Velvety Vegan Chocolate Torte

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Creamy, luscious, rich, decadent: just some of the words to describe snowy, sultry, romantic February. Those were the most popular words expressed when asked what comes to mind when hearing the word “February.”

What else does February bring to mind? Fitness competitions, staying strong to drop those last few unwanted holiday pounds, and knowing that bikini season is not too far away. Weight loss, building muscle, and leaning out are all components that one would not think a dessert recipe could accomplish, but with the right ingredients, absolutely “Yes!”

This month’s recipe delivers on all the February hot spots. Healthy fat-releasing fat from coconut, healing phytochemical ellagic-acid filled fresh raspberries, and rich dark chocolate – often referred to as the food of the Gods – not only give this recipe its deep, delicious flavor but also push forward powerful nutrients for energy, muscle stamina, fat balance, and even weight loss, if you can stick to only one slice.

An added feature of this chocolate torte is it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, which means there are no eggs or cream needed to achieve the creamy texture; just let the almond flour, cashews, and coconut do the work.

Indulgence has never tasted so good. For this month of love, share the taste of a fit, strong body with your Valentine.

chocolate torteVelvety Vegan Chocolate Torte

Ingredients
For Crust:
•1½ cups almond flour
•½ Tbs raw honey
•⅓ cup finely ground cashews
•¼ tsp sea salt
•6 Tbs coconut butter
•1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

For Chocolate:
•16 ounces 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate chips (or bar, chopped)
•1¾ cup reduced fat coconut milk
•½ tsp vanilla extract
•1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with an additional tablespoon of coconut butter.
2. In a food processor, combine the flour, honey, cashews, and salt. Add the coconut butter and pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal. Add the lemon juice and pulse until combined.
3. Press mixture into the prepared tart pan, covering bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
4. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, do not stir.
5. Heat coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium high heat until it just begins to boil. Pour the coconut milk over the chocolate, add the vanilla extract and stir using a wooden spoon until smooth and glossy.
6. Pour chocolate mixture over the baked crust. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until set.
7. Slice into 16 slices. Serve chilled topped with fresh raspberries. Store any remaining torte in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice
306 cal., 24.2 g fat, 12.9 g saturated fat, 24.3 g carbs, 3.5 g protein, 3.8 g fiber


Susan Irby is a Certified Fitness Nutritionist and food healer, award-winning network television and radio personality, and the creator of The Bikini Chef brand, its recipes and content, which promotes “figure flattering flavors.” She has penned 9 books and just ran her first marathon at age 50! Visit Susan online at thebikinichef.com, susanirby.com and bikinilifestyles.com.