Macaccino torte with toasted pecan and chocolate crumb

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2015) and taken from The Virtuous Tart by Susan Jane White.

Maca is the Lucozade of the granola-crunching, wheatgrass-swilling community. This golden fairy dust is supposed to strengthen stamina and virility too. If you’re curious, this mystical maca comes in powdered form resembling a sort of butterscotch flour. It’s fun to use, and if it does indeed boost libido, then it’s even more fun than expected. Good luck!IMG_1822

Makes 20 servings

For the base:
1 cup (110g) pecans
5 Medjool dates or pre-soaked regular dates, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
sprinkle of seat salt flakes

For the cream filling:
1 1/2 cups (170g) cashew nut butter
6 tblsp maple syrup or coconut blossom nectar
5 tblsp hot, strong coffee
3 tblsp maca powder
2 tblsp lucuma powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons tamari soya sauce
4 tblsp melted cacao butter
4-5 squares of dark chocolate, melted, to decorate
Coffee beans, to decorate (optional)

Step One : To make the base, put all the base ingredients in a food processor and whizz together until they begin to clump into a ball. You might need a tiny trickle of cold water or coffee to bring it all together, depending on how soft the dates are. You can post pecans first, but it’s not necessary.

Step Two : Press the mixture firmly into a non-stock 18cm springform tin, or whatever torte flan you have. Set in the freezer while you get going on the cream filling.

Step Three : To make the filling, give the cashew butter, maple syrup, hot coffee, maca, lucuma and tamari a good pelt in a high-speed blender or food processor. You don’t need to buy lucuma especially for this recipe – a dash of vanilla works just as well, but the lucuma will give buttery, caramel tones to the flavour.

Step Four : Slowly add the melted cacao butter to the mix while the motor is still running. You should have a glossy maca-fuelled ganache by now. Spread the filling over your base and refrigerate until set. You can happily keep this macaccino torte in the freezer too, for unexpected dates. To decorate, go mad with melted dark chocolate and a spoon, and parachute some coffee beans on top.

Tiramisu Cheesecake

This delicious, indulgent, baked cheesecake is made with the same wicked ingredients as the creamy italian dessert tiramisu – almond-flavoured biscuits, plain chocolate, rich mascarpone cheese and coffee.

Serves 12; Cost £9; Time to prepare: 40 mins; Time to cook: 1 hr 10 mins; Cals per portion: 605

Ingredients:-
Base: 100g (4oz) amaretti biscuits; 100g (4oz) almond cookies; 50g (2oz) butter
Filling: 750g (1 lb 10oz) mascarpone cheese; 100g (4oz) caster sugar; 30ml (2tbsp) cornflour; 3 eggs, size 3, beaten; 15ml (1tbsp) coffee liqueur or coffee essence; 225g (8oz) plain chocolate
Topping: 200ml (7fl oz) double cream, lightly whipped until softly peaking; Chocolate curls to decorate;
Cocoa powder to dust

  • To make base, roughly crush the biscuits and cookies, and place in a bowl. Melt butter, stir in and mix well. Spoon into th base of a greased 23cm (9in) springform tin and press down evenly with a potato masher. Chill in the fridge.
  • To make the filling, place the mascarpone cheese in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until soft. Beat in the caster sugar and cornflour, then gradually beat in the eggs to make a smooth mixture. Fold in the coffee liqueur or coffee essence.
  • Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave until just melted, then stir. Remove from heat and cool for 10 mins. Gently fold the melted chocolate into the mascarpone mixture.
  • Pour mixture over biscuit base. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake at 170oC, 325oF, Gas 3 for 1 hr 10 mins until set. Cool (see tip). For topping, gentle swirl cream over the cheesecake. Top with chocolate curls and dust with cocoa powder.

TIP: When the cheesecake is cooked, leave it to cool slowly insdie the turned-off oven – then will help to prevent the surface from cracking.