A few weeks ago I was challenged by Nicolas over at Blogtastic Food to create a fabulous vegan dessert as part of a blogger recipe collaboration. The idea was inspired by this recipe for vegan lemon meringue pie which Nicolas put together recently, and he had the idea to challenge other food bloggers to get creative (vegan style!) and do the same. And that is how this vegan chocolate caramel tart came about.
Aside from being vegan this dessert is also free from gluten and refined sugar but doesn’t skimp on decadence. I have combined some of my favourite “healthy” dessert components into one gorgeous tart – a chocolatey and nutty base, a rich caramel centre and a smooth chocolate topping. Fresh berries and mint add a pretty pop of colour with the berries adding a delicious sweet and sharp flavour that compliments the rest of the tart beautifully. The chocolate spread topping is inspired by a recipe from “Deliciously Ella” – it is so good that I think I will give it it’s own separate post one of these days!
And if you need another reason to get your gorgeous self into the kitchen to make this chocolate caramel tart the other bonus it that the tart doesn’t require any baking. It can also be made ahead of time, in fact I would recommend chilling it in the fridge overnight to give the caramel filling a chance to firm up. If you’re not fussy about getting the perfect slice though you could tuck in after a few hours of chill time.
- the longer the tart sits in the fridge the firmer it becomes, making it the perfect make-ahead dessert. Just remember that the fresh berries and mint leaves should only be added at serving time.
- if you don’t have any fresh berries you can also top the tart with toasted coconut or almond flakes.
- if you’re not strictly vegan you can replace the maple syrup in the chocolate topping with runny honey.
- store the leftover chocolate topping in a jar in the fridge to enjoy over pancakes.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CARAMEL TART
For the base:
- 75g ground almonds
- 75g desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsp cocoa
- 75g coconut oil, melted
For the caramel filling:
- 300g pitted dates
- boiling water to soak
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150ml coconut cream
For the chocolate topping:
- 100g blanched hazelnuts
- 40ml maple syrup
- 1 tsp cocoa
- 40ml water
- fresh raspberries, to serve
- fresh blueberries, to serve
- fresh mint leaves, to serve
1.) Grease a 35cm x 12cm rectangular tart tin well.
2.) Make the base by combining the ground almonds, desiccated coconut and cocoa in a small bowl. Add the coconut oil and mix well until everything is evenly combined. Press the mixture into the tart tin and refrigerate while you make the filling.
3.) To make the filling place the dates in a small bowl. Cover the dates with boiling water and leave to soak for 15 minutes.
4.) Drain the dates and place them in a food processor. Blitz into a paste. Add the vanilla extract and coconut cream. Blitz the mixture for another few minutes to get the caramel as smooth as possible. Tip the date caramel into the chilled tart tin and spread into an even layer. Freeze the tart for 30 minutes.
5.) Next make the chocolate topping. Preheat your oven to 200ºC and line a small baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the hazelnuts in an even layer on the tray and roast for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
6.) Pop the cooled hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz into a paste. Add the maple syrup and cacao and blend again until fully combined. Add the water and blend again until combined and the spread is smooth.
7.) Spread 150ml of the chocolate spread over the caramel filling. Chill the tart in the fridge overnight. Top with fresh raspberries, blueberries and mint leaves just before serving.
Teresa hails from the beautiful city of Cape Town. Her passion for food started at a very early age and she has many fond memories of baking mince pies and biscuits over the Christmas school holidays, her grandmother’s famous apple pie and custard, her mum’s muesli slowly baking in the oven, plum jam bubbling on the stove and Monday night roast chicken being enjoyed with home made gravy. That is where her food journey started and she has been baking and cooking ever since!
You can find Teresa and all her yummy recipes over on Cupcakes and Couscous