Salted Chocolate Tarts ?
Vegan & Gluten Free
If we 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 70-99% 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).
(vegan & gluten free) Salted Chocolate Tarts
For the hazelnut crust
- 3/4 cup hazelnut flour
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme minced (optional, but highly suggested)
- 1/3 cup + 1 TBS grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon water
For the chocolate filling
- a few pinches of high quality salt I use Maldon to garnish before serving
Make the tartlet cases
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.
Make the chocolate filling
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.
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). Otherwise Bob's Red Mill makes a great one.