Mexican Chocolate Flourless Torte
Makes one 8 inch torte
Dark and stealthy, this slim chocolate cake without a drop of flour (making it naturally gluten free), packs a punch of velvety chocolate and a hint of spice; it’s an easy and elegant dessert, simple enough to bake while dinner is cooling and serve warm with just a dusting of cocoa powder. Don’t let it’s slight profile (about an inch high) fool you: one slender slice of this lush cake can take on a few brownies any day…so of course serve this with a scoop of high quality vegan vanilla or coconut ice cream.
For a daringly different variation, substitute Ethiopian berbere spice blend for the Mexican chiles and cinnamon; the berbere adds only a hint of heat and a mysterious smoky aftertaste.
Tip: For best presentation, plate the torte on a serving dish that’s perfectly flat. Any depressions on the cake will be repeated on the top of this slender cake.
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
12 ounces extra firm silken tofu (Mori Nu boxed tofu recommended)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mexican chile powder or ground cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray the insides of an 8-inch round baking pan with cooking oil spray. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan.
2. Melt the chocolate chips; the easiest and fastest way is to pour the chips into a glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute to melt some of the chips. Move the half melted chips around with a rubber spatula, then return to the microwave for 40 seconds and stir again until all of the chips are melted; if necessary microwave for another 20 to 30 seconds until all of the chips are soft and easy to stir. Set the melted chocolate aside.
3. Set aside the 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder for decorating the torte, then in a blender combine the remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth, scrapping the sides of the blender frequently. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until smooth and completely blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to get every last drop of the batter into the pan. Smooth the top of the torte and bake for 42 to 45 minutes, or until the top of the cake feels firm.
4. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the torte, place a serving dish on top of the pan and invert the cake pan. Tap the bottom of the pan a few times to release the torte, lift the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder (it’s easest to sift the powder through wire mesh sieve and gently tap it over the top of the cake for a pretty, even coating of powder).
5. Serve the torte warm. Loosely covered and chilled the torte tastes best if eaten within 2 days. To reheat, microwave for 20 to 25 seconds or until slightly warm in the center of the torte.
Ethiopian Chocolate Torte:
Omit cinnamon and chile powder, use instead 1 1/2 teaspoons berber spice blend.