Chocolate-Almond Torte (grain-free, dairy-free)

Chocolate-Almond Torte (grain-free, dairy-free)

Gluten-free? Paleo? Piece of cake. This amazing take on almond torte is as dense and rich as the sugar- and gluten-loaded original. You can grind whole almonds into flour just before making this torte, for fresher and more flavorful results, but you’ll need a food processor or blender with a very sharp blade, or one that’s capable of grinding nuts into flour, like a Vita-Mix. Otherwise, almond meal is available at most natural foods markets. I doubled the ganache recipe, let it cool slightly and swirled it for effect. Or you can simply pour the molten chocolate over the top for an easier fix.

Raspberry-Chocolate Almond Torte
Makes one 9-inch cake

2 cups almond meal*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup mashed raspberries
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 cup coconut milk
4 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate, finely chopped
Whole raspberries for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Very lightly oil the sides of a 10-inch springform pan; cut a piece of parchment into a circle the size of the bottom of the pan, and set parchment into pan.

2. Combine almond meal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

3. Separate egg whites and yolks into two separate bowls. Add honey, raspberries and vanilla to egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the egg yolk mixture to the ground almond mixture, and stir to mix well.

4. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whip with a whisk, electric mixer or standing mixer until stiff peaks form, but whites are still moist. Using a spatula, gently fold eggs whites, a little at a time, into the nut flour mixture until well-combined; mixture will be stiff and thick at first, but will loosen up as you add egg whites.

5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack until completely cooled.

6. Combine unrefined sugar with coconut milk in a small pot and simmer until sugar is melted. Put chocolate in a medium bowl; pour warm coconut milk over chocolate, stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Refrigerate for about 5 minutes to slightly thicken it.

7. To serve, gently run a knife around the edges of the springform pan and remove pan. Transfer the cake to a serving plate and pour ganache over the cake; swirl with a knife if desired.  Decorate with raspberries, slivered almonds, shaved coconut, fresh mint or edible flowers, and serve immediately.