Dark chocolate, cashew banana cream torte with blueberries

A simple, flourless dark chocolate cake with sweet bananas, cashew and blueberries. No added sugar, oil or salt (except for the chocolate) and no baking. The bananas have a pudding style texture (rather than like frosting). Refrigerate over night before assembling if you can wait that long.


For the torte
1/2 cup whole grain teff
2 cups water
100g bittersweet chocolate (I use a fairly traded, organic bar)
Stevia or additional sweetener to taste

For the bananas and cashew
3 large very ripe bananas
2T cashew butter
2T tapioca flour and 1T arrowroot flour dissolved in 3T water
2T milled flax seed
Stevia or additional sweetener to taste

For the garnish
1 cup blueberries (I use frozen)

Optional: Raspberries, sliced strawberries, even mango or pineapple should work with this as the garnishing fruit. Add 1T sweet white miso (reduced sodium), or a little fresh ginger with the flax seeds for a little extra nutrition and flavour. A pinch of salt here and there will bring out the other flavours. A tablespoon or two of cashew butter with the teff will add some additional flavour and mouth feel.

For a faster, simpler version, when the torte has setup, blend frozen bananas, cashews and flax — no heating, no tapioca. Return to the freezer for about 15 minutes for the flax to setup and then fill the torte immediately.


Start the torte, then make the filling.

In a medium pan with a lid, toast the teff over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the water. Bring to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring periodically for about 25 minutes until the water has been absorbed. The teff will be done when the water has been absorbed and it’s coming away from the sides.

When the teff is ready, break the chocolate up into smaller squares and on the lowest heat, add to the pan. Stirring continuously, melt the chocolate. Don’t add water, soy milk or anything at this point, don’t change the temperature of the pan or anything else that may cause the chocolate to seize.

When the chocolate has melted, remove the pan from heat. Sweeten to taste if necessary (although not too much — you want a dark chocolate flavour to go with the very ripe, very sweet bananas and the flavour will balance out as the teff cools). Pour/spoon the teff into (2) 5″ tart pans (or similar). Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Let cool 20 minutes uncovered. Wrap in plastic wrap and chilled for at least 4 hours to setup.

Cream the bananas. In a small sauce pan, warm them and add the cashew butter. Don’t bring them to a boil, but warm them enough to poach. Slowly and stirring continuously, add the tapioca and arrowroot mixture until thickened. This may take a minute or two. Increase heat if necessary, but both tapioca and arrowroot thicken below boiling.

When the mixture has thickened, remove from heat. Let stand 2 – 3 minute to cool. Add the flax seed and stir to combine. Sweeten to taste if necessary. Let cool another 10 minute on the counter. Cover loosely and chill for at least 1 hour. Cover tightly and chill for another 2 – 3 hours.

When the bananas and the cake have setup, plate and serve. Turn out one layer of the teff. Add about 1 cup filling to the middle layer. Add 1/2 cup blueberries. Turn out the second teff layer. Add the remaining filling over the top. Add the remaining blueberries, slice and enjoy.

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