Snowy salted caramel & dark chocolate torte

SERVES 10 | IBS-FRIENDLY | VEGETARIAN & VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE

The taste of Christmas all wrapped up in one show-stopping no-bake vegan and gluten-free dessert. It’s the best gift your tummy could wish for…

Featuring three of the best things at Christmas — snow (well, icing sugar), salted caramel and chocolate, this irresistible festive dessert will bring you and your tastebuds plenty of yuletide joy.

Consisting of a crunchy cocoa base filled with a silky-smooth salted caramel centre, topped with a divine layer of dark chocolate and, finally, embellished with a spectacular snowflake shape, it’s certainly a showstopper! 

If you’ve been scrolling through copious amounts of chocolate torte recipes and are yet to find something a little more special for the festive season, like me, then this is definitely the recipe for you. I made a few adaptations, which is where the salted caramel filling and adorning snowflake stencil comes in, and I’m so glad I did as the result is incredible! Did I mention it’s easy to make as it requires no baking?

Whether you have guests coming or not, after this year, you deserve a treat and leftovers last for up to five days in a sealed container in the fridge.

And, the best thing — it’s completely dairy-free and naturally gluten-free, meaning it’s delicate on tummies sensitive to lactose and suitable for multiple dietary requirements. Plus, the dark chocolate provides gut health benefits; our gut microbes ferment chocolate into anti-inflammatory compounds that help keep us healthy. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium which helps to reduce inflammation in the gut.

Stick on the festive tunes and get making!

Use the back of a metal spoon to flatten and smooth the chocolate base into the tin.
Ingredients

Base

  • 300g ground almonds
  • 55g at least 70% cocoa powder
  • 95ml pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Salted caramel filling

  • 150g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 200ml can full-fat coconut milk
  • 20g dairy-free spread
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Topping

  • 105g at least 70% dark chocolate (I used Sainsbury’s Belgian Dark Chocolate
  • 150ml can full-fat coconut milk
  • At least 70% cocoa powder for sprinkling (optional)
  • Icing sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Equipment

  • 25cm (approx) tart tin
  • Snowflake stencil (optional, see step 8)
Sprinkle icing sugar through a snowflake stencil to add a spectacular finishing touch.
Method
  1. Make the salted caramel filling first. Gently heat the sugar and coconut milk in a saucepan and stir until fully combined. Bring to the boil, then simmer vigorously for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the spread, vanilla and salt. Pour into a heat-proof jug and leave to cool; the sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it cools. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the base by adding all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Tip the base into the tart tin and push down until compact (roughly 0.3mm in depth). Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up.
  5. By now, the salted caramel filling should’ve completely cooled. Pour this into the base, leaving room for the chocolate topping. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until the salted caramel has formed a jelly-like appearance (it will still feel quite runny if you touch it, but that’s fine).
  6. Next, make the chocolate topping. Add the coconut milk to a saucepan over a low heat. Once warm, turn off the heat and add the chocolate, then stir until thoroughly combined. Set the chocolate aside, allowing it to cool but not set.
  7. Once the chocolate topping has more or less cooled, delicately spread a thin layer on top of the salted caramel, using a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon. Once again, place the torte in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight until firm.
  8. Just before you are about to serve, sieve cocoa powder on top, then icing sugar to look like snow or sprinkle icing sugar into a snowflake stencil (I used a tea strainer). Here are some lovely templates from SunCatcherStudio.
  9. Drizzle with extra salted caramel sauce, if desired.

TOP TIPS:

  • Use a tin with a removable base for ease when pushing the torte out.
  • Place greaseproof paper in the base of the tin beforehand to prevent sticking.
  • Use the back of a metal spoon to flatten and smooth the base into the tin.
  • Pour boiling water over a sharp knife and run your knife around the edge of the torte before trying to remove from tin.
  • As refrigeration time is quite lengthy, you may want to prepare this torte in stages. For example, you could make the base and the salted caramel sauce the day before.

Love this? Have a festive recipe you want to share? Get in touch.

Recipe adapted from: Healthy Living James and Tesco Real Food.

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