Hi everyone! Hope you all had a fantastic Easter break last weekend! Luckily for me, I also had the week off from uni, although somehow, what with all the errands and catching up on study and assignments, it went by incredibly quickly.
This year (like every year!) Easter was celebrated with much feasting and indulgence. Mr Duckie and I were particularly looking forward to eating meat and chocolate again! I'd had chocolate on my mind for weeks, as I was thinking and researching ideas for what chocolate dessert would be best to celebrate with. My mind first turned to some chocolate mousse and cream type cakes, and the recipes I saw did look incredibly delicious. However, as the years pass, Mr Duckie and I find that our digestion is not as strong as it used to be (sigh...old age...), and I wasn't sure how our stomachs would cope with the sudden onslaught of indulgence.
Then my mum brought home an old magazine from her work. It was a health focused magazine, and best of all had a "Guilt-free Desserts" section showcasing vegan desserts! There were pages and pages of sumptuous looking desserts, and from these recipes I chose this delectable chocolate tart. Ingeniously, instead of cream, coconut cream is used to make the chocolate filling, and the butter in the tart shell is replaced with coconut oil. This was the perfect recipe as I already had most of the ingredients at hand, and with all the non-dairy substitutions, I hoped it would be a little easier on the tummy!
And indeed this tart did not disappoint. Even though the filling was dairy-free, it was so very creamy, velvety and rich. In fact, my mum and my mother-in-law both thought I had used cream cheese to make the filling! The filling tasted intensely chocolately, whilst the crust had a mild coconut aroma and taste. The original recipe used ground hazelnuts for the crust, however, I replaced these with plain sweet biscuits so that Anita could eat it. I think it would taste quite nice though with hazelnuts -perhaps even a half-and-half mixture of nuts and biscuits would be good!
Overall, it was a satisfyingly delicious chocolate dessert, without all the usual heaviness! I decorated the top with Easter eggs, but of course you could use berries or your favourite fruit instead, or just enjoy it as is!
Coconut and chocolate tart
Adapted from Nourish magazine, July-August 2013, p 82.
220g plain sweet biscuits (I used Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits - which I subsequently discovered are quite tasty on their own or with a cup of tea!)
30g shredded coconut
40g cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 can (400ml) full-fat coconut cream
280g 85% dark chocolate, broken
Easter eggs, fresh berries or fresh fruit, to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Lightly grease a 20cm round springform tin with coconut oil. Line the base with baking paper.
3. Crush sweet biscuits into a fine powder - you can do this in a food processor, or put the biscuits into a zip-lock bag and crush with a rolling pin (lots of fun!). Place the crushed biscuits into a bowl, then add coconut, cocoa powder, honey, and coconut oil. Stir to combine
4. Press mixture into tin and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
5. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut cream to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and add broken chocolate. Stir continuously until smooth and velvety and pour into tart crust.
6. Refrigerate for two to three hours, then top with desired decorations and serve.