(vegan & gluten free) 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 and smooth, definitely leaving you to wonder about the whole vegan part of the equation. And the hazelnut and thyme pairing of the crust is well, just divine.
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 are what binds the whole thing together.
And hey, if hazelnuts are not your thing, just do the tartlet cases all almond. But I personally love the hazelnut-chocolate combo (hint hint! Nutella). I also like to make these tartlets as a 50-50 chocolate-filling-to-hazelnut-crust ratio, but feel free to play around. These are no chocolate soufflé, so feel free to adjust ratios such as sweetness a bit according to taste.
Just do not forget to sprinkle a touch of great quality salt right before serving (I favour Maldon), or a pink himalayan will work great as well.
p.s. the chocolate filling is also pretty amazing on (warm) toast. Fairly similar in taste to the Dutch hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles).
- ¾ cup hazelnut flour
- 1½ cup almond flour
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 TBS fresh thyme, minced (optional, but highly suggested)
- ⅓ cup + 1 TBS grapeseed oil
- 1 TBS water
- 200 g (7 oz) cacao paste (or 99% cacao chocolate)
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- ¾ 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
- 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.