May 19, 2014

Paleo Chocolate Torte with Chocolate Ganache



Long meals are my love language.

Life is often shaped in such a way that we can’t sit down and take time to stop for every meal but I do  think that our need to eat is a gift to make us take time at regular points in our busy schedules.  Time to breathe, to rest and to enjoy time with people.  Food is only half what it’s meant to be if we eat it alone.

If you follow my instagram you’ll know that the last few weeks have been full.  I’ve been running on less sleep and regular trips to my favourite coffee shops have kept me smiling.  Well, we made it.  The school year is over and I’ve had a few glorious slow days.  Selah.

To celebrate the end of the year, our team and our other halves drove up to a cabin on a little mountain top and had a gorgeous evening together sunbathing, hot tubbing, enjoying a long dinner, and time around the fire pit.  With my love of long, shared meals and belief instilled from my childhood that every real meal ends in coffee and chocolate, I was not going to let it go easily when my boss suggested that dessert wasn’t needed.  I politely told him I would bring the dessert and I commandeered a few of our guys to do coffee.  A sweet couple catered an exquisite dinner for us and we ate overlooking the lake, it was perfect.  They made an incredible spinach and walnut salad with a sweet maple syrup dressing that was to die for, a grain free white sauce (for pasta but I left the pasta) thickened with egg yolks from their own hens… oh my goodness… delicious.

And to finish?  Chocolate, of course.  And coffee. Our guys made coffee to perfection.  17g of hand ground freshly roasted coffee in an aeropress, the right amount of water, heat, time… they make it a science.  And I made this dark chocolate torte.  It was the perfect combination.  Just add in the perfect summer evening weather, the pink setting sun, views of the lake from a mountain top, my husband, and the best colleagues in the world.  My heart was happy.

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For the Torte

1 bar 100% dark chocolate (4oz)

1 cup freshly ground (or gently melted) coconut butter

1/3 cup good cocoa

3 eggs

pinch salt

3/4 cup honey

For the ganache

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup good cocoa

3 tbsp maple syrup

a good pinch of coarse sea salt for the top

Cocoa to dust

Bake 25 mins at 375F

You’ll need one 8″ springform tin lined with parchment paper on the bottom.  If you don’t have a springform pan, line the sides too for easy removal.  You can alter the size of the tin, I’ve made it in bigger and small, you will just end up with a different thickness of cake and need to adjust the cooking time by a few minutes accordingly.

Place a heatproof glass bowl over a pan of simmering water.  You don’t want the bowl touching the water. (I recently cracked my one glass bowl so I put a small frying pan over another pan. Ghetto, but it worked).  Break up the chocolate and place it in the bowl with the coconut butter and stir until the chocolate is almost melted.  Now take the bowl off the heat and continue stirring until it’s completely melted. This starts to cool the mixture so it doesn’t cook the eggs.

In a separate bowl whisk together the cocoa, eggs, salt and honey until completely combined and then add the melted chocolate mixture in and stir well to combine.

Pour into the prepared tin bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 2o mins.  Then check and give it another 5 minutes if it needs.  You want the outside edge to be firm and springy and the center to be cooked but not baked to the springy-to-the-touch stage.  As it cools it will set up a bit more and the wonder of this torte is that it is dense and rich and not light and fluffy like a regular cake so you want to keep the center moist.

For the ganache: Melt the coconut oil and whisk in the cocoa and maple syrup.  You can use honey but personally I prefer to cut the honey taste for the ganache.  Let it cool until it thickens slightly, don’t put it in the fridge as it will go solid but at room temperature it will thicken a little.  Then pour it over the torte until it’s just running over the edges.  It’s a rich dessert, this quantity will easily feed 10-12.  We ate it alone with coffee but it would be great with berries, or whipped coconut cream.  Chocolate torte


Enjoying the view 🙂

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