I was always under the impression that tortes contain egg, but having done some reading up recently it would appear that about half the recipes online consist of only chocolate and whipped cream. A few years ago even this would have been pretty impossible to veganise, however now it's really quite easy. Having read 10-15 recipes I concocted a vegan version, which I'm now blogging for your reading pleasure.
A fair few recipes use a crushed amaretti biscuit base. As vegan friendly amaretti biscuits aren't available (that I know of) I made a standard biscuit base, adding 1 tsp almond essence. For me this was too much - next time I'd use 1/2tsp. My partner however thinks it was just right.
The top is just white chocolate and whipping cream, in a ratio that allows it to set up when chilled to the point where it can be cut into slices. As the white chocolate drops I'm using are ultra sweet already the torte is a bit sweeter than I'd like. Hence making a relatively tart raspberry coulis to serve it with.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out aesthetically and honestly it tastes pretty good. I think it could use some refinement however - find a way to make it less sweet and take out some of the almond flavour (either less essence or using ground almonds instead).
- 250g Digestive Biscuits
- 50g Margarine (melted)
- 1 tsp Almond Essense
- 300ml Soya Whipping Cream
- 200g White Chocolate Buttons
- 150g Raspberries
- 50g Icing Sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Melt the margarine and whisk in the almond essence. Pour over the biscuits and combine until fully coated.
Place the biscuits into an oiled loose bottom 8 inch tin, then press down with the back of a spoon. When compacted as much as you can use your fist to really press it down, ensuring an even thickness across the surface. As a tip - if it doesn't hurt your knuckles you're not pressing hard enough! Getting it nicely compacted now will ensure it won't fall apart when you come to serve.
When complete place the tin in the fridge to set up the base while you make the topping.
Start by melting the chocolate in a bain marie. Yes, I know I've said previously that bain maries are for whimps, but they really are quite useful for white chocolate, which is far more prone to burning than dark. You need a pyrex bowl that will fit over a pan of boiling water, such that the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Take care as steam escapes from around the edge of the bowl and stir the chocolate as it melts. You really don't need much water in the pan - the last thing you want is it bubbling over the edge and into the chocolate (which will ruin it).
Once the chocolate has melted allow it to cool. Meanwhile whip a 300ml carton of soya whipping cream (I used Granovita, which we acquired a year's supply of recently when it was on offer in Sainsburys, at 32p a pack). It doesn't really increase in volume that much, but after a couple of minutes with an electric whisk the texture will change and it become more light. When the chocolate has sufficiently cooled; fold it into the cream. If the cream is too cold or chocolate too warm then you won't achieve the smooth consistency you're aiming for.
When combined place the topping over the base and smooth out. Chill in the fridge, preferably overnight so that it completely firms up. If you skip this step you won't be able to cut it and it'll be a big mess.
As and when it's had time to chill you'll need to remove the torte from the tin. The easiest way to do this is to use a blow torch (over your oven top, ensuring there is no oil/fat which could ignite), as this causes the metal to expand and torte against it to melt slightly. You'll get a much cleaner result using this method than by sticking a knife down the side.
If using a loose bottomed tin (rather than a springform tin); place the bottom over an upturned mug and slide the sides down. Use a palette knife to remove the torte from the tin's base and transfer to the plate from which you'll serve. Place the torte back in the fridge whilst you make your coulis.
Coulis is very simple to make - just blend raspberries with icing sugar and lemon juice. If using frozen raspberries allow them to thaw first.
Once blended force the mixture through a sieve with the back of a spoon, to remove the seeds. Using a sieve larger than the one in the photograph below makes the process a lot easier! (I conceded in the end and washed up the big one).
Slice the torte up and drizzle over the coulis in a more artistic fashion that I was able to achieve, then serve.