Strawberry Torte


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (10°C). Very lightly grease three 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse the pistachios with ½ cup (65 g) of the icing sugar until the pistachios are finely ground. Toss this with the ground almonds and the remaining ½ cup (65 g) of icing sugar and set aside.
  3. Using electric beaters or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on high speed until frothy and the slowly pour in the granulated sugar while whipping, and continue to whip until the whites hold a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted. Fold the nut mixture into the whites by hand in two additions (the first addition doesn’t have to be fully combined before adding the next.) Stir in food colouring, adding one drop at a time, if using.Divide the batter between the pans and spread gently to level them. Dust the tops of the pans with icing sugar and sprinkle with a little bit of chopped pistachios. Bake the layers for 30 to 35 minutes, until you see browning just at the outside edges. Cool the layers in their pans on a rack.
  4. To assemble, whip the cream until it holds a soft peak and whip in the crème fraiche, icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Slice 2 cups (500 mL) of the strawberries into one bowl and quarter the remaining 1 cup (250 mL) of strawberries into another. Spoon a bit of the jam into each bowl (if using apple jelly, you can melt it in the microwave for about 10 seconds, until liquified) and stir the berries to coat.
  5. To assemble the torte, place one meringue layer onto a cake stand or platter. Dollop and spread a third of the cream to cover this and arrange half of the sliced strawberries on top. Sprinkle this with a little chopped pistachio. Top this with the second meringue layer, followed by another third of the cream, the remaining sliced strawberries and pistachios. Top with the third meringue layer. Dollop the last of the cream on top, but do not spread this to the edges. Spoon the quartered strawberries over the cream, trying to keep them centred but a natural tumbling down is quite pretty. Finish with a final sprinkle of pistachios and a dusting of icing sugar. Chill the torte until ready to serve.

The cake is best enjoyed within 6 hours of assembly – the meringue layers will soften and slice just like a traditional cake.