Sunday, 17 February 2013

Hazelnut Torte.


I was literally day dreaming about a hazelnut torte after recently discovering a cook book I bought in Italy a couple of years ago. To be specific, I was day dreaming about having a three-course, all raw, Italian inspired menu for my upcoming 18th birthday. In my reverie, the menu looked like this:

Antipasto: Bruschetta with herbed cheese and marinated tomatoes
Secondo: Macadamia cheese beet ravioli with arugla, pear and honeyed walnut salad
Dolce: Hazelnut torte (!) with vanilla gelato

Now, do I have your mouth watering yet? If someone actually prepared this for me on my birthday, I will forever be your bestest friend. 
Anyway, back to the main topic... The hazelnut torte. If I could use only one word to describe this torte, that word would be indulgent. Rich, ooey gooey hazelnut base, drizzled with cacao icing, and topped with crushed hazelnuts... 


As you can see, I used cacao tablets instead of raw cacao powder. These tablets are actually known as tableya, and if I am not mistaken are made of crushed cacao beans which I hand ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle. According to my mum the torte itself was a bit too rich for her, and suggested less cacao... Psssh. Who even says that?

 

That said, I do like my chocolate desserts to be quite rich and thus more satisfying. Seriously, the cut out bit right there is all you'll need to satisfy your sweet tooth... On second thought, add in some raw vanilla ice cream too for extra deliciousness.



Oh! On a whim I used some blackstrap molasses instead of using 100% dates as a sweetener, which actually added a nice deep earthy undertone that I can't quite describe. Doesn't help, I know, but at least hopefully you're intrigued enough to try this recipe out. Do remember though that blackstrap molasses aren't strictly raw, since it is a by-product of cane sugar production. It is very nutritious though, considering that only one tablespoon provides 13-18% of our daily magnesium, iron, copper, and calcium needs. On to the recipe...




Hazelnut Chocolate Torte

Torte:

1C hazelnuts, soaked for two hours and drained
1C almond meal
7 fresh Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
3T blackstrap molasses
1/3C cacao powder
Pinch of allspice

Icing:

2T cacao powder
2T honey
2T melted coconut oil
Water, if needed

To make the torte, place the hazelnuts into the food processor and grind to the consistency of a meal. Be careful not to overprocess. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until the mixture is sticky. Mould into a circular shape, or use baking pans to do so. 


For the icing, whisk everything in a bowl, and adjust until the desired consistency is achieved. Now taste it, and try not to eat all of it. Drizzle on the torte. Garnish with ground hazelnuts.


I would recommend chilling it in the fridge for at least an hour before serving, but this isn't necessary. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, extra chocolate icing, and more crushed hazelnuts. Yummmy. 


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