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Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust

Makes 1 23-cm torte; serves 8–14 

For the crust:
¾ cup (100 g) hazelnuts
¼ cup (60 mL) coconut oil
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1 ½ cups  (50 g) buckwheat flakes or almond meal, rolled oats, gluten-free if  necessary

For the filling:
1 ½ cups (200 g)cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
¾  cup (175 mL) pure maple syrup
½  cup (125 mL) coconut oil
1/3 cup (30 g) cocoa powder (you can use raw cacao powder)
1/3 cup (75 mL) 85% dark chocolate, chopped and melted
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract  (I used seeds of ½ vanilla bean)
½ tsp. fine-grain sea salt
½ tsp. espresso powder (optional)
shaved dark chocolate, for garnish (optional)
coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

To Make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Lightly grease a 23 cm pie dish with coconut oil.
In a food processor (or OmniBlend with 2L jar), blend ½ cup of the rolled oats/buckwheat flakes/almond meal on high until you have a rough flour, place in a small bowl and set aside. Without cleaning the machine, process the hazelnuts into a fine crumb. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and oat/buckwheat/almond flour and process again until the dough comes together. 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.

To Make the Filling: 

Drain and rinse the cashews. In a high-speed blender, (anything less and your filling will not be as smooth) combine the soaked cashews, maple syrup, 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 tart 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 tart 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 Simple Cashew Cream (recipe below), if desired, or with yoghurt but it’s fantastic all on its own, too. Wrap leftover slices individually in foil and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for 1 to 1½ weeks.

Tip: Not in the mood to make a crust? Turn this dessert into freezer fudge by preparing only the chocolate filling. Pour the filling into a 20-cm square pan lined with plastic wrap; top with ½ cup (65 g) toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, and freeze until solid (about 2 hours). Slice into squares and enjoy straight from the freezer.

Simple Cashew Cream

½ cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
4 Tbsp. water
a couple pinches sea salt
Method
Soak cashews. Drain and rinse.
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Salt and/or sweeten to taste. Store in the fridge.

(recipe and image shared from mynewroots.org)