with MASCARPONE CHEESE and FRESH FIGS
Makes 10-12 servings
3/4 cup (180 ml) dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml) pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped walnuts, plus ½ cup (120 ml) walnut halves for topping
4 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup (80 ml) plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar
7 tablespoons (105 ml) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) baking powder
1 cup (240 ml) mascarpone cheese
4 tablespoons (60 ml) honey
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan. Combine the figs, pistachios and chopped walnuts in a small bowl. Spread the nuts across the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar. Add the melted butter and vanilla.
Next, add the flour and baking powder into another bowl and stir till mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir till combined. Pour the batter over the nuts and spread evenly across the pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top bounces back.
Remove the torta from the springform pan leaving it on the base. While still warm, add whole walnut halves to the top of the cake pushing them into the cake to stand them upright.
Let torta cool completely. Drizzle top of cake with honey. Add fresh mascarpone cheese to the centre of the torta. Spread the cheese leaving a 1” (2.54 cm)edge exposed. Garnish the top with fresh quartered figs and grape leaves. Drizzle with honey and dust with icing sugar.