Healthy Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Frozen Torte

Oh, Valentine’s Day.

You and I haven’t always been on the best of terms when it comes to food, have we? My adult self knows that I should avoid the white sugar and chemical additives in the majority of the candy on the shelves, but the kid in me rushes the chocolate heart-shaped boxes in the store like a pack of hyenas rushes a downed zebra.

Every year I know better, and every year I cave.

Since I have a particularly hard time regulating my blood sugar due to some longstanding medical issues, those pieces of Valentine’s candy can really mess with me, which makes for a pretty lame romantic experience for me and Mr. Whole Self Home.

So, this year I decided that I was going to avoid the internal battle and just make my own healthy, yummy Valentine’s Day dessert. So, I planned a little bit, and then spent a couple of hours in the kitchen this afternoon. Needless to say, I came out with balanced blood sugar, a chocolate covered face, and a grin a mile wide.

Without further ado…allow me to present the Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberry Valentine’s Day Torte!

20140214_201745

Mmmm…

20140214_201837

Triple layer goodness!

20140214_201807

Strawberry peeking out

“But, Jenn,”  you may be thinking. “I don’t even HAVE blood sugar issues, and all the healthy stuff I’ve ever had tastes like poo. I want to have something rich, chocolaty, and utterly delicious for Valentine’s Day!”

Well, my friend, I’ve got your back. This torte is so delicious, I hesitated to label it “healthy” for fear that people would be put off by the word.

This thing is the real deal. The fact that it’s healthy is just the icing on the…er…torte.

The crust tastes like an oatmeal cookie. No joke. The ganache layer was inspired by this recipe at Rawmazing. It is rich and nutty, with a fun amount of added heat from cinnamon and cayenne pepper. The pudding layer was inspired by this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. It is light, smooth, and delectable.

People, my six-year old is the pickiest eater on the planet, and she DEVOURED this.

Convinced yet?

What if I told you that it has sunflower seeds in it, and my husband didn’t even know they were there? (Hey! I should have called it Stealthy Sunflower Torte…)

Ready to make it yet?

Good. Let’s get going! We’ll start with the ganache layer.

GANACHE LAYER

GANACHE INGREDIENTS

  • Oatmeal Cookie Crust in a springform pan (see this blog post, and make sure to leave some extra crust over for the crumb topping on the torte!)
  • 3 C. Raw, hulled, sunflower seeds
  • 1 C. Cocoa Powder (or carob, or healthy raw equivalent)
  • 1 C. Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 C. Agave or Honey (Note: If you use honey, this recipe will no longer be vegan)
  • 4 Tbsp. almond milk (or other plant milk of choice)
  • 2 C. Frozen or Fresh Strawberries
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp. Cinnamon*
  • 1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper*

*Optional

EQUIPMENT

  • Food Processor or Blender
  • Large, Heavy-Bottomed Pot
  • Springform Pan with crust already in it. (I used a 6 in. pan instead of a larger pan, so I halved everything.)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak the sunflower seeds in 6 C. of water for 15 minutes. You don’t want them to be mushy, just wet enough to clump together. (It makes them easier to process.)
  2. Whir the sunflower seeds in the food processor until they are broken down into a thick, chunky, paste.
  3. Put the cocoa powder, agave, coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond milk, and spices in the pan and heat them over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to clump up and form a big ball.
  4. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the ball separates from the oil. The chocolate mixture will be really thick.
  5. Drain out the oil, leaving the chocolate ball in the pan.
  6. Mix in the processed sunflower seeds until you’re satisfied with the consistency. You may have some left over.
  7. Press the ganache layer into the springform pan on top of the crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before you put anything else on top of it. Meanwhile…
  8. If you’re using frozen berries, place them in hot water to thaw. If not, wash them off and start cutting them into 1/4 in thick slices. (Cut frozen strawberries once they’ve thawed enough to slice. You don’t need them mushy, just soft enough to cut.)
  9. Remove torte from the fridge and layer the strawberry slices on top of the ganache, so there is as little chocolate as possible showing through. You want a nice, thick layer of berries!
VISUAL STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS (Keep in mind, my recipe was halved because I used a smaller pan.)

Soak the sunflower seeds in hot water until they are wet and slightly soft. (About 10-15 minutes.)

20140214_131532

Soaking sunflower seeds

20140214_132013

Wet and clumpy sunflower seeds

Process the sunflower seeds in a food processor or blender until they break down into a thick, chunky, paste.

