Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! Hope you can spend it with the ones you LOVE, and hope you enjoy a great meal together (’cause it’s all about the food, am I right?) And if you need a plan, here it is: Roasted Beet and Orange Salad, Chicken Madiera and now….Almond Joy Chocolate Torte! Because CHOCOLATE! Need we say more?
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I have to give a shout out to Drew, the love of my life….no worries, though. Won’t get all sappy on ya.
Just a quick trip down memory lane…
I’ve mentioned that Drew was an awesome dater. We rarely just went to a movie. We wanted to get out there and DO stuff! Not too long after we’d started dating, Drew invited me over for dinner. HE was cooking the entire meal for me! We were freshmen in college, and, let’s face it, neither one of us was a very good cook at that point.
So he enlisted the help of his very talented mom. They set a beautiful table in the living room, and worked all day to plan and prepare the perfect meal.
He was obviously very nervous when I got there. But I was super impressed. Candlelight, music, yummy food. He had me hooked. I don’t even remember what the dinner was now, but I do remember dessert: Cherries Jubilee! Mmmmmm. He knew how to impress! Vanilla ice cream, fresh cherries and just a bit of fire to caramelize those cherries.
That could’ve been the thing that started us down this road…and thirty years later, here we are!
And Drew’s cooking skills still do not disappoint! He grills up salmon to literal perfection, he’s my best sous chef in the kitchen, and his signature dessert has become famous…Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
Thanks for all the food memories, Drew.
Cheers to many more…and Happy Valentine’s Day, my love 🙂
- 1 cup almonds
- 9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar OR maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup water or coconut milk
- 1 tsp. coconut extract/emulsion (optional)
- 3 oz. semisweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. sugar OR maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract or coconut extract/emulsion
- 1-2 cans coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk for whipping
- 3-4 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract OR coconut extract/emulsion
- Raspberries, strawberries, fresh mint, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grind almonds very fine.
- Grease a springform pan. Sprinkle 4 Tbsp. ground almonds in bottom of pan,
- Combine chocolate and coconut oil in small bowl and melt in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
- In mixer, combine eggs and sugar and beat well. Add chocolate mixture, flour, remaining almonds, salt, water and extract, if using. Stir until just combined; don't overmix.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with crumbs attached. (Do not overcook! You don't want the toothpick to come out completely clean).
- In small saucepan, heat chocolate, water and sugar over very low heat, stirring often, until it coats the back of a spoon. Add vanilla.
- Drizzle over warm torte, letting glaze run down sides.
- Chill coconut cream or milk. (Don't shake the can. You want the cream to separate from the milk.)
- Once chilled, scrape cream off top and place in cold mixing bowl. Beat with powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Spoon onto torte and top with berries.
*Torte can be made a day in advance. Refrigerate uncovered until using. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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