Monday, July 7, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Orange Torte #HolidayFoodParty

I am totally on a chocolate-orange kick these days! I think it's because during the (sometimes) intense heat of the summer, a pure chocolate dessert can be too rich on the palate, but by adding a pop of citrus everything turns out light and completely approachable. Favourites like those "Terry's Chocolate" Brownies are perfectly at home with a scoop of sorbet, and even this dense, almond laced, ganached chocolate torte is at home during a summer garden dinner thanks to a bright orange note.

Like traditional tortes (i.e. Sacher), this cake is dense and packed with nuts... but unlike most recipes you see, those nuts aren't held together by eggs, and the ganache isn't made of heavy cream. Nope, this cake is completely vegan, with balsamic vinegar and fruity extra virgin olive oil accenting the orange flavour and just the barest tinge of cocoa in the batter. The true chocolate star is the ganache glaze, using decadent bittersweet chocolate, orange juice and a teeny dab of oil to form a rich, thick crown on top. With such star players in this recipe (which I totally adapted from the book Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan), I didn't want to do the standard multilayered look either, so this single-layer recipe is a lot less finicky to deal with than a delicate stacked one.

I always think of French gourmet cuisine when it comes to nut-based cakes like this one, and definitely when it comes to pairing fruit and chocolate. Our #HolidayFoodParty theme this time around is Bastille Day, which falls on the 14th of July this year, and by the looks of things we have tout le parti planned! Check out all the treats below and be sure to stop by and say bonjour!

  1. Apple Tarte Tatin from Hungry Couple
  2. Chaussons aux Pêches from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  3. Dark Chocolate Lavender Sables from gotta get baked
  4. Chocolate Cherry Brioche from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
  5. Gougères (Herbed Cheese Puffs) from Crumb
  6. Mendiant from Cravings of a Lunatic
  7. Lemon Raspberry Madeleines from Kelly Bakes
  8. Chocolate Orange Torte from What Smells So Good?
  9. Cherry Clafoutis from Pineapple and Coconut
  10. Meyer Lemon Fingerling Potato Salad from Magnolia Days

Vegan Chocolate - Orange Torte

Vegan Chocolate Orange Torte
Serves 14
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup oat flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup ground almonds
1 cup orange juice concentrate
⅓ cup flavourful extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges, preferably organic
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
2 tbsp ground almonds

Glaze / Topping:
Zest of 1 orange
¼ cup orange juice concentrate
3 ½ oz stevia sweetened bittersweet chocolate
2 tsp mild olive oil (or almond oil)
1 packet vanilla flavoured stevia
pinch sea salt
2 tbsp flaked almonds
  1. Preheat to 350°F and line a 9” springform pan with parchment.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder and ground almonds
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, oil, zest, vinegar, vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Pour into the dry mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Rotate the pan to level the batter and tap it lightly on the counter. Bake for 43 to 45 minutes.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack.
  8. Sprinkle cake with 1 tbsp ground almonds and cool completely.
  9. When cool, sprinkle serving plate with remaining almonds and invert cake onto it. Set aside while preparing glaze.
Glaze / Topping:
  1. Combine orange zest, orange juice concentrate and chocolate in a small saucepan and melt gently over low heat.
  2. Stir in oil, flavoured stevia and salt.
  3. Pour into a bowl and let sit 15-20 minutes to thicken before use.
  4. Pour glaze over the cake and sprinkle generously with flaked almonds

Adapted from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy Free Desserts by Fran Costigan © 2013, Running Press.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 224.9
Total Fat: 11.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.5 mg
Total Carbs: 32.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.6 g
Protein: 2.5 g