(vegan) salted chocolate tarts. If I had to describe these (salted) chocolate tarts in just one word, awesome would be it.
These (rather decadent) chocolate tarts are proof that flavour need not be sacrificed for the sake of healthier ingredients. The filling is rich, smooth, aromatic and of course, totally awesome. While the hazelnut and thyme in the tartlet crust are pretty much chocolate soulmates.
With winter comes a bit of decadence, and these chocolate tarts definitely fit the mould. I personally like to use pure cacao paste, but the next best thing would be 99% cacao chocolate (Lindt makes it). Also, while the ground chia seeds may seem unimportant- do not omit them, as they help to bind it all together.
And hey, if hazelnuts are not your thing- just do the tartlet cases all almond. But I personally love the hazelnut-chocolate combo (you know, Nutella). I also like to make these tartlets as a 50-50 chocolate-filling-to-hazelnut-crust ratio, but feel free to play around. And of course, do not forget to sprinkle a great quality salt right before serving (I favour Maldon).
p.s. the chocolate filling is also pretty amazing on (warm) toast. Fairly similar in taste to the Dutch hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles).
click through for recipe
for the hazelnut crust (adapted from Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook)
3/4 cup hazelnut flour
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 TBS fresh thyme, minced (optional)
1/3 cup + 1 TBS grapeseed oil
1 TBS water
for the chocolate filling
200 g (7 oz) cacao paste (or 99% cacao chocolate)
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup almond milk
1 TBS chia seeds, ground
2 TBS coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 TBS agave nectar (to taste)
a few pinches of high quality salt (I use Maldon) to garnish before serving
Hazelnut flour can be hard to find- so to make, you can place hazelnuts in a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 180°C (350°F), rub off the skins and place in a food processor. Pulse until ground (but be careful to not overprocess as hazelnut butter will result).
To make the tartlet cases, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the hazelnut flour, almond flour, salt and thyme in a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Add the grapeseed oil and water and combine. Press the dough into the tartlet cases and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
To make the chocolate filling, break the cacao paste into pieces and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Place the coconut milk, almond milk, ground chia seeds, coconut oil and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Just as it begins to boil, pour over the cacao paste and let stand for about 10 minutes, or until the solids have melted. Incorporate the agave nectar to taste (I use 2 TBS).
Pour over hazelnut tartlet cases, allow to cool completely and refrigerate for 3 hours, or until completely set. Serve with a pinch of good quality sea salt.
makes 4 x 9 cm tartlets