20140214_132018

Whole sunflower seeds

20140214_132309

Not quite there yet!

20140214_132315

Getting closer…

20140214_132530

Finished sunflower seed paste

Put the cocoa powder, agave, coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract, and spices in a thick, heavy-bottomed pan.

20140214_132745

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will be muddy at first, but it will start to clump and form a ball.

20140214_133420

Muddy, and not completely mixed together.

20140214_133251

You can see the ball forming here

Once the ball forms, you will need to continue to cook the mixture, still stirring constantly, until the liquid starts to separate from it.

20140214_133552

See how the liquid has separated from the chocolate ball? That’s where you want to be.

Once the liquid has separated, you will be left with a thick ball of chocolate ganache.

20140214_133834

This should be the consistency of the chocolate ganache

Drain the liquid away from the ganache layer, wait until the ganache is cool enough to handle, but still warm enough to mold, and press it into the prepared pan on top of your crust.

20140214_134553

Finished ganache layer

Place this in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before you layer the strawberries on top.

Speaking of strawberries…if you’re using frozen ones, soak them in hot water for a few minutes until they’re thawed enough to cut. You don’t want them warm and mushy, just soft enough to cut through with a sharp knife. Once your berries have thawed, or if you’re using fresh ones, slice them up and layer them on the cooled ganache layer until not much of the chocolate shows through. You want a nice, thick layer of berries!

20140214_141826

Put it back in the fridge.

Really, you could probably stop right here and it would still be delicious…but why in the world would you? Onto the pudding layer!

PUDDING LAYER

PUDDING INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Packages Silken Tofu
  • 2/3 C. Cocoa Powder (or carob, or healthy raw equivalent)
  • 2/3 C. Agave or Honey (Note: If you use honey, this recipe will no longer be vegan)
  • 2/3 C. Almond Milk
  • 2/3 C. Sucanat

EQUIPMENT

  • Blender
  • Pot to melt the coconut oil in

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Blend everything except for the coconut oil until it is smooth.
  2. Melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat until it is transparent.
  3. With the blender running, pour the melted coconut oil into the pudding mixture. Please make sure you keep the lid on the blender during this step, or you might splash hot oil on yourself! Just use the hole in the top of the blender lid. Liquid will be runny.
  4. Pour this mixture on top of the strawberry ganache mixture in the springform pan.
  5. Place the crust crumbs you held over on the top of the pudding layer while it’s still liquid.
  6. Cover the whole pan with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight in a level spot in your freezer.
VISUAL STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS (Keep in mind, my recipe was halved because I used a smaller pan.)

Step One: Cut a hole in a box.

20140214_142127

Put everything except for the coconut oil together in the blender and blend the ever-loving-soybeans out of it.

20140214_142237

20140214_143454

Melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat until it is transparent. (Remember not to heat it too much, or it will lose nutritional value!)

Start the blender again. While it is running with the pudding base in it, pour the hot coconut oil through the hole in the lid. Make sure to keep the blender running, and do NOT take the lid off while you do this step, or you might splash hot coconut oil in your face. (This step might seem odd, but trust me. It will blend the coconut oil uniformly through the pudding, which will help it set up as the oil cools and solidifies.)

Your pudding will probably be thin and runny at this point, but it will set up.

Pour the pudding over the strawberries you cut onto the ganache layer earlier.

20140214_143826

Pudding Layer Complete

Place the crust crumbs you saved over from the Oatmeal Cookie Crust on top of the pudding layer while it’s still wet.

20140214_144642

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight (or at least several hours) on a level surface.

VOILA!

You’re done with the Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberry Torte. Now your biggest challenge is to wait to cut it until it’s frozen all the way through.

I would be lying if I said we made it.

20140214_202650

Cut too soon…

20140214_202502

…but still delicious!

You can see that the torte is still gooey and soft in the middle, and not frozen all the way on the edges. But it was still EPIC!

20140215_120142

Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberry Torte

UPDATE: This is what it’s actually supposed to look like, and it was even better the second day! One thing though…it is kind of difficult to cut if you don’t let it thaw for a couple minutes first. I powered through and cut it anway, because I like my torte frozen solid, but Mr. Whole Self Home preferred his a bit thawed. It was hands-down easier to cut when I let it thaw a bit!

ENJOY!!!

About these ads
Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post navigation

Comments are closed.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: