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VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TORTE - The First Mess
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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!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword all seasons, almond flour, almond meal, almond milk, arrowroot powder, cane sugar, cashew butter, chia, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut whipped cream, fall, hazelnut, hazelnut meal, holiday baking, holiday entertaining, holidays, medjool dates, non-dairy milk, oat flour, toasted hazelnuts, vanilla extract, winter
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 30 minutes
Servings 1 nine inch torte/cake

Equipment

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

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.

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.
  • Also I know that certain brands of coconut milk tend to be better than others for forming solid layers of cream at the top--this one has been consistently good for me.
  • For coconut whipped cream use 1/2 of this recipe, or a store-bought version.