A torte recipe for the post-Passover post-Pesach Moroccan-Jewish festival of Mimouna (also spelled: Mimuma, Mimounah, Mimunah, Maimouna, and Maimounah) is a great way to symbolize the sweetness of Mimouna: that being physically free from slavery should taste fabulous! Torte recipes abound, but the following torte recipe is an exotic Turkish variety, with figs and a fig topping, port wine, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and almonds, among other ingredients. Over time, Sephardic Jews, that is Jews whose ancestors came from Spain and/or Portugal, have migrated from Spain and Portugal to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), Greece, and the Middle Eastern countries as well as further east into Asia in general, taking along many Spanish-Jewish/Portuguese-Jewish customs with them and eventually adding some additional local customs into their culture wherever they settled.

What exactly is a torte? The word "torte" is German in origin, and was most likely taken from the Italian word "torta", meaning "cake" which in turn came from the Late Latin word "torta" which referred to a round loaf of bread. The "Torte" as a cake originated in Austria, and it has referred to a type of rich, multi-layered round cake that is usually covered with cream and fruit or nuts, and with a large amount of ground nuts to replace the flour; there are also breadcrumbs, eggs, sugar, and flavorings included in a torte. Buttercreams, whipped creams and iced with glazes, marzipan or buttercreams comprise the filling in a torte. They are also made without chemical leaveners, using egg foams to lighten them. A torte recipe is typical of cake recipes found in Austria, Hungary, and Germany, and torte recipes have traditionally been named after politicians and princes in those countries.

Turkish Almond-Nut Torte Recipe

Honey and marinated fig topping
1/2 pound dried white figs
1 bottle port wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup honey
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon


2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 teaspoons lemon juice


5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn or sunflower oil
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups Passover fine matzo cake meal
1 1/4 cups finely chopped blanched almonds

Instructions for the Turkish Almond-Nut Torte recipe:

To make the topping:

  1. Wash figs and dry well.
  2. Place figs and port wine in large bowl.
  3. Marinate overnight.
  4. Drain figs; reserve wine.
  5. In large saucepan add sugar, lemon juice and honey.
  6. Simmer, being careful not to burn sugar.
  7. Raise flame to medium.
  8. Add reserved port wine, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  9. Reduce by half and add figs.
  10. Stir well.

To make the syrup:

  1. In a saucepan mix sugar and water together; bring to boil.
  2. Add lemon juice; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Cool and reserve.

To make the cake:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or Centigrade).
  2. Oil and flour a 9-by-13-by-2-inch (22.86-centimeter-by-33.02-centimeter-by-5.08-centimeter) cake pan.
  3. Beat eggs until frothy; add sugar and continue to beat until golden and well mixed.
  4. Add other ingredients, one at a time; stir into batter.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
  7. Remove cake from oven; pour cooled syrup over it.
  8. Let cake stand for 2 hours before serving to allow syrup to be absorbed.
  9. Serve with syrup and marinated fig topping.

Serves 18.

Nutrition Values per Serving: Calories: 402; Fat: 10 grams; Carbohydrates: 65 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Cholesterol: 59 milligrams; Sodium: 25 milligrams.

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