Valentine fan or not a valentine fan? Whichever you are I am sure you like a bit of an excuse for something sensual in the form of chocolate.
Of course this Valentine’s day I won’t be eating chocolate. Instead I will be celebrating in style at the BBC 6 music festival in Bristol.
I am attempting the I Quit Sugar 8 week programme and am sorry to say that I have slipped up once this week when faced with a homemade jammie dodger biscuit and a lemon drizzle cupcake. My justification was that I had to make sure they were OK to present to the buyers at Holland & Barrett to display what my wholegrain gluten-free flour blend is capable of!
Anyway back to chocolate.
This chocolate recipe is not one of mine. It can be found in the Genius Gluten-free Cookbook, a new book written by the founder of Genius, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne who also happens to be a trained chef.
It is full of gluten-free inspiration, covering breakfast, starters, light meals, party food, mains and of course puddings and baking. It has a comprehensive introductory section that outlines how to live gluten-free and what store cupboard essentials you will need, along with plenty of mouth watering photographs (although not one for each dish).
When I first flicked through the book the squidgy chocolate, almond and prune torte sprang out at me. At the time I was following the low FODMAP diet and couldn’t actually find anything in the book that I could make without adaptions. I therefore plumped for the chocolate torte since my mum and step dad were coming to tea and love chocolate.
The recipe was easy to follow (albeit making a lot of washing up with lots of different bowls required) and before long there was a delicious smell pervading the house.
Needless to say it went down very well with everyone wanting seconds. In fact the whole torte was polished off in one sitting (that’s 3 adults and 2 children so I think stretching it to 8 or 10 people – the serving suggestion – would be a bit much).
I think it would make the perfect desert for that someone special this Valentine’s day so why not have a go and let me know what you think.
If you are interested in buying a copy of the book it is available on Amazon for £13.48.
The recipe is reproduced here with thanks to Ebury Publishing.
Squidgy Chocolate, Almond & Prune Torte
- 55 g ready-to-eat pitted prunes roughly chopped
- 50 ml brandy or amaretto
- 3 medium eggs separated
- 140 g caster sugar
- 200 g dark chocolate dairy-free if important - at least 70% cocoa
- 110 g unsalted butter of dairy-free baking margarine diced
- 100 g ground almonds
- 40 g cornflour
- oil for greasing
- Soak the prunes in the alcohol for 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 20cm springform tin with butter and line the base with greased greaseproof paper
- Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar on high speed until thick and creamy
- Place the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of water in an ovenproof bowl, sitting on the rim of a small pan of simmering water. Stir the melting chocolate and water together until smooth. Slowly incorporate the butter, a few pieces at a time, to form a smooth, shiny liquid
- Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the whisked egg yolks, and gently fold together using a large metal spoon
- Sift the ground almonds and cornflour over the chocolate mixture, add the soaked prunes and alcohol, and gently fold through
- In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the eggs whites until they form firm peaks that do not wobble when the bowl is shaken. Stir a large spoonful into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until the centre of the torte is just set. Leave to get cool in the tin on a wire rack
- Run a sharp knife around the edge of the torte, remove the tin and lining paper, and transfer the torte to a serving dish
- Serve in narrow slices with double cream or a dollop of creme fraiche on the side.