Vegan Pastry Chef Fran Costigan is internationally recognized for transforming traditional desserts and pastries into vegan sweets that are free of dairy and eggs. Her books include “Vegan Chocolate Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts” and “More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally.”
Costigan is Rouxbe’s Director of Vegan Pastry where she offers a 90-day online course entitled “Essential Vegan Desserts.” The program provides the essential foundations for creating desserts without the use of eggs and dairy, from pies, tarts, and cakes to aquafaba, mousses, gels, trifles, and sauces.
Rouxbe offers online curricula both for cooking professionals and enthusiasts. For industry professionals, Rouxbe provides comprehensive culinary training to kitchen teams through themed modules. Examples include plant-based foundations, seafood literacy, food waste, and stock fundamentals. Details here: www.rouxbe.com
In this recipe for Bittersweet Ganache Glazed Chocolate Torte, Costigan uses organic granulated sugar and pure grade maple syrup as sweeteners and non-dairy milk alternatives.
Bittersweet Ganache Glazed Chocolate Torte to Live For
Makes One (9-Inch / 23-Cm) Torte, 8 to 10 Servings
- 1/2 cup / 70 grams organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup / 64 grams organic all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 31 grams of Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup / 50 grams organic granulated sugar, finely ground in a blender
- 1 teaspoon / 5 grams aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon / 5 grams of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 grams fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil or organic neutral vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 210 ml any non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 ml pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 recipe Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache Glaze (recipe follows)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C. Oil the sides and bottom of the cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment circle or paper cut to fit. Do not oil the paper.
Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the strainer and stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture.
Whisk the oil, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, vanilla, chocolate extract (if using), and vinegar in a separate medium bowl until completely combined. Immediately pour into the dry mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the pan. Rotate the pan to level the batter and tap it lightly on the counter to get rid of some of the air bubbles.
Bake the cake on the center rack for 28 to 32 minutes, or until the top of the cake is set, the sides have started to pull away from the pan, and a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Run a thin spatula around the sides of the cake to release the sides of the cake from the pan. Invert the layer onto the rack, remove the pan, and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert again, top side up on the rack, to cool completely. When the cake is completely cool, slide a cardboard circle or a flat plate underneath. Cover the cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold before glazing.
Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Makes 2 cups/ 480ml
- 8 ounces / 227 grams dark chocolate (70 to 72%), finely chopped
- 1 1⁄4 cups / 300 ml organic almond milk, soymilk or coconut milk beverage (more as needed to adjust consistency)
- 2 tablespoons / 18 grams organic granulated sugar
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons / 6.25 ml pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons / 10 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil
Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set aside while you heat the milk.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking a few times to a low boil.
Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the hot milk over the chopped chocolate all at once. Rotate the bowl so the chocolate is completely submerged. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand undisturbed for 4 minutes.
Add the vanilla and olive oil (if using) and whisk from the center out only until smooth and glossy.
Keep the bowl of ganache at room temperature while you test the final consistency. Dip a teaspoon into the ganache, set the coated spoon on a small plate, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. After chilling, the ganache on the spoon should be smooth and firm, but should still taste creamy. It is unlikely, but if the glaze is too firm, add a tablespoon of room temperature milk, and repeat the test. Add a second tablespoon if needed.
Pass the ganache through a strainer into a bowl. Whisking slowly will speed the process.
Allow the ganache to thicken at room temperature for 15 to 25 minutes, or until it will coat a spoon thickly with minimal dripping, but remain pourable. Stir a few times from the outside into the center before glazing.
Keeping: The glaze can be refrigerated in a tightly closed container for up to five days and frozen for up to one month. The glaze hardens when it is cold and will need to be reheated. To reheat, spoon the glaze into a heatproof bowl that fits over a saucepan of barely simmering water. When about two-thirds of the glaze is melted, stir gently until it is smooth. Adjust the consistency as needed by stirring warm nondairy milk into the glaze a little at a time.
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