Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Salty Date Caramel & Coconut Cream

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 6 votes

Vegan chocolate hazelnut torte is naturally gluten-free. This show stopping dessert is so decadent. No one will believe that it's dairy-free!

Vegan and gluten-free chocolate hazelnut torte.
Vegan and gluten-free chocolate hazelnut torte.


I used to subscribe to a lot of weekly emails from life coaches, wellness gurus, motivational speakers and the like. I found some of the tidbits they offered lightly inspirational on a good day, but on a bad one…ooof. the pitches that involved a $1500+ investment disgusted me when I thought of all the decent people just trying to take control of the inevitably volatile parts of life.

I turned 29 yesterday and it’s true that the layers of our human existence become more defined as time rolls on. Bits of the past inform us in the here and now, and we grow or lie still in the ways we push or allow ourselves to. Our minds and postures shift as we learn and do more. The spots where we stall, deliberately or by accident, help us to be here now in a more defined way too I think.

I used guilt myself over not getting frequent haircuts, my nails done etc. There’s a whole aura around grooming that speaks to having your life together, right? I’d get a couple days off and and just when I had psyched myself up enough to call a salon, I’d see a little patch of redness on my hand from a burn or any number of calluses, or my messy top knot. I enjoy working hard and eventually realized that reminders of that, in whatever form, were more important to me. Having the privilege to plug away at something that is meaningful is every indication that I have my life together.

Growth and birthdays are celebrated with cake around here, or a chocolate hazelnut tortw. Pretty sure I’m taking liberties with the designation of “torte” on tis one. Chocolate and hazelnut together is heaven in almost anything, but especially in this chocolate hazelnut torte. So I started with a dense brownie base and layered it up from there with a hazelnut cream and coconut whip. The date caramel has a tiny pinch of tang from some fresh lemon and I find it really makes all the flavours work together instead of the whole thing just being this overly rich and sweet experience.

If you love chocolate and hazelnut, I’d also recommend checking out this chocolate hazelnut espresso shake, this latte, and these chocolate hazelnut grahams.

Vegan and gluten-free chocolate hazelnut torte.
Vegan and gluten-free chocolate hazelnut torte.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Salty Date Caramel & Coconut Cream

Vegan chocolate hazelnut torte is naturally gluten-free. This showstopping dessert is so decadent. No one will believe that it's dairy-free!
5 from 6 votes
VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TORTE - The First Mess
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 30 minutes
Servings 1 nine inch torte/cake

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE TORTE BASE

  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup almond meal/flour
  • ¾ cup hazelnut meal (or more almond meal)
  • ¾ cup oat flour (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar (or cane sugar)
  • ¼ cup coconut or almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips

HAZELNUT MOUSSE

  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 13.5 oz 400 ml can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 scant cup cashew butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil (at room temperature)

SALTY DATE CARAMEL

  • 7-8 soft pitted Medjool dates
  • Boiling water (to cover the dates)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

TO SERVE

  • coconut whipped cream (see note)
  • toasted and chopped hazelnuts

Equipment

Notes

  • I give the mousse + brownie/cake base a full 24 hour wrap-and-chill time. I figured the longer the setting time, the less possibility of heartbreak from a runny mousse or too-warm-in-the-middle cake.
  • For coconut whipped cream use 1/2 of this recipe, or a store-bought version.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water. Stir and set aside so that it can gel together and thicken.
  • In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, hazelnut meal, oat flour, arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and to that add the coconut palm sugar, coconut milk and vanilla extract. Add the chia gel to the bowl as well. Give it a little stir.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Melt the two while you stir constantly to avoid burning the chocolate. Once it’s all melted and smooth, add it to the torte ingredients in the large bowl. Stir it all together until you have a stiff and unified batter.
  • Press the chocolate torte batter evenly into the prepared springform pan. Place the pan on top of a cookie sheet and slide it into the oven. Bake for 30-33 minutes or until the top is firm. Remove and allow to cool completely. At this point I wrap the cake tightly in cling film and place it in the fridge to totally set overnight.
  • Make the hazelnut mousse. In an upright high speed blender, combine the hazelnuts, coconut milk, cashew butter, maple syrup, salt, lemon juice, and coconut oil. Blend on high until completely smooth. Scrape the runny mixture into a bowl and cover it with cling film, pressing the film onto the surface of the mousse/liquid. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until the mousse has firmed up considerably, preferably overnight.
  • Make the date caramel: soak the dates in the hot water for about 15 minutes, and then drain them (reserving the soaking water). Place the softened dates into your blender/food processor. Add the lemon juice, salt, vanilla, and coconut milk. Blend this up a bit just to break everything up. Add reserved date soaking water as needed and blend the mixture again until you have a runny, smooth, caramel-like consistency. Scrape into a jar and seal with a lid until you’re ready to use it.
  • Assemble the torte: place the chocolate torte base on your serving plate. Whisk the hazelnut mousse up a bit and scoop it onto the cake base, smoothing it out evenly. Top the torte with coconut whipped cream, date caramel, toasted chopped hazelnuts etc and serve immediately. Leftover torte can be covered and kept in the fridge for a couple days.
27/02/2014 (Last Updated 07/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, cashews, coconut milk, creamy, dessert, gluten free, holidays, sauce, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

