Just in time for Valentine's day, this is a lusciously rich chocolate torte requiring relatively few ingredients, no oven time and little clean-up. And, oh my, so delicious.
Funny story: So when I made this torte last week, I had to transport in my car to it's final destination. I wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed it on the bottom of the back seat, so that it wouldn't shift while I was driving. But of course, when I opened the car door with a seat full of food, the first thing the dog did was jump into the back and place two paws squarely in the center of the torte. At least there is documentation that it was at one point beautiful. And maybe it was even tastier when the flavors and textures burst so far beyond what the eye expected.
The crust is largely made from ground walnuts and pecans, making it rich and nutty and incredibly unrefined. You could take this a step farther by using pitted Medjool dates rather than maple syrup (maybe 5?). I think I'll try this next time I make it and report back.
Soaking the nuts neutralizes the phytic acid found in whole grains, legumes and nuts, which can inhibit the digestion of their precious vitamins and minerals. It is not a necessary step for the success of the torte, but if you can plan ahead a bit, set them to soak in water the night before. Not only will it increase the nutrition, it will also allow for a smoother filling. Just make sure to drain and rinse them well after soaking and before processing.
Another ingredient note: I replaced half of the cocoa powder in the crust with Dandy Blend, a healthy herbal coffee substitute (which is actually really delicious as a beverage as well, if you are trying to cut back on caffeine but miss your big mug of roasted beans in the morning). It offered a nice complexity to the nutty crust.
1 cup raw walnuts, soaked
1 cup raw pecans, soaked
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup good quality cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
12 ounces silken tofu (3/4 of a container)
2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup semisweet dark chocolate, chopped
Cocao nibs or shaved white chocolate, for decorating (optional)
Process crust ingredients in a large food processor until a ball begins to form. Place dough in a tart pan and with wet fingers, press to cover the bottom and sides in a thin but even layer.
In a double boiler, or small pot inside a large pot with water, melt chocolate over low heat. Transfer into food processor and add remaining filling ingredients. Blend until smooth and whipped.
Pour chocolate filling into prepared crust and spread to create a smooth-ish top. Garnish with cocao nibs, or white chocolate shavings and refrigerate or freeze until firm before slicing.
Relax. Eat Well.