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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Raw Chocolate Chilli Torte

So just in case you were all thinking I exist on a purely smoothie-fied diet, I'm about to prove you wrong. In fact, I exist on a diet of smoothies and cake!

If only.

I'm definitely of the belief that we should be allowed to indulge once in a while; whilst I'm a sucker for big, fresh salads and superfood-packed smoothies, I go weak at the knees at the very scent of hot chips, and I have extremely fond feelings for those cupcakes which have a favourable icing to cake ratio (50:50 is preferred). However, I'm also very aware that these 'foods' do nothing favourable for me, they are bereft of the nutrients I need and I *will* feel like crap after eating them, both physically and mentally. These are 'sometimes' foods, they are very occasional treats eaten and enjoyed in moderation.

Raw treats, on the other hand, give me a bit more room to indulge. Whilst I'd hesitate to label all raw vegan treats as healthy (I'm sure most of us have experienced more than one raw cashew cheesecake binge resulting in much moaning and clutching of tummies), they're certainly a step up from the usual processed, preservative/chemical laden crap out there. I absolutely condone a couple of squares (squares, not blocks!) of raw chocolate most days or a slice of raw cake once or twice a week as a way of treating ourselves and indulging any rampant sweet tooths.

Packed with organic wholefoods such as nuts, cacao, coconut butter and dates, I made this chocolate chilli torte for a friend's Mexi-themed dinner last night. One generous, fudgy slice was more than enough to sate everyone's dessert stomach (you know, the one next to the savoury stomach? And yes, I do have a science degree).

As with most raw treats, and the soaking and refrigeration that goes with their preparation, you'll need to get this started approximately 36 hours before you'll need it. Very little work is required of you except for some blending and licking of spatulas, so dont let the extensive prep time scare you off!

Chocolate Chilli Torte



Ingredients:

Base:

1 cup almond meal
5 soaked dates (overnight, soaked with the cashews is fine)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
3 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt

Filling:

2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (at least 8 hours) and rinsed.
2 very generous tbsp almond butter (or any other nut butter you have on hand - hazelnut would be lovely!)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
5 soaked dates
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup coconut water (from a young coconut)
The flesh of one young coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1tsp cayenne pepper (taste as you go)

How you go about it:

Base:

In a food processor or high powered blender (hello, Thermomix!) blend everything until sticky and crumbly, with no big chunks or lumps. Press the contents into a 9 inch spring-form pan evenly and put aside until you are ready to fill it.

Filling:

Once more, blend everything until smooth and creamy - this took approximately two minutes in my Thermomix. You may have to scrape down the sides now and then, but perservere until you get that wonderful, silky texture.

Place the filling into the pan and distribute evenly over the crust.

Place in the freezer for approximately 6-8 hours (or longer) and remove about 1-2 hours before serving. Decorate as you like - some coconut shavings, hazelnuts, strawberries or whatnot would look adorable!

Take somewhere public and wow everybody. Everybody.



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