Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Eat Your Torte Out....

I have been very busy lately. Not with school, or with work, or with projects. Nope... I have been a blog slacker simply because I have been busy taking my own advice (remember my last post?) and doing the very important things in life with my free time. Cooking (some failures, some successes - thank goodness my family eats them both), snuggling on the sofa with Mr. 31, visiting family and catching up on my reading are just of a few of those things. (Pleasure reading for a change, not nursing textbooks!) Oh and did I mention cooking? I guess it could just be that time of year when I crave being in the kitchen, with a candle lit on the windowsill and my food splattered cookbooks piled around while the cold wind blows outside, or it could be be that I am getting more adventurous with my gluten-free, dairy-free restrictions and finding it easier to substitute healthier options, but whatever the reason my kitchen is happily getting lots of use these days. This recipe, which I made for my mom's birthday celebration is the outcome of one of those sessions.
I got the recipe from a friend - it is decadent, rich, thick treat and definitely not for the faint-of-chocolate-heart! Last minute I decided to add the sauce and whipped cream to bring an extra element of sweetness to the bittersweet chocolate - excellent decision! I even may have to confess to wiping the raspberry sauce bowl clean with my finger when it was all gone, just to capture that last drop of fruity tartness....    

Note: I generally try to stay away from refined sugars when baking and cooking, but in certain 'special occasion' recipes I have learned there really is no substitute for them. I would recommend using raw sugar when you can. The sugars can be skipped in the sauce and whipped cream recipes below, or adjusted to taste. Both recipes are very forgiving. 

Bittersweet Chocolate Torte

1 lb. unsweetened chocolate
1 c. coconut oil
Melt together in double boiler until smooth and mixed.

8 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. honey (plus or more to achieve desired sweetness. i used exact measurement and it produces a rich, bittersweet torte)
Beat until fluffy. Slowly add in chocolate mixture while beating until well blended. Bake in 325 degree oven in springform pan or 9-inch cake pan with a water bath for 35-45 mins.

Raspberry Sauce 

Raspberries (i used a package of frozen ones b/c i couldnt find nice fresh ones this time of year)
2 tsp raw sugar
Blend together in food processor until smooth - if sugar does not dissolve nicely for you, heat over low flam while stirring until well mixed. I added a splash of sweet moscato wine to my recipe but it isn't needed if you use sugar. Pour through  mesh strainer or sieve, pushing liquid through as needed to remove seeds.

Coconut Whip Cream 

1 can coconut milk

Put coconut milk in freezer for short while to make cold - I think I had it in for an hour. Do not mix or shake can - open and discard watery, thin layer of liquid- you will just be using the 'meat' of the coconut. (use the water in your smoothies!) Using hand blender beat until fluffy, adding vanilla and sugar to taste. I found powdered sugar works best but regular sugar does the job, too. I use about 5 tablespoons to create a sweet cream - less if the dessert itself if already highly sweet. Store in fridge. This is also super yummy in coffee as a dairy substitute!