chilled chocolate-espresso torte with toasted hazelnut crust

by Kristina Sloggett

in baking,Books,cookbook review,Dessert,Gluten Free,recipes,Vegan

chilled chocolate-espresso torte with toasted hazelnut crust

Some of you know I have a massive cookbook collection. I like to sit and read them like novels. I curl up on the couch with the dachshunds, a cup of green tea, and some dedicated time to savor a book – from beginning to end. I look at the photos and recipe choices on the first pass through, then go back and read more thoroughly the recipes that caught my eye.

…like just about every recipe in Angela’s brand new The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Angela was one of the first blogs I read, years ago. I had a twitter account before I had a blog, and got to know her as an Oh She Glows reader and through tweets. Her blog recipes were among my favorites, as they are not only creative, but always foolproof and delicious. Angela definitely makes plant based and vegan an incredibly flavorful experience.

From the book, the first recipe I made was Quick and Easy Chana Masala: 

vegan chana masala

So good. I make some sort of Indian dish at least once a week, and this flavorful recipe is already in regular rotation.

I have also made the Empowered Noodle Bowl, a flavorful and filling salad with Thai Peanut sauce. As a thank you gift for a friend, I made her Homemade Yolos, a buttery soft caramel ball with a rich chocolate coat. I may have made a second batch for us later that same night.

Next on my list to make is the Fudgy Mocha Pudding Cake (um, YUM), the Winter Citrus Salad (always my favorite – so vibrantly bright!), and the Mushroom-Walnut Pesto Tart (the photo in the book is stunning, and the ingredient list has many of my favorites).

chocolate torte with toasted hazelnut crust

I am honored to be kicking off the Oh She Glows Cookbook tour today. Angela’s book is quickly becoming that well-worn kitchen friend – definitely one you will want in your own collection. Filled with stunning photos and her trademark consistency, every recipe is fresh and straightforward. Reading the intros to each chapter takes me back to the daily reading of her blog all those years ago – fun anecdotes and photos of Angela and Eric in the kitchen.

Angela includes a chapter outlining her Natural Foods Pantry, as well as a helpful Basic Cooking Chart for some mainstream beans and grains. She talks about her Favorite Kitchen Tools and Equipment as well, and the chapters are divided into categories like smoothies and juice, appetizers, salads, power sides, desserts, and oh so much more. Did I already say this is a book you want in your own kitchen?

The recipe I chose to share with you today is a delicious one – Angela’s Chilled Chocolate-Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust. Instead of one large pie, I followed the recipe to the letter and turned it into individual tarts. This recipe made four small tarts, with just a bit of filling left over to enjoy as you clean up the kitchen.

…and I was able to use one of my favorite Oregon foods – the hazelnut. This crust is like a perfect buttery oatmeal cookie.

chocolate-espresso torte with toasted hazelnut crust

chilled chocolate-espresso torte with toasted hazelnut crust

YIELD: one (9 inch) torte; serves 8-14


toasted hazelnut crust:

3/4 cup (175 mL) raw hazelnuts
1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut oil
3 tablespoons (45 mL) maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) fine-grain sea salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) gluten free oat flour
1 cup (250 mL) gluten free rolled oats

chocolate filling:

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cashews, soaked
2/3 cup (150 mL) agave nectar, or 3/4 cup (175 mL) maple syrup
1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut oil
1/3 cup (75 mL) dark chocolate chips, melted
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) espresso powder (optional) 


toasted hazelnut crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish with coconut oil.

In food processor, process the hazelnuts into a fine crumb with a texture of sand. Add the oil, maple syrup, salt, and oat flour and process again until the dough comes together. Finally, add the rolled oats and pulse until the oats are chopped but still have some texture to them. The dough should stick together slightly when pressed between your fingers, but it shouldn’t be super-sticky either. If it is too dry, try adding 1 teaspoon (5mL) water or processing a bit longer.

With your fingers, crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the dish, moving outward and upward along the side of the pie dish. The harder you press the crumbs into the dish, the better the crust will hold together. Poke a few fork holes into the bottom to let the steam escape.

Bake the crust, uncovered, for 10 to 13 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes. 

chocolate filling:

Drain and rinse the cashews. In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked cashews, agave, oil, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, vanilla, salt, and espresso powder (if using) and blend on high until the filling is completely smooth. It can take a few minutes of blending to get it smooth, depending on your blender. If the blender needs more liquid to get it going, add a tablespoon (15mL) of almond milk (or a bit more) to help it along.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust, scooping every last bit out of the blender. Smooth out the top evenly. Garnish with shaved chocolate and/or coconut flakes, if desired.

Place the pie dish on an even surface in the freezer, uncovered. Freeze for a couple of hours, and then cover the dish with foil and freeze overnight, or for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours, until the pie sets.

Remove the pie from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes before slicing. This pie is meant to be served frozen. Serve with homemade Whipped Coconut Cream and finely chopped hazelnuts, if desired, but it’s fantastic all on its own, too. Wrap leftover slices individually in foil and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for 1 to 1 1/2 weeks.

TIP: Not in the mood to make crust? Turn this dessert into freezer fudge by preparing only the chocolate filling. Pour the filling into an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan lined with plastic wrap; top with 1/2 cup (125mL) toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, and freeze until solid (about 2 hours). Slice into squares and enjoy straight from the freezer.


vegan chocolate espresso pie

recipe reprinted by arrangement with AVERY, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © GLO BAKERY CORPORATION, 2014.


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