Flourless Chocolate Torte with Oreo Crust and Oreo Filling Icing p.s. Oreos are vegan

Chase: “tell me a fun fact about Oreos — THEY’RE VEGAN TOO LATE I ALREADY TOLD YOU” was the first thing I heard when I brought home a whole package of Oreos (double stuf obviously).

I think a lot about making desserts and meals that are friendly to a variety of allergies or preferences. I once made a vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/onion-free soup for my friend Sneha (but tequila was OK so we def used that). But dessert is definitely a tougher challenge in my book. Butter (dairy) and flour (gluten), especially, play a vital role in baked goods. However, I believe if you have to omit an ingredient, it is sometimes better just to make a different dessert all around, rather than trying to mimic a dessert that NEEDS dairy, gluten, etc. to be what it is.

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While this recipe is not dairy free, the main part of the flourless chocolate torte is gluten free! Utilizing the magical properties of eggs, this torte doesn’t need any flour to hold it’s shape.

The main function of flour within a recipe is gluten development. When flour is combined within a recipe, and then cooked, the proteins that make up flour start to essentially tighten up and form the bonds that are necessary for structure within a croissant, a muffin, pie crust, what have you. The holes that you find in your birthday cake and breads are stable because of the gluten structure within the flour that was used. Different flours have different protein contents which make their textures different. For example cake flour has very little protein, so it will yield a light and more delicate texture and mouthfeel. Bread flour has a much higher protein content which is why bread is more sturdy than cake. So what do you do when you can’t use flour but want a dessert that will blow people away? If you want something that will stand up and cut nicely (so not a pudding) I always turn to EGGS.

Eggs are probably my favorite ingredient in any recipe. They provide multiple purposes to a recipe and it blows my mind every time. (I even have a laminated poster in my kitchen that has a chart of how many different ways you can use eggs). The main function of eggs in this recipe, as mentioned before is STRUCTURE! Just like when eggs cook in a frittata, they hold their shape when cut. However, in this recipe they are surrounded by sugar and chocolate and really just provide an overall richness to the torte. AND they contribute to the delicate, yet pristine, clean-cut edges!

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Ok, by now you can see how rich this thing really is so let’s get BAKING:

GF Flourless Chocolate Torte with Optional Oreo Crust (not GF)

Optional Oreo Crust (do this first if desired or skip to the torte recipe below!)

1 pkg. double stuf Oreos (YAAA) or 1 1/2 cups of Oreo cookie crumbs

6 tbsp. butter, melted

6 tbsp. flour

pinch of salt bc YES

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 8-to 9-inch springform pan or a tart pan with a removable bottom with non-stick cooking spray, or evenly spread butter on bottom and sides of pan; add a small amount of flour and tap until all buttered surfaces are also coated with flour. Separate the chocolate Oreo cookies from their addictive cream filling. We will be using this cream filling in a BONUS recipe below, or just save it for your ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, etc. Pulse cookies in a food processor, working in batches if needed. In a medium bowl, combine crushed Oreo cookies, melted butter, flour and salt. Press into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the flourless chocolate torte.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

8 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate (I suggest dark chocolate for a more bitter chocolate flavor or if you will be having red wine ;) )

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 8-to 9-inch springform pan or a tart pan with a removable bottom with non-stick cooking spray. If you are opting for the flour-included Oreo crust you are more than welcome to opt for butter+flour greasing method.

In a small saucepan, combine chocolate, butter, sugar, and cream. Melt over medium-low heat until chocolate and butter are melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk vanilla and eggs together. Gradually whisk in half of the hot chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Once fully combined, spread batter into prepared pan with or without crust.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until a 2-1/2 inch area around outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Cool in pan on a wire rack one hour. Cover and transfer to the fridge for 3 hours or until firm. Remove springform or tart pan. Dust with powdered sugar or top with Oreo filling icing, bonus recipe below!

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BONUS RECIPE: OREO FILLING ICING

Using a stand or hand mixer, take your 1 pkg. worth of oreo filling and combine with heavy cream until you have reached a desired consistency, 1-2 tablespoons at a time. I used about 1/2 cup heavy cream. Spread over cooled torte.

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The recipe for the Flourless Chocolate Torte is from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book 17th Edition! I worked on testing recipes for this cookbook for a whole year while working for BHG in their test kitchen! I remember working on this recipe and I TRUST IT COMPLETELY but the Oreo crust is from yours truly! If you end up buying this book, look for my name on the 2nd page ;)