Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chocolate Lovers Ganache Tart / Vegan and Paleo

This may be the most simple decadent chocolate dessert. Chocolate ganache in a chocolate nut crust, serve it with whipped coconut cream and berries (or whipped cream for you milk lovers). Bring it along to a pot luck, or if you are like me, cut thin slivers off the leftover piece in the fridge, eating them standing up in the kitchen. Somehow it all disappeared too quickly.
cocoa and coconut syrup for the crust.
I needed to whip up a dessert to bring to a girlfriends dinner party over the weekend. I was late, as usual I had overbooked my day, and had not left much time to bake. Rifling through my recipe box the ganache stared at me. It had been staring at me for a few weeks. I used to make it often, but it had been ages. It would be fast, simple, and with minimal baking time of about 10 minutes. Perfect! 
Flax seed hydrating in water.
I whipped it up, no problem, and threw it in the fridge to set. But, I needed to be getting on my way over to the party and it hadn't quite set yet...really not much at was still jell-O jiggling. So I fitted a basked with ice packs and my chocolate tart and crossed my fingers that any chocolate flood would stay off the car carpet. Miraculously not a drop was spilled, we stuck it in her fridge when I arrived. By the time for dessert it was well set and ready to slice with a sharp knife. 
Serve small pieces, it is quite rich and depending on the chocolate you use, can be on the bitter side. Better to see who really loves chocolate and wants to come back for more. 

If you have even a moderately stocked kitchen, you can probably throw this together from things in your panty. Usually I make one large tart in a fluted pan with a removable bottom. A very elegant, shinny, solid chocolate presentation. This time I used a throw away aluminum pan because I misplaced my tart pan. And sometimes, I make small personal tarts, they are easy and adorable. The crust to ganache ratio is different, but with some berries would be quite balanced. 

Chocolate Lovers Ganache Tart / Vegan and Paleo

  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (sifted makes your life easier)
  • 1.5 Tablespoon coconut syrup (honey, or maple syrup)
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 lb (16 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (Taza or other vegan chocolate)
  • 1 Tablespoon dark rum

Preheat oven to 350°. (makes a 9" or 10" tart pan, a 9" pie plate, or about 10 small tartlets)

Mix flax seed and water in a bowl. Let sit to hydrate for 5 minutes. 
Add cocoa powder and coconut syrup to the flax seed. Mix together with a rubber spatula. If you wisely sifted the cocoa powder this will go easily. If you are absent minded, like me, and didn't sift, you will now need to mush up many of the cocoa clumps. Sing something good, it goes by faster.
Add the almond meal and salt to the chocolate mixture. Mix everything together using the spatula. It will be dry and difficult at first, mix for about 1 minute and you will find it becomes more like a moist dough. 

Lightly grease your pan. Using your fingers, press the chocolate dough into a crust in your tart pan. Go up and sides and make sure there are no holes. If your hands get sticky, rinse them under cool water and return to crust making. 

Blind bake the crust for about 10 minutes in the 350° oven. Looking for it to puff slightly and smell a little toasted. There is nothing which needs to be cooked out, the flax will set and the almonds will be toasted. You can't mess it up, is what i'm saying. Just don't forget it and burn it. 
You can do this next step while the tart is baking. Open a can of full fat coconut milk, put in a saucepan and put on a medium low heat. Weigh out 1 pound of chocolate bits. If you have a chocolate bar, cut it into pieces. With a spatula, stir the coconut milk so it warms up but does not scorch. Heat it to just less than a simmer, just a few bubbles around the edge of the pan.
Turn off the heat. Pour in all the chocolate bits. Nudge them with your spatula to submerge them. But don't stir. (Double check the flame is turned off!) Give it a moment to melt all on its own.

About now you can remember to remove the tart crust from the oven to cool a bit.

Give the melting chocolate a stir or two. It will melt with no more heat, just stir with the spatula, it likes that. Once it is all velvety and smooth, you are home free. Stir the rum into the chocolate, stir to combine, and pour all the amazing melty chocolate into the chocolate crust. Dab the spatula on the top to flatten out the ripples. Place in the fridge to chill. This should happen in an hour or two, depending on how thick your tart pan is. 

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