An indulgent torte, which happens to be gluten and dairy free
January is traditionally seen as the month of diets and detoxes or ‘the new me’, with new eating and exercise regimes implemented and all ‘bad’ foods forbidden. I’ve always believed in eating a balanced diet with the odd treat, and when I completed a nutrition course at Leiths School of Food and Wine, my common sense attitude was reinforced.
This recipe is a delicious and indulgent torte, which happens to be gluten and dairy free. You can of course substitute the coconut oil for unsalted butter and use natural yoghurt in place of the coconut yoghurt in the avocado cream. Plain flour can also be substituted in place of the ground nuts.
The perfect after dinner treat.
250g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
Cacao, for dusting
350g dark chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa
240g light brown sugar
5 eggs, separated
75g ground hazelnuts (or almonds if you can’t find hazelnuts)
30g cacao nibs
1-2 tsp peppermint extract
For the avocado and mint ‘cream’:
1 ripe avocado
A small handful of fresh mint leaves
Juice of ½-1 lime
2-3 tbsp coconut yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 150C, and grease and line a 23cm round spring-form tin with a piece of baking paper and some coconut oil. Lightly dust the inside of the tin with cacao, tip out the excess and pop to one side.
Put the chocolate and coconut oil into a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water on a low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, add the sugar and egg yolks then, using an electric mixer, whisk until light and pale. Pour the melted chocolate and coconut oil into the yolks and stir until smooth.
In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks.
Add the ground hazelnuts and cacao nibs into the chocolate mixture along with the peppermint extract and fold in using a large metal spoon or spatula. Gradually add the egg whites until combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and gently spread the top to make it level using a palette knife. Bake below the middle shelf of the oven for 50-60 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with a moist crumb attached. Allow the cake to cool in the tin and don’t worry if the top sinks and cracks.
While the torte is cooling, make the avocado cream by scooping out the ripe flesh of the avocado into a food processor, wash and pat dry the mint leaves and add to the avocado along with the lime juice and the coconut yoghurt. You can add a little maple syrup or honey to sweeten the ‘cream’ if you wish. Blitz until smooth.
Once the torte has cooled, carefully run a palette knife around the edge to loosen it, and place on to a serving plate. Serve a slice with a dollop of the avocado ‘cream’.
Recipe: Beca Lyne-Pirkis