Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vegan Flourless Chocolate Torte

This is another great recipe from Terry Romero's Vegan Eats World, made without flour or eggs, only oil for the pan and with the protein of 12 ounces of tofu. Ed still prefers, Chocolate Chipolte - Olive Oil Cake, but I like this even better.  Ms. Romero seasons her Ethopian Chocolate Flourless Torte with 1/2 teaspoon ground Berbere Spice Blend.  Rather than add another packet of spice to my drawer, I used a variation of her Mexican option.*  Not only is this torte very good, it is also very easy to make!
Coat the bottom of an 8-inch spring-form pan with olive oil (or butter if not vegan), line with parchment paper and oil/butter paper. (Romero's recipe calls for "an 8-inch round baking pan with a round of parchment paper...." **)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

 In a food processor blend until ground:

2/3 c almonds or hazelnuts (Romero uses "1/2 cup [pre] ground almonds or hazelnuts")

Then add :

2/3 c bittersweet chocolate chips, melted ***
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
12 oz. extra firm silken tofu (Mori Nu recommended*****)
3/4 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t chipolte chili powder

Mix until completely blended and smooth, then using a spatula put the batter into the pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the top feels firm. Remove to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Unhinge the pan, lift out the torte, remove the parchment paper. Serve either as lifted from pan or per Ms. Romero's recipe, inverted with cocoa powder sifted over the top. Ms. Romero recommends serving slightly warm. using microwave, if necessary, to reheat. I usually sertve at room temperature. Strawberries, raspberries or pomegranates are a nice garnish.

"For best presentation, place the torte on a serving plate that's perfectly flat. Even a slightly curved dinner plate will create a depression in the center of this slender cake." ****

I often serve cake as lifted from the pan, at room temperature topped with a drizzle of melted dark chocolate.

*1 additional t cinnamon [for a total of 2 1/2 t] and 1/2 teaspoon Mexican chile powder, ancho chile powder or cayenne pepper.[I use a bit less cinnamon.]

** If not using a spring-form pan, remove as follows: "Run a knife around the edges of the torte, place a serving dish on top of the pan, and invert the cake pan.  Tap the bottom of the pan a few times to release the torte, lift the pan and peel off the parchment paper." page 341

*** Romero uses semisweet. Her recipe calls for adding melted chocolate after all other ingredients have been mixed and gives  instructions for melting chocolate as follows:  "the easiest and fastest way is to pour the chips into a glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute to melt some of the chips. Move the half-melted chips around with a rubber spatula, then return to the microwave for 40 seconds and stir again until all of the chips are melted; if necessary microwave for another 20 to 30 seconds until all of the chips are soft and easy to stir." page 340 (I check more frequently to be sure chocolate does not burn.)

**** Page 340.

***** May 2017:  When I first started making this torte, I always used the Mori Nu silken tofu.  Then I was no longer able to find the Mori Nu in the Whole Foods refrigerated section (with other tofu). I recently discovered that Mori Nu tofu, which is packaged in anaseptic package which does not require refrigeration, is now stocked in the baking section.  Meanwhile,  I  made this several times using Nasoya tofu which comes in a 16 oz, instead of Mori Nu's 12 oz. container.  After dealing a few times with 4 ounces of left over tofu, I revised the recipe to use the full 16 ounces:

7/8 c almonds or hazelnuts
7/8 c bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
16 oz.Nasoya silken tofu
1 c sugar
2 T + 2 t cornstarch
1 1/3 t pure vanilla extract
2/3 t almond extract
2 2/3 t ground cinnamon
2/3 t  chipolte chili powder

Cook for 50 minutes and then test center with a toothpick.  Return to oven if necessary until toothpick comes out clean.

Reviewed 10/1/2017

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