Vegan Heartache Cake (Chocolate Eggplant Torte)
Quite a few recipes on this site would probably give a vegan a heartache, for obvious reasons. But this one is titled Vegan Heartache Cake because it’s adapted in a roundabout way from a recipe in the Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache cookbook. The subtitle of that cookbook is “the ultimate feel-good book of natural cakes that taste naughty” which made me smile and piqued my interest. Plus I liked the idea of a vegan version of the cake. A recipe is more versatile when it can accommodate more than one dietary preference, and this cake doesn’t suffer by being vegan in the least. In fact. . .
This recipe makes the richest, blackest, most fudge-y cake you could hope for. No, the eggplant in the title isn’t a typo but you cannot taste it at all; it simply gives depth and stickiness to the flavor and texture. Finish this with a sprinkling of sliced almonds and an additional drizzle of melted chocolate and you couldn’t ask for anything more delicious.
- 1 1-lb eggplant
- 150 grams dark chocolate (I used 70% cacao)
- 1 banana
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup good quality raw cacao powder
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 tsp cream of tarter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- Coconut oil, for greasing pans
- Dark chocolate, for garnish
- Sliced almonds, for garnish
- Grease a loaf pan and line with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Heat your oven to broil on the high setting. Grease a cookie sheet, then slice the eggplant lengthwise. Place on the cookie sheet, cut side down.
- Broil for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked through and very soft. Remove the eggplant and reset the oven's heat to 350F.
- While the eggplant cooks, melt 150 grams of chocolate over boiling water in a double boiler.
- Let the cooked eggplant cool to the touch, then scrape the inside out of its skin. Add to a food processor, along with the banana, maple syrup and melted chocolate. Puree until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cacao powder, almond flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt. Mix well, then spoon the eggplant puree into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into the greased loaf pan, bake at 350F for 40 minutes (the surface will rise and then fall).
- Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan, grasp the parchment paper lining and use it to transfer the cake to a plate.
- Refrigerate for minimum one hour to set the cake, then trim the top so the cake lies flat (optional). Invert on a serving plate, then sprinkle with sliced almonds, drizzle with melted chocolate, slice and serve.