72 comments

5 from 6 votes (5 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating




  • Jen

    5 stars
    Fantastic! I made this for a dinner party with friends and it was the star of the show. Super decadent and indulgent. Loved all the flavors. The only part that didn’t work out great for me was the date caramel, it never really got to a drippy consistency and started to taste a little watery, so I’ll need to mess with that a bit. But the rest of the components are simply magical.

  • Melissa

    This looks great! I’d like to make raspberry mousse instead of hazelnut – could I substitute out the hazelnuts for raspberries in the mousse?

    • Laura

      Hi Melissa,
      I don’t think you can directly substitute raspberries for hazelnuts here without adjusting a few other flavours and ingredients. Might be best to look for a vegan raspberry mousse recipe on another website and then use that particular preparation in this dessert.
      -L

  • Liz

    Holy crap. This might be the best cake I’ve ever had, vegan/GF or otherwise! I wanted to make a decadent cake for my GF mother for her 50th birthday, and this definitely fit the bill. She absolutely loved it, as did the rest of my family. The long process is totally worth it on this one! The cake is quite rich, so we each had a small slice and saved the rest for breakfast the next day, haha. It did well being refrigerated overnight, tasted just as good if not even better in the morning. Thank you for this amazing recipe, Laura! And thank you for reminding us to stay true to ourselves and wear our life experience proudly. I cannot wait until your cookbook comes out! :)

  • Kaya

    Is it possible to make this (and other recipes) without cashews? I am, sadly, allergic :(.

    • Laura

      Hi Kaya!
      You can definitely substitute the cashews with raw and soaked sunflower seeds. I’ve been doing this a lot lately myself and can vouch for the success :)
      -L

  • Olivia

    Would it be possible to use all almonds? Also, in your notes section when you mentioned allowing the full 24-hour wrap and chill time was that for the assembled torte or for all the separate ingredients. If it is for the separate ingredients, how many days do you think they could hold up in the refrigerator separately before assembling? Trying to plan for Christmas :). Thanks!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Olivia, I’m sorry for the delay in this reply! You could certainly use all almond flour in place of the hazelnut flour. The oat flour… I’m not sure if this can be replaced with more almond flour. The batter might bake up too wet. Maybe try subbing the oat flour with about 1/2 the amount of coconut flour? (the amount is reduced because coconut flour tends to be quite drying). Brown rice flour should fill in for the oat flour nicely if that’s a viable option. And I keep the ingredients separate for the wrap and chill time. I think you could hold them for a solid 24-48 hours–just as long as both are wrapped really tight! I hope this helps and again, my apologies on the delay.
      -Laura

  • Anna

    Hey Laura – this torte looks incred. Want to make it for a big dinner party but there will be a big hazelnut hater there – do you think pecans or another nut would work? Obviously pecans aren’t so easy to skin so I don’t know if that would be a problem…

    Thank you!!

    • Laura Wright

      Hey Anna, I don’t know if the pecans will whip into the mousse part all creamy like the hazelnuts, but it’s certainly worth a try. You might have to add more coconut milk when you’re blending it all up. I wouldn’t bother skinning the pecans if you use them either! Also, I know people have made this recipe with almonds or macadamia nuts in place of the hazelnuts, and had success.
      -L

  • Lily

    Looks so good! Was just wondering how you made the coconut whipped cream as i dont see it in your recipe. Thanks!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Lily,
      If you scroll down the ingredients list to the segment that says “to serve,” right beside the specification of coconut cream there’s a link to my recipe where it says “1/2 of this recipe” in parentheses.
      -L

  • Borough 22 Brownies

    You had me at Chocolate Hazelnut. Really keen to try the base, ,love the idea of using chia seeds. The hazelnut mousse is so simple its genius!

  • Penny

    Wow I made this for my husbands birthday party in the weekend and everyone went crazy for it! Everyone thought it was the best cake they had ever tried and they demolished it! Thanks so much, your awesome!

  • Margaret Burnett

    Could I use flax seed instead of chia seed? I live in India and haven’t seen chia seed locally. We don’t have hazelnuts either, but a friend just brought me back some from Australia.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Margaret, I believe flax seeds would sub in just fine for the chia. They might make for a nuttier taste as well, which would be great here.
      -L