Okay, gave you Chocolate Mousse with ginger crust, a dessert with traditional ingredients. You’ll have fun trying this whether you eat a vegan diet or not. British brother-in-law Howard (check out his music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKO24MPVF7c) made it for us last summer, twice in fact, because it was so popular! Trust me, it is rich and delicious enough to become a favorite. Last night I texted the recipe to son Nathaniel who reported it was “insanely good.” I smiled when I checked the text to write this: my iPhone had autocorrected one of the ingredients: 1 Tablespoon vanilla “extravehicular.” And so:
Vegan Chocolate Tart
7-9” tart pan with a removable bottom, lined with a circle of parchment paper. The width of the pan will determine the thickness of the tart. Straight sides work better than fluted.
8 oz. pecans, walnuts or almonds
6 oz. pitted dates
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste.)
3 ripened avocados – peeled and cubed (should have bright yellow-green flesh, not over ripe.)
½ cup agave nectar
3 Tablespoons Coconut oil
1 Tablespoon GF vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt (Howard’s recipe calls for “Pink Himalayan Salt”)
1½ cup very good unsweetened cocoa powder – splurge on this.
- Pulse the pecans, dates, and salt in a food processor until the consistency of (rolled oats). Press firmly into the prepared pan. Chill whilst preparing the filling.
- Puree the avocados, agave nectar and coconut oil, vanilla and salt in a food processor or blender until creamy smooth. Add a splash or two of water to help if the mixture is too thick to move.
- Add the cocoa powder and pulse to blend completely.
- Spoon the chocolate “mousse” into the prepared crust, spreading evenly. I like to use a “Lazy Susan”: place the tart in the center, spin with one hand whilst spreading from the center with the other.
- Chill for 2 hours or overnight. Serve with vegan whipped topping or if you’re not a purist, whipped cream.
P.S. December 31, 2012, New Year’s Eve: We’ve made 5, FIVE, vegan chocolate tarts since Christmas Eve, having fun experimenting with variations as it’s become the go to dessert for family and friends. For one we added a tablespoon of ground cinnamon to the chocolate mixture. For another we substituted honey for the agave syrup. We added the zest of a whole orange to another. Our favorite is “Mocha Chocolate Tart”, substituting 3 tablespoons of very, VERY strong coffee for the vanilla. (If you don’t want to brew the coffee make a syrup of instant espresso.) Next up: 1. Substituting maple syrup for the agave with the possible addition of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon in the crust, and 2. Substituting almonds for the walnuts in the crust and replacing the tablespoon of vanilla with a teaspoon of almond extract plus a tablespoon of water. The only issue is that my “taste testers”, our sons, will return to California next week, leaving us to figure out how to share a lot of Vegan Chocolate Tart! There are bigger problems in 2013!
Note: this is a perfect recipe to substitute Stevia for agave or maple syrup or honey! http://www.stevia.com/Stevia_Article/Frequently_asked_questions_FAQ/2269
Another note: historically one has been urged to steer clear of coconut oil as an unhealthy additive. Use the following link to read more:http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html. If you’re still curious, read what Dr. Oz has to say: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/surprising-health-benefits-coconut-oil
Lastly, more than one person has asked what can be used as a vegan alternative to coconut oil. My best recommendations are to omit the coconut oil and add a little moisture (1-2 tablespoons of water, orange juice, coffee… depending on the flavor direction you’re going in.) Another option is to replace it with Earth Balance Spread. If the idea Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache appeals, try replacing the coconut oil with creamy peanut butter and making the crust from roasted peanuts and dates.
Good luck – Enjoy!