Torta Di Carote Recipe
This Torta di carote recipe is from the Veneto region in northern Italy. Use the sweetest, most flavorful organic carrots you can find.
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds (about 8 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pound carrots
1 large lemon
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine, softened
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon Passover cake meal or potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 large egg whites
1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Grease paper.
In a shallow baking pan toast nuts in one layer in middle of oven until golden, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl to cool completely. Leave oven on. In a food processor finely grind nuts with 1/4 cup granulated sugar. In food processor fitted with medium shredding disk shred carrots. Grate zest of lemon. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together margarine and remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add yolks, extracts, and zest and beat until combined well.
In another bowl stir together ground nuts, 4 tablespoons meal or starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch salt. Beat nut mixture into margarine mixture and beat in carrots.
In a bowl with cleaned beaters beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Stir about one third whites into batter to lighten and fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly until just combined.
Pour batter into cake pan and smooth top. Bake cake in middle of oven until top is springy to the touch and cake pulls away from sides of pan, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack. Run a sharp small knife around edge of pan to loosen and invert cake onto a plate. Peel off parchment and invert cake onto a platter (right side up). In an electric coffee/spice grinder, grind remaining 3/4 teaspoon meal or starch with superfine sugar until powdery and sift over cake.
Serves 6 to 8.