Salted Chocolate Cream Tart (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
Guys, we have to talk. I made the most divine chocolate tart last week and you have try it. I served it to my partner, who declared that it was possibly the best dessert I've ever made. Not the best chocolate dessert, not the best vegan dessert, just the best dessert period. Also, we've been shacking up for eight years, so he's tried A LOT of my desserts.
I also served it to a dozen of my coworkers, and their responses were either, "OMG SO GOOD, PLEASE MAKE THIS EVERY WEEK!" or pure shock/silent tears of joy. #notsohumblebrag #buthonest
Have I sold you yet? If you are a dessert lover, then I imagine I have. But for the health conscious crowd who might think this dessert is simply too unhealthy, don't be dissuaded. This tart is gluten-free and mostly refined sugar free. Plus, it's so creamy and rich that even a tiny slice will satisfy all of your cravings.
Did I mention it's super easy to make and requires zero actual cooking or baking?
Let's start with the no-bake brownie base, shall we? The base is a healthy mix of raw nuts, sticky Medjool dates, and raw cacao powder (i.e., a healthy brownie batter). And all you need to do is dump the ingredients in a food processor and let the machine do its magic.
If your dates aren't melt-in-your-mouth soft, I recommend soaking them in boiling water for 10 minutes. That'll make it easier for your food processor to pulverize them into a crust. For the crust, I used a combination of walnuts and almonds because I love the flavor of almonds with chocolate, but walnuts have a softer texture and are easier to grind up. You can use just one of these nuts if you don't have both on hand. Or really, any combination of nuts will do (pecans would be fabulous).
Once your dough comes together, you'll just press it into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. I find that using the bottom of a flat glass helps me smooth out the surface of the tart without having to get my hands all sticky.
While the dough is chilling, you'll make the most luscious (and easiest) chocolate cream ever. The secret ingredient is full-fat coconut cream (not so secret if you're a vegan baker). You can use either a can of coconut cream or scoop out the solid cream portion from a can of full-fat coconut milk (you will probably need two cans of coconut milk to get the required amount of coconut cream).
As I mentioned earlier, this tart is mostly refined sugar free. The only source of added sugar in this dessert is one bar of 85% dark chocolate, so this tart is actually quite low in sugar compared to most desserts (and certainly low in sugar compared to any dessert that tastes this rich). The only other source of sugar are the Medjool dates. Finally, to get the perfectly salted chocolate flavor, make sure to taste the chocolate cream before pouring it into the crust and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
Unlike many no-bake desserts, you don't need to refrigerate or freeze this tart overnight. Just two hours in the fridge and it's ready to serve. Since the tart is SO chocolatey, I recommend garnishing it with fresh berries or something light and zesty to counterbalance the richness. I used fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, along with a handful of chopped almonds.
If you were able to make it through this post without salivating, congratulations! You clearly are not human.
Now go get in the kitchen and whip up this insanely delicious dessert!
Vegan & Gluten-Free
Salted Chocolate Cream Tart
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (if not soft, soak in boiling water 10 minutes)
1/2 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup raw walnuts
4 tablespoons smooth almond butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
Salted Chocolate Cream Filling
320 ml (10.5 ounces or 1 1/3 cups) coconut cream
1 3.5 ounce bar of 85% dark chocolate (I use this brand), roughly chopped
1/3 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A large pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
A few sprinkles of flaky sea salt
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
Toasted almonds, chopped
Raw cacao nibs or chocolate chips
For the brownie crust, add the dates, almonds, walnuts, almond butter, sea salt, cinnamon and cacao powder or cocoa powder to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until you have a slightly sticky dough that comes together when you press it with your fingers.
Fold the cacao nibs into the dough with a rubber spatula.
Press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place in the freezer to firm up for 20 minutes and clean out the food processor.
Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the coconut cream, chopped dark chocolate, and coconut oil until melted and smooth.
Add the melted chocolate mixture to the clean food processor along with the dates, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Process until everything is combined and completely smooth. Your filling should be smooth, silky, and rich.
Remove the tart crust from the freezer and pour in the chocolate filling. Garnish with flaky sea salt and taste for seasonings. Chill the tart in the refrigerate for 2 hours or until set and firm.
When ready to serve, garnish with berries, chopped toasted almonds, and raw cacao nibs or chocolate chips.