Vegan and GF – a Delightful, Rich Chocolate Torte
Hazelnuts, oats and coconut oil form the basis for this vegan and GF crust. The filling is packed with flavor and texture from soaked cashews, agave, cocoa powder and chocolate. Lush and rich and completely vegan and GF, this Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust is from Angela Liddon and her book, The Oh She Glows Cookbook. Make sure to take a look at her vegan version of Yolos!
Reprinted by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2014 The Oh She Glows Cookbookby Angela Liddon.
This is a crowd-pleasing chocolate dessert that will win over any chocolate fan. Reminiscent of Nutella, the popular chocolate hazelnut spread, my toasted hazelnut crust is the perfect nutty complement to the rich and creamy chocolate filling. No one will believe this torte is dairy-free and many will go back for seconds despite their best intentions. If you want a show stopping dessert that will wow a crowd, this is your recipe. Be sure to soak the cashews overnight, or for at least 3 to 4 hours, so they’re ready when you need them.
PREP TIME: 30 to 35 minutes FREEZE TIME: 4 to 6 hours minimum, but preferably overnight
- ¾ cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ½ cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups cashews, soaked
- ⅔ cup agave nectar, or ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- Shaved chocolate (optional)
- Coconut flakes (optional)
- Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish with coconut oil.
- In a food processor, process the hazelnuts into a fine crumb with the texture of sand. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar, salt, espresso powder (if using), and oat flour and process again until the dough comes together. Finally, add the rolled oats and pulse until the oats are chopped, but still have some texture to them. The dough should stick together slightly when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, try adding a bit more maple syrup or processing a bit longer.
- With your fingers, crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the dish, moving outward and upward along the side of the pie dish. The harder you press the crumbs into the dish, the better the crust will hold together. Poke a few fork holes into the bottom to let steam escape.
- Bake the crust, uncovered, for 10 to 13 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Make the filling: Drain and rinse the cashews. In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked cashews, maple syrup (or agave), oil, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, vanilla, salt, and espresso powder (if using) and blend on high until the filling is completely smooth. It can take a few minutes of blending to get it smooth, depending on your blender. If the blender needs more liquid to get it going, add a tablespoon (15 mL) of almond milk (or a bit more) to help it along.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust, smoothing out the top evenly. Garnish with shaved chocolate and/or coconut flakes, if desired.
- Place the pie dish on an even surface in the freezer, uncovered. Freeze for a couple of hours, and then cover the dish with foil and freeze overnight, or for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours, until the pie sets.
- Remove the pie from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes before slicing. This pie is meant to be served frozen. Serve with homemade Whipped Coconut Cream and finely chopped hazelnuts, if desired, but it’s fantastic all on its own, too. Wrap leftover slices individually in foil and store them in an airtight con¬tainer in the freezer for 1 to 1 ½ weeks.