120g packet blanched almonds
6 egg whites
1 3⁄4 cups raw caster sugar
75g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
125g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1⁄2 cups thickened cream
2 bananas, sliced
Toasted flaked almonds, to decorate
1⁄2 cup thickened cream
1⁄4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1⁄4 cup golden syrup
Spread blanched almonds over an oven tray. Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for 7 minutes, until golden. Cool. Process in a food processor until finely chopped.
Grease two large oven trays. Trace a 20cm circle on two pieces of baking paper. Place trace-side down on trays.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 11⁄2 cups of the sugar, 1 tblsp at a time, until dissolved. Continue to beat for about 8 minutes, or until meringue is thick and glossy. Fold in chopped almonds.
Divide meringue evenly between prepared circles. Smooth tops.
Cook in a very slow oven (120C), swapping trays halfway through, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until dry and crisp. Turn oven off. Leave meringues to cool in oven with door ajar.
To make sauce, stir all ingredients in a small saucepan over heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Gently boil for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove. Cool.
Stir chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth. Remove. Cool slightly. Drizzle evenly over meringue layers. Allow to set.
Beat cheese and remaining sugar in a small bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Add cream. Beat until soft peaks form.
Place one meringue layer, chocolate-side up on a plate. Spread with half the cream mixture. Top with half the bananas. Drizzle with 2 tblsps caramel sauce. Repeat layering with remaining meringue, cream and bananas. Decorate with flaked almonds. Drizzle over another 2 tblsps caramel sauce.
Serve torte with remaining caramel sauce.