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Chocolate Strawberry Torte

I love chocolate. I love strawberries. Together, they create dessert heaven. In this lovely cake, strawberries are nestled between layers of moist cake and decadent-tasting chocolate glaze. Gorgeous to serve and yummy to eat. In a word, yum! 

Ingredients

Torte:

1 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch sea salt
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup Suzanne's Specialties brown rice syrup
unsweetened almond milk

Ganache:

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons Suzanne's Specialties Chocolate Rice Nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups non-dairy, grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1 pint basket fresh strawberries, tops removed, thinly sliced, reserving one

Directions 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil and flour a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides.

Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the pan, lightly oil it and place on the bottom of the pan. Place toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until you create a fine meal. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in oil and rice syrup. Slowly add almond milk, by the tablespoonful, to create smooth, spoonable batter. Spoon evenly into prepared pan and bake until the top of the cake springs back to the touch, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the rim between the cake and the pan to loosen it. Invert cake onto a plate and set aside to cool completely. Use a sharp, serrated knife to split the cake in half, making 2 thin layers. 

Make the ganache by bringing almond milk, rice syrup and vanilla to a rolling boil. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant mixing bowl and pour boiling liquid over top. Whisk until a smooth, silky texture forms. Cover with plastic and chill until it thickens, about an hour. When the ganache is ready, place one cake layer (cut side up) on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 of the ganache over the cake. Arrange strawberry slices (reserving some for garnish) in concentric circles to cover the ganache. Spread 1/3 of the ganache over the cut side of the other cake layer. Gently press the cake, ganache-side down onto the strawberries, creating a thick layer of chocolate and strawberries in the center. Spread remaining ganache over the top of the cake. 

Press remaining strawberry slices in concentric circles to decorate the top edge of the torte. Take reserved whole strawberry and from the top, slice lengthwise to the tip, leaving the stem edge attached. Press gently to fan slices and place in the center of the cake.



Makes 8-10 servings.  

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