Welcome Virtual Vegan Potluckers! If you’ve made it this far you must be stuffed by now! I hope you’ve saved room for dessert though—there are 31 of them—and they’re going to be delicious!
For my wedding 6 years ago my mom compiled a recipe book filled with 59 of her favorite recipes from friends, relatives, and of course, her own. Not only does it have all of the recipes, it is complete with pictures of the friends who contributed recipes, pictures of me baking when I was a toddler, and my grandparents! Over the last few weeks I think I have set out on a mission to veganize all of them, a la Betty Goes Vegan. Just wait ’til December 1st when I release my ebook of my favorite family holiday candy recipes, all vegan of course!
One of the first recipes of my mom’s that I veganized is her Festive Cranberry Torte. Now, before you correct me, I know that torte actually means “a rich cake made with many eggs, often flourless.” This is not that at all, but that’s the name it has in my book and I’m sticking with it. We’ve called it Cranberry Torte for years!
Veganizing it was no small feat, as the original includes both whipped cream and egg white meringues, but have no fear, I did it and it’s as good as the original! There are many steps to this torte, but none are difficult and then end result is well worth it. If you follow the steps in the order given you can have the entire dessert assembled and into the freezer in under an hour. Not bad for a delicious dessert. I served a test run to my friends this weekend, and then served leftovers to my mom the next day. It was a hit with everyone, and I was proud to have it pass my mom’s “inspection.”
This torte is a frozen dessert, which makes it perfect for making ahead of time. There’s nothing better than waking up on Thanksgiving or Christmas day knowing that you’ve already got your dessert made! It is light and refreshing, a nice change after so many heavy holiday dishes. It’s festive pink color* makes it perfect for any occasion, but especially for all of our upcoming holidays!
Before you check out the recipe, take a minute to follow me if you don’t already, so that you won’t miss any more delicious recipes—especially that holiday candy ebook coming up in just 2 weeks! I’m on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and you can follow me via email by subscribing on the right side of this page.
Festive Cranberry Torte
1/3 c whole flax seeds
2 c water
1 can Coconut Cream (I prefer Trader Joes, brown can), refrigerated for several days
1 c almonds
½ c pecans
½ c coconut
1 ½ T coconut oil
6 soft dates
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt
2 c whole cranberries
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t orange extract
1/8 t salt
* Optional ingredient for die hard Virtual Vegan Potluck fans using the secret ingredient: make it extra pink by mixing in a teaspoon of fresh beet juice! Grate a small piece of beet and squeeze the pulp into a bowl, leaving the juice. Be careful—it will stain your fingers!
1 T cornstarch
½ c sugar
¾ c cranberries
2/3 c water
8 inch spring form pan, bottom lined with parchment paper and sides wiped with coconut oil
Place flax seeds and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a low boil, about medium heat (a 5 or 6 out of 10). Stir occasionally as the water gels and reduces. You want to get a half cup of gel at the end. I poured my mixture out through my mesh strainer into a measuring cup 4 times, checking each time to see if it had reduced enough. The gel will be thick but will pour easily. It can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid it is, the heat of your burner, etc. Be patient—it really works and is worth it!
In the meantime, carefully open the can of coconut milk. Scoop off the hard layer of coconut cream/fat, making sure to leave the coconut water behind. Place the coconut cream into your stand mixer and beat on high for several minutes, until it is the consistency of thick whipped cream. Place in a sealed container and set aside in the fridge—the whipped cream will firm up as it chills.
Place the almonds and pecans in a skillet and toast over medium heat for a few minutes. When they are close to toasted (not quite fragrant) add the shredded coconut. Toast until coconut is lightly browned. Remove from heat and place all into the food processor. Pulse several times to break the nuts up. Add the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt and continue to pulse/run food processor until the nuts are very small and the mixture sticks together when pinched.
Pour out nut mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Press down, creating a small lip around the edge (it will not go all the way up the sides). If the mixture sticks to your fingers, wet your fingers with cold water and keep pressing. Set aside in the freezer to chill.
Wipe out the food processor bowl. Add cranberries, sugar, vanilla and orange extracts, and salt (and beet juice if using). Process until berries are small (but not a puree) and the mixture is well incorporated. Fold into the whipped cream and set in the freezer to chill (the colder everything is, the quicker it will freeze up for the final torte.).
The flax seeds should be nearly done now. Pour through a strainer into a measuring cup and see if they measure ½ cup. If they do, place in the freezer for a few minutes to chill. Remove from freezer and place into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on high for about 5 minutes, or until the meringue is white, fluffy, and stiff peaks form (you should be able to pull the whisk up and it will leave peaks in the meringue in the bowl.).
Carefully fold the meringue into the whipped cream cranberry mixture, being sure not to flatten the mixture (you want all of that air to maintain a nice, light texture). Once it is completely incorporated, pour into the reserved crust. Smooth out the top and place the whole torte into the freezer to set up. It needs at least 3 hours to firm up, preferably more!
For the glaze: In a pan combine sugar and cornstarch. Add berries and water. Cook and stir until berry skins pop. Cool, but do not chill. Pour over torte.
Note: the glaze is best poured on right before serving. However, I ended up freezing my leftovers with the glaze on it overnight and it turned out just fine the next day. If you’re pressed for time, just pour the glaze on and freeze it all!
Note: Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving. While this dessert is frozen, it can probably stay out at room temperature for a good 30 minutes before you’ll need to return it to the freezer—it’s sturdier than a traditional ice cream cake.
Did you miss the final entree of the night? Head back over to the Divine Spice Box!
Is it even possible that you are still hungry? Ok then, head over to Vix Bakes for more dessert!
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