Carrot-Almond Torte

In Victoria, snow makes us kind of giddy. People tend to smile more and greet strangers on the street. Small independent businesses have shuttered early, with notices such as, “We’re off to play in the snow, see you tomorrow!” or “We’ve gone to make some snow angels!”
Snow pants, extra gloves and scarves are dragged out and many have made the pilgrimage to Beacon Hill today with their makeshift toboggans.
For me, it drives me to bake. Nothing beats the smell of baking when it’s cold outside. This simple-to-make torte uses carrots for moisture and sweetness along with ground up ladyfingers – you know, the kind you use for making tiramisu.
The recipe has been passed along from friend to friend and I’m here to pass it on to you. Easy to make and really easy to eat, you can enjoy it as is or with sweetened whipped cream with liqueur, creme fraiche or even honey-sweetened pressed yogurt.

Carrot-Almond Torte

9 oz. (1 1/2 cups) unpeeled almonds (or finely ground almonds)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
9 oz. (about 6 small) carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 lb. (14) lady fingers
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, separated
10 inch springform pan, greased bottom and sides
Whipped cream, flavoured with sugar and liqueur, creme fraiche or honey-sweetened pressed yogurt for garnish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Put almonds and sugar in a food processor or blender and chop very fine. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. (If you’re using the ground almonds, just mix it with the sugar in the mixing bowl).┬áChop the carrots as fine as possible in the processor or blender (I grated mine on the fine grate blade of my box grater). Add to almond-sugar and mix.

Break up the ladyfingers into small pieces and chop in processor or blender until fine. Add to almond mixture. Add baking powder, liqueur and salt to almond mixture. Blend thoroughly.
Add egg yolks and mix into the mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the cake batter in three batches, folding in gently but thoroughly.
Pour into the prepared springform pan, levelling off without pressing down.
Bake on middle shelf of oven 40 – 60 minutes. Check after 40 minutes using a toothpick.
When the cake has cooled to lukewarm, remove from pan. Start getting giddy. Serve at room temperature.
Like snow in Victoria, should you be faced with that rare occurrence of having leftovers, wrap in tin foil. It will keep several days without refrigeration.

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