark chocolate and walnuts too, we can almost call it healthy, right?!? (We’ll ignore the sugar. =P) Enjoy!

Chocolate Walnut Torte

1 cup (3.5 oz) walnut pieces, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
9 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup egg whites (from 7 to 8 large eggs)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Pulse the walnuts with 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Scrape the nuts into another bowl. Use a paper towel to wipe excess oil from the sides of the processor bowl, add the chocolate with 1 tablespoon sugar, and pulse until it forms crumbs ranging in size from coarse meal to 1/4-inch bits. Add the chocolate to the nuts along with the salt, and stir to combine. Set aside.
3. In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar at medium speed until the egg whites are creamy white and form soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating at medium-high speed until the egg whites are glossy and stiff but not dry.
4. Pour half of the chocolate mixture over the egg whites and fold in with a large rubber spatula until nearly incorporated. Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture, folding just until evenly incorporated.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the torte is puffed and golden brown on top and springs back when gently pressed with your fingers; a toothpick inserted in the center should come out moist and possibly stained with melted chocolate, but not coated with raw batter. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Slide a thin knife or a small metal spatula around the sides of the torte to release it from the pan. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a serving platter. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream.
*adapted from Fine Cooking

Nutritional Info (per 1/8th): 299 calories; 15.6 g fat; 39 g carbohydrates; 2.1 g fiber; 6.3 g protein.

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