RECIPE. Jul 23, 2011

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Surprise

Last weekend, while it rained and rained on our broken souls, the cooperative at my garden shook some musical instruments in a desperate last attempt to call the sun out to play. As the week drug on, it seemed as though all our efforts had been lost and our last bit of hope was flittering away like Glenda the Good Witch in Wizard of Oz. I’m sure most of us wouldn’t have been upset if a house had even fallen on us. It’s been a fall like summer and while I love the fall, I’m not ready to bundle up with my mug of hot cocoa. I am, however, grateful that we are not in the middle of an intense heat wave. The temp spikes above 80 degrees and my little guy starts to melt. Then yesterday, I woke up and the sun was coming through the windows and the birds were chirping and I almost chirped back.

I had been wearing flip flops and shorts in protest for the last week, refusing to let the weather dictate my need to bare skin. Yesterday, I wore those items without getting drenched, slipping on the sidewalk or walking home with goosebumps. Yesterday our summer began. Finally.

Last Sunday, however, while it was still a raining mess, we had planned to have several people over to watch fireworks that are put on during a local event in our town. I was so excited I found a new recipe at the blog I stalk, bought all the ingredients and made it ahead of time, imagining everyone biting in and commenting on how incredible it tasted. Unfortunately, we were rained out. Determined not to be put out by a rain out I brought my goods to a mom’s group I attend on Monday mornings and got a proper ego boosting. Then I gave them the news, the big surprise I had wanted to drop at our fireworks shindig. It had a secret ingredient. Avocado.

It is also vegan and gluten free. Most were shocked but didn’t shy from having another bite or three. Even my little sister, who detests avocado’s polished off the remainder of the torte. I enjoyed it but felt it was missing some pizzaz. I would add some cayenne, pumpkin pie spice or even orange peel next time to give it a kick.

It is also very important to carefully pick your avocado. Make it not to soft but not to hard. Too soft and it will taste of avocado. Too hard and it won’t be smooth enough in texture. Honestly, my favorite part was the crust. I could have eaten it all by itself. The recipe calls for a food processor but I was able to easily use my blender.

Oil a 7-10 inch springform pan and line it with a circle of parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until crumbly. Be careful not to over process them as you still want them a bit chunky. Now add in the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse until just mixed. Scoop mixture onto prepared pan and press down firmly and evenly with slightly wet fingers or a spatula. Pop into freezer to set while making the mousse.

Place all mousse ingredients (except chocolate chips) into food processor. Process until smooth. In a small bowl, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave and scoop melted chocolate into food processor mixture. Process until smooth. Remove crust from freezer and scoop this mousse on top of crust. Smooth out as much as possible and then place in the freezer for 2 hours to firm.

Once firm, remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for about 5-10 minutes before serving chilled. Place leftover torte in the freezer wrapped and placed in a seal container. Note that this torte should be served chilled as it gets soft at room temperature.

Unfortunately I did not remember to snap a shot of this torte once it was sliced. Guess you will just have to make it to find out. I did, however, manage to snap a shot of my son as I was trying to put the torte together. He looks just a tad upset that he doesn’t get any and I don’t blame him.