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Coconut-Almond Torte

February 3, 2012

When work makes no demands on my time, Thursdays end up being my free days.  Not free in the sense that I have no responsibilities.  Rather, they are spent on chores that have accumulated during the week, exercise that has been neglected and of course, cooking.  But my time is my own and I am free to prioritize in the way that I wish.

I find that on most of these Thursday mornings I linger just a bit longer over my cup of tea.  I draft my grocery list around a more elaborate meal to make up for the much simpler Monday – Wednesday fare.  Overall, Thursdays are good days.

The last couple, however, have been more frenetic than relaxing.  Work has been a bit busier, I am spending my free time studying for a couple of things and we are preparing for another trip.  The destination is new to me; I am very excited to visit a new place and also to experience it with my husband and good friends.  I hope to be able to share a bit of it here as the trip happens but I won’t put that extra pressure on myself.  I will just make sure to take lots of pictures to post when I return.

Shoving aside the errands, chores and studying for just a little while last Thursday, I made this simple torte to satisfy an overwhelming craving for, of all things, coconut.  I had purchased a bag of sweetened shredded coconut earlier that week with no ideas for an end product.  I let the bag sit on the counter for a few days hoping to be inspired.  With the help of this recipe, I ended up with this coconut-almond torte.  I made substantial changes to the ingredient list to accommodate what was available in my pantry and had to question myself several times if my substitutions would work at all.

The recipe called for graham cracker crumbs but I had none.  Instead, I used almond meal and ground up multi-grain cereal to replicate the graham cracker texture.  I had no pecans so I used almonds.  Instead of vanilla and rum extracts, I used lemon and almond.  Instead of a pie pan I used my quiche pan (just because) and I topped my torte with extra coconut.

While this torte baked I wondered if it would end up a casualty of my experiments.  While I am more adventurous with savory recipes, I am never confident about making changes to sweet ones.  As I pulled this out of the oven, there were no strong indications of failure but there was no big pull towards success either.  The surface was a firm shell from the egg whites–to be expected–but it wasn’t until after it had cooled and I sliced into it that I finally smiled.  The torte was just right inside–chewy in texture with added crunch from the chopped almonds.  The almond meal and cereal lent a slight graininess that I liked but this torte was far from dry. The coconut and almond flavors are the most prominent but the lemon essence is unmistakable.  This cake was even better on the second and third day.

That Thursday was a good Thursday.

Coconut-Almond Torte

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar (you  might be able to get away with 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup multi-grain cereal, ground up (I used the high fiber, multigrain fruit medley from Trader Joe’s but fished out the fruit)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/2 chopped almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes at medium speed.
  3. Fold in the sugar and beat until glossy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Combine the almond meal, ground up cereal, coconut, nuts and salt in a separate bowl.  Fold into the egg white mixture in the larger bowl then add the extracts.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a greased 9-inch pie pan (or 8 1/2-inch quiche pan; I lined mine with parchment paper and greased it) and bake for about 30 minutes.  I added the extra coconut on top during the last 5 minutes of baking to allow it to brown a little.
  6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack before serving.
  7. Will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
19 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2012 11:26 AM

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your Thursday! I love all the flavors in your beautiful torte and the pictures are beautiful. Enjoy your weekend too;-)

  2. February 3, 2012 11:59 AM

    I love any and all things coconut and this torte looks stunning. I love your tart pan too. The color is beautiful.

  3. February 3, 2012 12:30 PM

    This is stunning! It looks so sophisteicated!!

  4. February 3, 2012 1:32 PM

    I love that this uses the whole grain cereal…what a fun ingredient in a torte! It looks absolutely wonderful 🙂

  5. February 3, 2012 1:32 PM

    Oooh, you’ve combined two of my absolutely favorite flavors 🙂 What a perfect torte!

  6. February 3, 2012 2:01 PM

    What an interesting recipe using ground up cereal – the lemon sounds like it would compliment the coconut and almond in this light looking cake.

  7. February 3, 2012 3:49 PM

    The pictures look amazing and it sounds really good. I bet it tasted as good as it looked.

  8. February 3, 2012 4:57 PM

    Any day would be a good day if this was on my table. Fun idea for the crust.

  9. February 3, 2012 6:00 PM

    This torte sounds fabulous! I am getting so hungry looking at the photos! I love the combination of coconut and almond!

  10. February 3, 2012 6:05 PM

    I’m all about coconut lately, this sounds divine!

  11. February 4, 2012 12:57 AM

    This torte looks so good. I’m ashamed of myself for wanting a really big piece. Can’t wait to try this myself!

  12. February 4, 2012 8:59 AM

    What a perfect way to spend a Thursday. I love almost anything with coconut and I bet this was tort was hard to eat just one slice. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! { We will miss you at the cookie baking event } 🙂

  13. February 4, 2012 9:08 AM

    It’s just the best when we get a day through the week to recoup and rest in order to plan the rest of the week’s days! What better way to spend it than with a slice of this torte!

  14. bananamondaes permalink
    February 5, 2012 1:45 AM

    That torte looks amazing. I love all things coconutty. If only the weekends were a bit longer then I would actually get all my neglected chores and gym going done!

  15. February 7, 2012 11:54 PM

    OMG! looks great and delicious torte! Perfect for breakfast paired with the best cup of coffee, makes my whole day wonderful!

    I’m gonna this recipe to my mom because she loves to have new recipe.

  16. February 8, 2012 10:08 PM

    Coconuts and almonds…yum! Love this combo! This is an all-star pairing.

  17. February 10, 2012 2:01 AM

    Anything coconut and I’m in! The torte looks divine. 🙂

  18. February 15, 2012 11:44 AM

    Ok I am having deja vu. Either I dreamed about this post or you are reading my mind. GREG

  19. March 1, 2012 10:09 AM

    hi jean,
    did i already tell you how much i love this combo? almonds + coconut. definitely bookmarking this recipe to my “to-make” list!

    also, jean, i’m slowly phasing out my folie a deux blog. i have a new food blog, Tartine and Apron Strings. hope you can visit me there some time. see you soon 🙂

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