Our friends at Cloudwater Brewing Co. asked us to create a recipe to pair with their Step Up Classic Stout. It's dry and easy drinking with notes of Chocolate and Coffee. Well now, this makes us think of one thing and one thing only - a rich dark chocolate dessert, so we asked Chef Stan to show us the way!
Dark chocolate pairs with a classic stout just as well if not better than it does with red wine. We can’t think of any better way to unwind! This stout is perfect to pair with a dessert, as it isn’t overly sweet.
This recipe makes approx 14-16 slices. It sounds like a lot, but its rather rich (and has a fair amount of, well - sugar). It keeps really well in the fridge and won’t spoil before you finish eating it.
9inch (22cm) sprung cake tin, greaseproof paper, food processor or high power blender, stick blender (not essential), large measuring jug, large mixing bowl, saucepan
Preparation time: 30min (then additional time to set, ideally at least 3 hours at room temperature)
For the Torte
- 740g dairy free dark chocolate - we like Divine Dark Chocolate
- 2 x 250ml Soya cream cartons (equivalent to single cream)
- 35g icing sugar
- 60ml - 80ml of vanilla rum or other spiced rum of your choice (we love Kraken!) - adjust to taste depending on how pronounced you want the rum flavour
- Sunflower or vegetable oil for the cake tin
For the biscuit base
- 250g of plant based crumbly biscuits of your choice (we recommend Doves Farm organic digestive biscuits)
- 85g non dairy spread (preferably unsalted) such as Suma’s sunflower spread
For the caramelised almond chunks
- 30g caster sugar
- 50g Infinity Organic Flaked Almonds
- 1tsp of good quality salt (Pink Himalayan or Maldon Sea salt if available)
- Preheat your oven to approx 170c for a fan assisted oven or gas mark 5 for a standard oven.
- In a food processor, crush the biscuits with the dairy free spread. You might need to pulse little and often as the spread and bits of biscuits tend to clump up. Use a plastic spatula to go around the food processor bowl a couple of times then pulse again. The mixture has to all come together and look fairly crumbly. Don’t overdo it as it will start getting mushy.
- Remove the cake tin base and use it to draw a circle on a sheet of greaseproof paper then cut the circle out. Insert the base back into the tin with the raised edge of the base facing down (this will allow you to remove the torte out of the base and onto a plate much easier). Secure the tin using its clamp. Place the round cutout of greaseproof paper on the bottom of the cake tin.
- Empty the crumbled biscuits out of the food processor into the cake tin. With the back of a spoon, press down on the biscuit mixture to evenly spread it across the tin until it looks nice and smooth.
- Bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until the edges of the biscuit base start turning darker. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Measure out the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Half fill a saucepan with water, boil and turn down to simmer. Place the chocolate bowl over the steaming pan until melted.
- You should have enough time at this stage to prepare the caramelised almond topping. Start by preparing a large plate or a tray with a clean sheet of greaseproof paper.
- Heat the almonds, caster sugar almonds and salt in a large, dry, non-stick pan over low heat and stir very frequently with a dry clean wooden spoon. Don’t leave this pan as once the sugar has melted it will burn very quickly. You should start seeing the sugar melting and coating the almonds after a few minutes. Remove the pan off the heat when you see the almonds and sugar just starting to turn brown (and you can’t see the individual sugar crystals any longer) and empty it all onto the covered plate you prepared earlier. Leave to cool down.
- Now, the rum comes into play! Prepare an emulsion of soya cream, icing sugar and rum. Simply place all the ingredients in a tall mixing jug and mix well with a stick blender until the icing sugar has dissolved and all the ingredients have combined. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can use a smoothie maker or whisk.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and dry off the bottom of the bowl. Combine your soya cream & rum emulsion with the chocolate. Pour a little of the emulsion into the chocolate and fold in with a spatula, then repeat. The difference in temperatures will make the chocolate change texture and might make the emulsion split a little. Don’t worry, just keep folding steadily with a spatula, scraping around the bowl from time to time making sure all of the ingredients get combined. Keep going until you have poured all of the soya emulsion into the chocolate. Eventually, you should end up with a mixture that is lighter in colour and thinner in consistency than the initial melted chocolate was.
- Grease the sides of your cake tin, then pour your chocolate mixture onto the biscuit base and swirl the tin around to make sure the top of the torte is flat and even.
- Once the caramelised almonds are cool enough to touch, use something heavy to smash them into chunks roughly 1cm wide. If the almonds have totally solidified by now, you may need to place them in a large metal bowl and break them up with a rolling pin. Once done, sprinkle the top of the torte with the caramelised salted nuts and leave it to set for as long as you can in room temperature before placing in the fridge. For best results, leave in the fridge overnight before attempting to open the tin.
- When done, unclamp the tin and move the torte onto a large plate or a tray. Pour yourself a glass of ‘Step Up’ stout and enjoy with a slice of your Torte!
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- Tags: Dairy Free Recipe, On The Eighth Day Kitchen, Vegan, Vegan Chocolate Torte, Vegan Dessert Recipe, veganuary