Saturday, June 11, 2011
My friends E and R recently had a taco night ... which may not sound like a big deal, but we are in Australia. A place renowned for its flawless beaches, its diversity of animals with pouches, its endearing accent, and its easy-going nature.
Australia is not known to produce good Mexican food. There are exceptions, but in my experience they are found in the kitchens of American friends.
I don't know what it is ... we have avocados year-round. Limes grow in (lucky) peoples' backyards. But something gets lost in the assembly of produce + spices + cheese + beans/meat/veggies + tortillas.
Flourless Mexican Hot Chocolate Torte
with Sweetened Sour Cream
inspired by a chocolate eggplant torte I found here
30 min roasting + 10 min prep + 30 min baking + 2 hrs cooling
3 organic, free-range eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup raw cocoa powder
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup hazelnut meal
2 tsp baking powder
1 - 1 1/2 Tbs cinnamon powder (optional) OR 1/8-1/4 tsp chipotle powder (also optional)
1/8 tsp sea salt
+ 1/2 cup sour cream - full fat if you can (without stabilisers and additives)
+ 1 -2 Tbs agave syrup or honey, to taste
*You can substitute another nut meal if you prefer ... but I definitely recommend raw cocoa powder for a decadently-rich, antioxidant-rich treat.
**Use organic when you can!
1. Roast the whole eggplant at 200C (400F) until it's mushy in the centre. Remove it from the oven and turn the heat down to 180C (360F). Let the eggplant cool slightly before scraping its soft innards into a blender. (Throw the skin out)
2. Add all the other ingredients to the blender and whizz it all up till smooth. Pour the batter into a baking-paper-lined (or butter-greased) springform tin.
3. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until pretty solid. It won't be pound-cake solid, but it won't slide out the bottom of the tin, either.
4. Cool the torte down to room temperature in its tin, before removing it and slicing. Make your sour cream topping by mixing a good quality sour cream (like Barambah Organic, or Ivyhome Organic) with agave syrup or honey, till it's as sweet as you like it.
NOTE: Don't oversweeten it - you want a little tartness to cut the sweet, chocolatiness of the torte. Which is why we're using sour cream instead of cream.
(And, the sour cream wasn't even my idea. My friends are good cooks and geniuses.)
So many of my recipes use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate ... in part, because I almost always have cocoa powder on-hand. And chocolate? Tends to make its way into my belly. But per kilo, cocoa powder is less expensive than chocolate anyway. Much less.
As a consequence, my organic, chocolate torte cost me about $8 to make. With the sour cream? It was still around $1 for each decadent slice.
I love this recipe for its richness, the fact it uses smoky eggplant, and because it's the perfect sweet base for sour cream. Ahhhh ...