of Regime-Change Chocolate Torte
When I promise the universe a luscious chocolate cake, the universe knows I will deliver. For years I’ve been making a dense flourless chocolate torte called Winning Hearts and Minds Cake. The singular reason it brainwashed so many hearts and minds was the lethal combo of its two main ingredients – butter and sugar.
Following the first anniversary of the Arab Awakening, there has been more unrest in the streets. So yesterday I called in the black ops and ordered up some regime change.
The butter and sugar, fatcat rulers of another era, are gone. They’ve been replaced by someone in plain-clothes, someone subtle but clever, someone eternally undernoticed and underappreciated.
One powerful word, people. AUBERGINE.
Calling it “eggplant” hurts its feelings, so let’s stick with the poetic French aubergine. It’s in need of all the image and branding consulting it can get, because it’s one of those vegetables that we would rather look at than eat.
So, what better thing to do than steam it til it’s melty and soft, and transform it into a beauty of a cake by sending it off to the ball with some very dark chocolate. Not only is this cake virtually fat-free, it’s also gluten-free.
I’m in the business of regime takeover, and I’m a pretty damn good fairy godmother too.
REGIME-CHANGE CHOCOLATE TORTE
Adapted from Harry Eastwood’s Heartache Chocolate cake, in Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache
2 smallish aubergines (about 400g/1lb.)
300g very dark chocolate
200g fluid honey
3 medium eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 t fresh orange zest
50g pure cacao powder
60g ground almonds (I ground them myself)
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Strawberries and creme fraiche to serve
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly grease a springform cake tin.
Steam the aubergines by peeling, chopping roughly, and microwaving in a covered bowl for 8 minutes until limp. Discard any water in the bowl, then purée the aubergines with an immersion/stick blender. While still hot, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Let cool.
Whisk in the honey, eggs and orange zest.
Stir in the cacao powder, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
Pour into the greased springform tin, slide it onto a lower rack in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just barely clean. Let it cool in the tin.
This torte is even more fudgy and delicious after a night in the refrigerator, but the masses are likely clamoring for their cake, so feel free to serve it up right away with strawberries and/or crème fraîche.
Long live the aubergine!
I would eat this whole torte..
And thankfully, it wouldn’t be such a travesty if you did. ;)
Aubergine! I love substitutions! I made cookies with avocado once, you should try.
I am down with that idea. Joy the Baker makes an avocado cake that is scrumptious.
wow, i’ve had beetroot brownies and courgette chocolate cake but never have i heard of aubergine choco cake! crazy mind blowing.
True story: once I went a little courgette-happy on a chocolate slice (in the spirit of “ooh, veggies in cake!!”), and it turned into soup. I’m a bit afraid to go back now.
Really?! I would never divulge the secret if I made this. :)
The key is definitely to divulge AFTER every plate has been licked clean and people are starting to jostle rambunctiously over the last piece…the effect isn’t quite the same when you introduce the secret ingredient before. (:
I wanted to thank you for your very friendly comment on my blog. And I have *never* heard of putting eggplant in any desserts, but it is one of my most favorite foods, so I will really have to try it!
Also, I loved the language you used to describe your blog “little vine tendrils catching on things that tickle my fancy” in particular. Such a wonderful image.
I’ll be back soon!
Ariana, thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by. (:
Oh goodness! This looks completely amazing! Kudos for creatively beautiful cooking- i’ll definitely be making this sooner rather than later!
Thank you, Sarah! Enjoy.
This sounds very interesting and I would like to try it. But I don’t have a microwave. Is it possible to steam the aubergine in the ‘regular’ way? F.e. by steaming above water. But then I wonder how to make the chocolate melt. Maybe au bain marie?
Steaming the aubergine on the stove works just as well. Purée it while it’s still hot, and add the chocolate immediately — it should still be warm enough to melt the chocolate.
Let me know how it turns out! (:
yummmm!! such a pretty picture
All Mussed Up, this is a badass recipe and I’m gearing up to give it a go. I think I’m going to stop by more often!
Rock on! Let me know how it goes. (:
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Val, I made this for guests tonight. Oh. My. Goodness! It was incredible! I added a thin drizzle of hot fudge sauce on top of the strawberries and creme fraiche. It was a big hit. I especially enjoyed making them guess the main ingredient (only after the second servings came out). Thanks for sharing!
So glad they enjoyed it! (:
I love your blog and your recipes! Will try some of them soon. I have one question about this recipe, i dont have a microwave, what do you think is the easiest way to steam the aubergines!?
Thanks for sharing!
Hi Suus, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely compliment! (: I would peel the aubergine, roughly chop it, and then steam until just tender in a very small amount of simmering water in a covered saucepan. Roasting (unpeeled) would also work marvelously.
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