Southern Heritage Torte Recipe

Southern Heritage Torte Recipe

A light vanilla layer cake rich with sweet potato pastry cream, pecan meringue, and caramel whipped cream frosting.

Ingredients

Vanilla Chiffon cake layers
4.4 oz egg yolks
6.6 oz granulated sugar
2.2 oz vegetable oil
1   oz water
0.2 oz vanilla extract
4.4 oz egg whites
.02 oz baking powder
5.1 oz sifted cake flour

Pecan Meringue Layers
3.0 oz finely ground toasted pecans + 3 oz to garnish
0.3 oz cornstarch
3.0 oz egg whites
4.0 oz granulated sugar

 

Salty Caramel Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream, chilled
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 tablespoon caramel sauce (see recipe below)
Caramel Sauce
 1 cup of sugar
 6 Tbsp butter
 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

 

Sweet Potato Pastry Cream

2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cup sweet potato, drained and mashed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pinch salt

Directions

Vanilla Chiffon cake layers
1. Whip up egg yolks with 1.2oz of sugar to full volume
2. On medium speed add the oil, water, and vanilla extract slowly, incorporate well.
3. In a separate bowl whip up egg whites with remaining sugar to medium peak.
4. Combine baking powder and flour
5. By hand, incorporate four mixture in stages into the egg yolk mix, just to incorporate.
6. Fold the meringue carefully into the mixture by hand, do not over mix!
7. Bake at 360 degrees Fahrenheit until it springs back when you touch the center lightly.
8. Allow to cool before cutting cake out of the ring.

Pecan Meringue Layers
1. Heat egg whites and sugar over a double boiler to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Whip up mixture to stiff peak
3. Gently fold under the mixture of sliced toasted  and slightly crushed ground pecans, and cornstarch by hand
4. Pipe or spread onto 10 inch rounds on lightly greased parchment paper
5. Bake at a very low oven temperature (250 degrees Fahrenheit) until firm throughout
6. Allow to cool at room temperature, do not refrigerate!

1. Chill the bowl, beaters and cream thoroughly before beginning.
2. Using an electric mixer, whip cream and salt on medium-low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds.
3. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Add caramel and continue to beat until stiff but still creamy.

Caramel:
1. Mis en Place!!!
2. Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring.
3. As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.
4. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably.
5. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature.

Sweet Potato Pastry Cream

Place the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in color. Add in the flour and the salt, mix to combine. When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat and remove vanilla bean. Very slowly temper the egg by dribbling the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring constantly. When about half of the milk has been added, add the remaining yolk mixture into the saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the sweet potato.  Using a whisk, mix the pastry cream constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Mix in butter. Remove from heat.

 

Assembly:
1. Place a 10 inch vanilla chiffon genoise layer on a 10 inch cardboard disc
2. Moisten with simple syrup
3. Pipe ring of caramel whipped cream to contain layer of sweet potato pastry cream
4. Spread out a layer of sweet potato pastry cream
5. Place a 10 inch pecan meringue layer on top
6. Pipe ring of caramel whipped cream to contain layer of sweet potato pastry cream
7. Spread out a layer of sweet potato pastry cream
8. Place a second layer of vanilla chiffon genoise on top
9. Moisten with simple syrup
10. Ice entire cake with Caramel whipped cream
11. Place light toasted sliced pecans around bottom edge and on top center

Southern Shopping Tip

Southern food is a mixture of Native American, Creole, and European influences. Staples of this comfort food include corn (in all its forms), honey, chicken, pork, and seafood, all easily found at any neighborhood grocery store.

Southern Cooking Tip

Southern and comfort food is often rich and heavy, be sure to include lots of greens and vegetables with these dishes.