Little tartlets – filled with a vegan sugar-free chocolate ganache in puff pastry cases.
They definitely hit that sweet spot!
Alternatively, this mix would be great for a large flan – although I would recommend blind-baking the pastry for 10 minutes first….
To avoid sugar, I used Cacao Paste, which looks just like dark chocolate …but has no sugar.
For sweetener I used dates, and for texture and depth of flavour, freshly ground toasted almonds.
Coconut cream gives it a consistency of a thick fudgy ganache….
A nice combination …mellow and sweet….
The case is puff pastry, and formed like those little Portuguese custard tarts, but very thin…. (vegan custard tarts for another blog…)
CACAO, ALMOND AND DATE TARTS
Make 12: 6-7cm. in diameter
- 250gms. pitted dates
- 180gms. almonds
- 60gms. Cacao Paste
- 1 tin coconut milk – refrigerated overnight
- 300gms. puff pastry ( homemade or shop-bought)
- Decoration: cinnamon, ground desiccated coconut, or ground/ or finely chopped nuts and nutmeg
- Lightly grease a 12 cup deep muffin pan ( 6-7 cm cups)
- Roll out the pastry to a rectangle about45cm. x 15cm.
- Then roll the pastry into a long log, and refrigerate for 30mins.
- Then, cut the log into 12 equal segments.
- Turn the segment upward, so you can see the spiral.
- Gently mould the pastry into a cup, by opening it up from the centre of the spiral, and pinching the base together. Until it will fit into your muffin pan. The pastry will be quite thin.
- In a small lidded saucepan gently cook the dates in 200 ml. of water for 20-25mins. Keep them covered throughout cooking.
- Spread the nuts on a baking tray and toast the nuts in the oven on a low heat for 10-15mins.
- Break up the cacao paste and place in a bowl.
- Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water – so the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- In a blender, grind the toasted nuts to a fine powder.
- When the dates are cooked, allow them to cool a little and then add them to the blender and puree with the nuts until smooth. Add a little of the date cooking water:(50 ml. or so?)
- When the cacao paste has melted, add to the blender with pureed dates and nuts, and blend everything until completely combined.
- Open tin of coconut milk, and separate the water from the thick coconut cream. (The water is perfectly nice to drink, or can be added to soups etc. so save it…!)
- Whisk the thick coconut milk to a fluffy cream.
- Add the cacao/nut/date paste to the coconut cream, and fold/stir in until evenly combined.
- Fill the pastry cases, and bake in a pre-heated oven Gas Mk. 6-7 / 200/220C for 15-20mins. until the edges of the pastry are golden.
Allow to cool completely before removing tarts from the tin.
Sprinkle with a decoration of your choice: cinnamon, ground coconut, chopped nuts, nutmeg….
Nice with coffee…. or cinnamon tea….