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Friday, March 29, 2013

No-Bake Double Chocolate Passover Torte (Vegan & Gluten-Free)


Happy Good Friday!  I have a delicious discovery to share with you today.

I wanted to make Angela's No-Bake Double Chocolate Torte for Passover last year but never got around to it.  After all, she claims, "I’m often asked what my favourite vegan dessert is, the dessert that is a dazzler, crowd pleaser, and would fool even the toughest vegan dessert skeptic." And skeptics there are in Adam's family, so I was eager to test it out at a seder.  It also contains avocados which everyone, except Adam's sister and I, claim to hate.  I suspected this would be one dish with the little green fruit that would win everyone over.

So I made it this year.  I made a few adjustments, but kept the recipe pretty similar overall.  I swapped out maple syrup for agave because I think it's a waste to use maple syrup when you are not showcasing the flavour and for this dessert, it's the chocolate you want shining through.  I also swapped the peanut butter for almond butter since peanuts are not permitted at Passover.

I did some research and apparently arrowroot starch is okay for Passover, but, hey, I'm no rabbi.

Oh, and how did it go over?  Let's just say it lives up to the hype.  Even my father-in-law, who is probably the most difficult to please, ate 4 pieces!!!  By the time I snapped a few pics, it was half gone.  I think I will be making this again.

No-Bake Double Chocolate Passover Torte (Find the original recipe here)

No Bake Chocolate Crust:
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Chocolate Avocado Mousse:
  • 2 cups avocado flesh (approx 3 small avocados), pitted and scooped out
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp smooth almond butter
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 250g bag dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted if clumpy
Directions:
1. Crust: Oil a 7-10 inch springform pan and line it with a circle of parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until crumbly. Be careful not to over process them as you still want them a bit chunky. Now add in the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse until just mixed. Scoop mixture onto prepared pan and press down firmly and evenly with slightly wet fingers or a spatula. Pop into freezer to set while making the mousse.

2. Chocolate mousse: Place all mousse ingredients (except chocolate chips) into food processor. Process until smooth. In a small bowl, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave and scoop melted chocolate into food processor mixture. Process until smooth.

3. Remove crust from freezer and scoop this mousse on top of crust. Smooth out as much as possible and then place in the freezer for 2 hours to firm.

4. Once firm, remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for about 5-10 minutes before serving chilled. Place leftover torte in the freezer wrapped and placed in a seal container.

Note that this torte should be served chilled as it gets soft at room temperature.

If you are celebrating Easter this weekend, have a wonderful holiday.  We have some lovely plans ourselves for this 4-day weekend (although I have to see clients today and tomorrow).  Today the indoor amusement park...unless the weather is too beautiful to be inside at all, Saturday errands, Sunday we are going to take the girls to a movie because it is supposed to rain, Monday morning playdate at my bro's house.  If the weather is nice I suspect the girls and my niece and nephew will play in the park across the street.  Then I'm hoping we can fit in a Costco trip in the afternoon. 

My random act of kindness this week is the following:  A woman Adam and I have known for years, who used to run the fitness program at the JCC, lost her husband on March 31st, 11 years ago.  This year is the first time since then that Easter has fallen on that date.  She mentioned to me when I saw her last week how hard the day will be for her.  So Adam and I are going to pick up some beautiful flowers and deliver them to her door with a card from us to let her know we're thinking of her. Since his passing, this amazing woman has raised a son by herself and built a successful first aid/cpr training business.  She's quite an inspiration.

We aspire to...act with the eyes and heart of compassion.  We know the happiness of others in our own happiness...We know that every word, every look, every action, and every smile can bring happiness to others.
- Thich Nhat Hanh