This rich and chocolate-filled tart looks good enough to have come from a fancy bakery, but really only takes a few choice ingredients and some time in the freezer!It’s vegan, gluten free, and absolutely delicious.
If you don’t believe me, well, the fact that I ate nearly half this tart by myself at a dinner party speaks for itself. And there were two cakes also on the table! They went ignored in favour of the thing I made myself (which is kind of tacky, maybe? Oh well).
My problem with typical non-vegan desserts like this is that I’m super apprehensive about what’s in them. Is it filled with egg yolks? Is the filling secretly just straight up butter with some cocoa powder thrown in for colour? Yeah, those sorts of things gross me out. Sorry, foodies. I’m sticking with this recipe instead.
The crust is less sweet than the filling, but still would probably be delightful on its own. The almonds and the couple of dates and splash of maple syrup all add dimensional sweetness that really can’t be beat. The coconut oil is what holds the whole thing together, so don’t skimp out on it.
A word on coconut: I know that some people are wary of it because it’s high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is the “bad” kind of fat, and will elevate your LDL cholesterol. However, coconut also does contain unsaturated fats, the “good” kind that raises your HDL cholesterol.
My opinion is that if you’re eating a diet that is relatively low or free of saturated fats otherwise (which, if you’re vegan, is possibly the case since you don’t eat animal fat or butter), then coconut isn’t going to be a problem. Moderation in all things, of course, but that’s where I come down in the debate. In the same way that a buttery pastry or tart would be an occasional treat for a non-vegan, so too should a coconut tart be an occasional treat for a vegan.
And if you’re not vegan and still want to eat this (and you should), then the same basic principle applies.
So! Now that I’ve lectured you on nutrition and fats, let’s talk about how good this tart is again. It’s outstanding. I sliced several wedges of it and stored them in a container in the freezer for easy sneaking. So far I’ve only dipped in once, but it’s still early in the week.
If you want to leave out the half cup of sugar in the filling, you totally can. It will just make the tart more bittersweet overall. You might ask, what’s the point of using dark chocolate and then just adding sugar? Well, dark chocolate is usually vegan. That’s literally it. The added sugar also adds somewhat to the density of the filling, but I think it will be fine without it, if necessary.
With this specific formulation, I think that this tastes exactly like a solid version of the butter-based hot fudge sauce that my mom makes. I honestly do not taste the coconut at all, but other people who tried it said they did, loud and clear. So perhaps my taste buds aren’t up to the task – but you can decide for yourself.
Dark Chocolate Tart
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 5 pitted dates
- 1/4 cup raw whole almonds
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 170 grams dark chocolate
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a food processor, add the almond flour, cocoa powder, dates, almonds, and salt. Process on high until the almonds and dates are broken down into small pieces.
Melt the coconut oil and pour into the food processor. Add the maple syrup. Pulse the mixture until it becomes like a thick dough.
Take a 9 inch tart pan and oil it lightly with a little extra coconut oil. Spread the tart crust in an even layer across the pan. Put in the freezer for at least half an hour.
To make the filling, pop a can of coconut milk (with as high a fat content as possible) into the fridge for an hour or so. When you open it, the coconut cream should have solidified at the top of the can. Measure out 1/2 cup. You can reserve the leftover liquid for smoothies, curries, etc.
In a small saucepan, add the coconut cream. Put over low-medium heat and allow it to melt. Once fully melted, add the white sugar. (Note: you can cut down on the sugar or omit it entirely, if you prefer a more bitter chocolate flavour. Still delicious!)
Once the sugar is dissolved, take the coconut cream off the heat. Add the vanilla extract and the dark chocolate, broken down into pieces. Allow the residual heat to melt the chocolate, stirring it occasionally, until it is completely combined.
Take the tart crust out of the freezer and pour the filling over top, distributing it evenly. Return it to the freezer for at least half an hour before serving.
Serving tips: This tart is easy to slice and eat right out of the freezer. If left at room temperature, it will totally hold its shape, but become too soft to slice cleanly. Return it to the freezer for a while to firm it up again. It can also be stored in the freezer in slices and taken out at will!