White Chocolate Torte

You'll have to excuse me whilst I make all the white chocolate based things I've been lusting over during the past decade.

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).

Ingredients
  • 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
Start by making the biscuit base. Place the biscuits into freezer bags and smash with the end of a rolling pin. If you use a food processor ensure you don't make the crumbs too fine. You're aiming for a uniform crumb - not too big, not too small.

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.

21 comments:

  1. Mandee said...:

    What a gorgeous dessert, it looks so impressive! And you can make vegan amaretti biscuits, they turn out really well.

  1. I'm Philippa O said...:

    this is so beautiful and surprisingly straightforward too!

  1. This is literally brilliant. You are a genius!
    Oh I think that I've seen vegan amaretti biscuits... maybe in Fresh & Wild?

  1. This looks so good! Lucky I have a free Sunday to bake :)

  1. Dukka girl said...:

    What a great dessert, what white chocolate buttons did you use? I love the spoons, it's like you're having Valentine's week rather than day:)

  1. Rachwins said...:

    Oh oh oh! This is amazing! I've always wondered about cooking with white chocolate. I'll be making this next weekend as a welcome home surprise. Where are the vegan white chocolate buttons from? Are they the humdinger brand?

  1. Steven said...:

    Thank you all - will look out for amaretti biscuits (has been years since I've been to F&W and really need to go for some of their cheap truffles). Do you have a recipe Mandee?

    The buttons are Humdinger "Dairy Free" ones, sold in larger Tescos for 38p a pack and online at Goodness Direct for 58p a pack. You need quite a few packs, but they work out gram for gram cheaper than organica, which other than its organic status is inferior in every way.

  1. Steven said...:

    I discovered on Sunday that this works best served with single soya cream, as it helps take out some of the sweetness.

  1. Debbie said...:

    That looks seriously good! Amazing photo too :) I recently just bought out my local tesco of their white chocolate buttons - might just have to have a go at this!

  1. Steven said...:

    Thanks - I work long hours so only get to photograph with natural daylight at weekends during the winter.

    It's the first thing I've made for a while that has cut so nicely - normally you have to either smooth/rebuild the sides with your fingers or get creative with airburshing.

    Am going to experiment with different flavours but the same consistency. I really want a lemon tart.

  1. Linds said...:

    That looks amazing and beautiful! Very interesting idea and it answers some of the random vegan ingredient questions that have been buzzing around my head recently!

  1. Lucy said...:

    this looks so lush! adding you to my blogroll :)

  1. Maija Haavisto said...:

    I love the picture! I just wonder if those soya whipping creams you use really taste decent. Those I've tasted haven't been very good. Luckily we have a whippable oat cream in Finland that's indistinguishable from dairy cream. But if we didn't, I'd probably use cashew and coconut creams.

    I've tried to make seedless raspberry coulis before with the sieve method (using a large sieve), but I just couldn't get it to work, so I gave up. :-P

  1. Steven said...:

    Thanks!

    The whippable soya cream here is pretty good. I don't think it's an exact replica (and it's been a while since I had dairy stuff to compare), but it gives similar effect and it's taste is not unpleasant.

  1. mangocheeks said...:

    Goodness Gracious Steven, this looks really scrumptuous!

  1. Rachwins said...:

    Which soya cream did you use? I'm giving this a go later today. Excited! x

  1. Steven said...:

    The cream in the torte is Granovita, thou Soya-too would work just as well. The cream it was served with is alpro fresh single cream

  1. B.A.D. said...:

    wow! Where did you find vegan white chocolate?

  1. Steven said...:

    It was recently released in uk supermarkets, in small bags of buttons. Not sure about us availability I'm afraid :(

  1. Rainbow said...:

    Oooooooooooooooooooh boy......

  1. Rainbow said...:

    Well, it took me [counts] five months to get a chance to make this, but 'tis done! It was really delicious and much admired by the enthusiastic crowd who devoured it. Thank you. You can see the results on my Flickr page. The base was a bit crumbly, partly because I was using wholemeal digestives (the only vegan ones I could find), and partly because my cake tin was wobbly, so every time I pressed down on one side, the crumbs would spring back up again on the other, so I couldn't get the base properly compacted. Oh well, gives me an excuse to buy a new tin and more biscuits and try again...

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