What a week. Monday morning I excitedly launched my new project, and my only worry was whether my new song obsession meant I was now a Belieber. Monday evening, I sat in a podiatrist’s office waiting for her to come and confirm what I thought was probably a sore tendon in my right foot. As I idly flipped through an issue of Martha Stewart Living, a recipe for a chocolate buckwheat torte caught my eye, so I took a picture of the recipe with my phone and sat back to wait for the doctor. Thirty minutes later, I had been x-rayed and diagnosed with a stress fracture in one of my sesamoids, a bone so small it’s named after a seed. I was outfitted with an air cast and sent home with strict instructions not to walk more than is necessary for my commute to work.
So yeah, not a sore tendon.
By Thursday, 3 days into my 8-week sentence, I was realizing the realities of my new situation. On Tuesday morning, I took the bus to work, telling myself it was just while I got used to the boot. Tuesday afternoon, I walked a relatively flat 10 blocks to my dentist and back to work, but even the minor hills I had to walk made me realize the awkwardness of my new accessory. Wednesday morning, I sadly bought my first bus pass in years. Thursday morning, I had to uber to work because I hadn’t yet mastered the bus schedule. Worse than all the day-to-day adjustments, I had to cancel all my hiking plans with friends and resign myself to weekends on the couch.
And I let my fitbit die!
Needless to say, I was in the mood for some stress baking. I remembered that chocolate torte, but I also remembered that my main source of exercise had been taken away from me, and I probably didn’t need to start gorging myself on sweets. But I was feeling sorry for myself, and my dentist said I didn’t have any cavities, so I did what any sensible person would do. I made a smaller torte! It also turned out I was short on butter and eggs, and since “swinging by the grocery store” actually requires planning and effort now, I decided to make the torte vegan, and use the substitutes I had on hand.
So here is a tiny, vegan, gluten free chocolate buckwheat torte, topped with a drizzle of maple tahini glaze in honor of my injury, and finished with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. It's rich and fudgy and I hope it brings you as much joy at the end of a crappy week as it did me.
Chocolate Buckwheat Torte with Maple Tahini Glaze
Adapted from Martha
For the Torte:
4 tbs coconut oil
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
scant 1/8 cup almond meal
1/6 cup buckwheat flour
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 flax seed eggs (2 tbs ground flax seed + 6 tbs water, stir together, let sit 5 min)
1/4 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
For the Maple Tahini Glaze:
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs tahini
1/2 tbs coconut oil
pinch sea salt
flaky sea salt, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 4-inch springform pan.
- In a heat-proof mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together the almond meal, buckwheat flour, salt and cinnamon and set aside.
- Add the flax eggs and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Fold in the chocolate and then the flour.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then release from pan and let cool completely.
- While cake is cooling, make the caramel sauce. In a small saucepan heat the maple syrup, tahini, coconut oil, vanilla and salt together until melted and incorporated.
- When cake has cooled, set on a plate, top with the glaze, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and serve.
- If vegan isn't your thing, just use 2 eggs and 4 tbs butter instead of the flax eggs and coconut oil.