Chocolate Macadamia Torte With Vanilla Port Sauce

Mailbox: Recipes & Requests

04/05/2010 2:03 PM

04/05/2010 2:05 PM

Prep Time: 55 minutesCook Time: 33 minutesServes: 10 to 12

Janelle Sonoda of Sacramento enjoyed the macadamia nut torte sold by the now-closed Casey’s Bakery. She was hoping for its recipe or one similar.

Janice Thornton of Merced shares this recipe from the March 2000 issue of Sunset magazine; it is credited to Charlie Paladin Wayne, executive chef at Justin Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles.

The chocolate he uses for the filling is grown and manufactured in Hawaii. The port he uses for the sauce is the winery’s Obtuse port-style wine.

You can use the crust recipe with different cheesecake recipes and the port sauce recipe to top a variety of desserts, elevating a simple dish of ice cream to an easy and elegant finish to a special dinner.



1 cup unsalted, roasted macadamia nuts

¾ cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

¼ cup butter or margarine, cut into chunks


¾ pound semisweet chocolate, chopped

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1½ cups whipping cream, divided use

3 large egg yolks


1½ cups port

1 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean (about 7 inches)


For the crust: In a food processor, whirl macadamia nuts until finely chopped. Pour into a bowl. In food processor, whirl flour, sugar and butter until fine crumbs form. Add macadamia nuts and whirl just until dough sticks together. (Or mince nuts with a sharp knife and put in a bowl with flour, sugar and butter. Rub with your fingers until mixture sticks together, then pat into a ball.)

Press mixture evenly over bottom and about 1¼ inches up sides of a 9-inch cheesecake pan with a removable rim.

Bake crust in a 350-degree oven until golden brown, 12 to 18 minutes. Set on a rack and cool at least 30 minutes.

For the filling: In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate, cinnamon and ¾ cup of the cream. Stir over simmering water just until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add egg yolks and whisk over simmering water until mixture reaches 140 degrees. Adjust heat to keep mixture between 140 and 150 degrees and continue to whisk for three minutes. Nest pan in ice water and stir often until mixture is cool, about 15 minutes.

In a deep bowl with a mixer at high speed, whip remaining cream until it holds distinct peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, then pour into cool macadamia crust. Cover airtight (don’t let cover touch filling) and chill at least four hours or up to two days.

Remove cheesecake pan rim, cut torte into wedges and serve with vanilla port sauce to taste.

For vanilla port sauce: In a 1½- to 2-quart pan, combine port and sugar. With a small, sharp knife, slit vanilla bean open lengthwise. Scrape seeds from pod; add seeds and pod to port mixture.

Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let sauce cool at least 15 minutes; discard vanilla pod. Serve warm, cool or chilled. (If making up to two days ahead, cover and chill; sauce thickens when it’s cool.)

Note: The prep time does not include the 30-minute cool time for the crust, the 15-minute cool time for the filling’s chocolate mixture, the four-hour to two-day chill time for the torte before serving, or the 15-minute cool time for the sauce.

Per serving, based on 12 servings: 537 calories; 4 grams protein; 54 grams carbohydrates; 32 grams fat (16 saturated, 14 monounsaturated, 2 polyunsaturated); 104 milligrams cholesterol; 24 milligrams sodium; 3 grams fiber; 44 grams sugar; 52 percent calories from fat

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