Saturday, June 11, 2011

Flourless Mexican Hot Chocolate Torte with Sweetened Sour Cream

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.

 And so we had taco night. And finished with a Mexican hot chocolate-style torte. With a surprise ingredient. Can you guess it?


***********
Flourless Mexican Hot Chocolate Torte
with Sweetened Sour Cream
serves 12
inspired by a chocolate eggplant torte I found here

The time
30 min roasting + 10 min prep + 30 min baking + 2 hrs cooling

The ingredients
1 eggplant
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!

The process
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.)


The cost
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 ...
Amanda xx

15 comments:

Where My Heart Is said... [Reply to comment]

Amanda, who would have thought to use eggplant in a chocolate torte. But I suppose we use pumpkins and zucchini's in desserts so why not the eggplant. I am a big fan of eggplant and chocolate, so I can't wait to give this a whirl.

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

You'll love it! I had ended up with a surplus of eggplants ... and needed to use them somehow ... this was my strategy ;)

emm said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wow. I have never heard of using eggplant in cakes!?! I'm intrigued. I hear ya on the lack of proper Mexican food here in Aussie. I've been really disappointed. Back home in NZ things are starting to look promising, with the main-stream supermarkets even stocking authentic Mexican products like proper corn tortillas and chipotle chilies in Adobo sauce under the "Tio Pablo" brand. I wonder if you can find those products over here yet?

Marnely Rodriguez said... [Reply to comment]

yum, this cake looks great and I love the spice in it!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Emma - thanks so much for commenting! I checked out your lovely blog for the first time as a result :)

NZ has it going on as far as good food and drink goes ... Now, if I could only get there! (Still haven't been, would you believe?? And I've lived in Oz for 7 years!)

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Marnely, I do too ... but my poor husband hates cinnamon ...

He couldn't even stand the smell of it!

(which meant, of course, more for me .... )

Bediels said... [Reply to comment]

Amanda, I adore the first photo! It's precious.
This cake looks amazing. I would have never thought to use eggplant. Sounds interesting!

Steph Bond Hutkin (Bondville) said... [Reply to comment]

Love the new header! Definitely putting this cake on the to-do list. Mexican chocolate was a huge discovery for me in San Francisco and I kind of got obsessed with this ice cream place called Mitchell's that served Mexican chocolate ice cream (of course). We have Taco Tuesday every week - will have to add this as the dessert. x

cheryl said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with Bediels: I want to get lost in that first photo, and hang out in the surf with your daughter.

As for the rest of it, you and I both have Mexican food on the brain. I think we both know where you need to go...

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks ladies! Sadly she has a much greater tolerance for cold water than most mortals ...

Steph - I'll be down on Tuesday ;)

Cheryl - I totally agree! We were planning to go to Guatemala last January, actually ... and ended up on the California coast instead. Not quite the same ... but we're tentatively planning to go to Colombia next January!

Renee Treml said... [Reply to comment]

I can vouch for the deliciousness of this chocolate cake! It was amazing and I would have never in a million years guessed eggplant. Thanks Amanda!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

My pleasure, Renee ... and thanks for being so inspired with the sour cream! :)

Hotel Search said... [Reply to comment]

This is a one interesting recipe. I could give this a try to see if I can make this as promising as you did with the eggplant on it....

Amanda Mae said... [Reply to comment]

whoa! i didnt see that coming! .. EGGPLANT! wowoowowo... so intriguing I will have to try it!

Emma said... [Reply to comment]

Hey thanks for the comment on my blog. I've just recently come across your blog and am loving it! I wouldn't feel bad about not making it to NZ yet. It's not that common for people to go to NZ as it is for us New Zealanders to come over here! I do hope you make it one day though. It's a special place (bias as ;-)

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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