Truly divine roasted hazelnut and cacao torte

Truly divine roasted hazelnut and cacao torte

I’m very conscious that recently I’ve been inadvertently taunting everyone by sharing enticing foodie photos and then never getting round to writing up and sharing the recipes. It’s not intentional – I just simply run out of time ALL the time! But this recipe? I just can’t do that to you. It’s too good not to share!

Ingredients for the base

  • 200g pitted dates
  • 150g roasted hazelnuts – I put them on a baking tray at 180°C until golden brown and then rub off the skins as best as I can
  • 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

Ingredients for the middle

  • Enough pitted dates to pack into a 500ml measuring jug – then fill with water and soak overnight
  • 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons of roughly ground roasted hazelnuts – optional but rather nice!

Ingredients for the ganache topping

  • 1 tin of coconut cream using the thick part only (keep the rest and add to a curry)
  • 100g cacao mass – this is 100% chocolate with no added sugar
  • Vanilla to taste
  • Whole roasted hazelnuts to decorate the torte

Step 1

Make the base by blitzing the 200g of dates, hazelnuts and cacao powder together in a powerful blender. You should end up with a slightly sticky, crumbly mixture that will pull together into a ball of dough that can then be shape. Generously grease with coconut oil a 20cm tart tin with a removeable base and then push the dough into the base and sides of the tin. You need to really push the dough in so that it takes the form of the tin.  Put it in the fridge to help it set and solidify.

Step 2

Drain the dates you have soaked and blitz them along with the cacao powder in a powerful blender or use a hand-held blender – I find the latter works best. You should end up with a smooth puree. Spoon this into the tin and spread over your raw base with a spatula. You can now sprinkle with a couple of spoonfuls of ground hazelnuts if using them.

Step 3

Put the thick part of the coconut cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once bubbling, remove from the heat, add the cacao mass and allow it to melt in the coconut cream. You will need to stir the mixture to get a perfectly smooth ganache but be careful: if you overdo it, the mixture will curdle*. Add the vanilla and mix it in.

Step 4

Spoon the ganache into the tart tin and tip the tin from side to side to create a smooth, glossy, even and chocolaty layer on the top. Stud this with whole roasted hazelnuts before popping it into the fridge to set.

This is so beautiful that it definitely would stand the dinner party test, yet it’s so easy to make that it can also be an every day dessert.

*If your ganache curdles don’t despair! Heat up 2-3 tablespoonfuls of the remaining coconut milk and once hot, whisk them into the curdled ganache and like magic, the mixture will become beautifully glossy and smooth. You can repeat this process again  if you have a second disaster!!