Can I confess something? I fell off the wagon. Big time fell off. For the past few weeks (okay, maybe all summer), I’ve been indulging in delicious ice creams made with heavy cream and yes, I’ve even cheated a few times and had gluten-filled treats and bread.
I’m ready to kick my bad habits to the curb and start again…for the dozenth time. But who’s counting?
What better way to celebrate jumping back on the wagon than a lovely vegan, gluten-free tart? (Are you buying this?) (You’re not, are you?) (Let’s pretend it’s healthy and call it good.) (What?)
I wanted to make something fun to to put on top of my new cake stand. All I knew was that I wanted coconut and chocolate. I could have put a pile of toasted coconut on top of a bar of chocolate and been fine with it. But I couldn’t settle for that, could I? The tart was born.
Now I’m not the first person to make a black-bottomed coconut cream tart. I’m not the first one to make a vegan, gluten-free version, I’m sure. But this is the first one I’ve eaten, and I’m positive that I need another slice just to be sure it really was love at first (second, third, fourth) bite.
Sure I could have just topped the tart with toasted coconut. But this is me that we’re talking about. By now (and from reading the paragraph above), you know that’s not possible. Caramel sauce. Mama wanted some caramel sauce on top. (See: gilding the lily.)
Oh, man. Come to Mama! I still have almost the whole tart–minus three four slices. Any takers?
The word from my skeptical husband is that the crust and chocolate ganache layer make this. It’s just enough chocolate to compliment the coconut cream layer, but it’s not overpowering. (He ate two slices.)
- For gluten-free chocolate crust:
- ¼ cup organic virgin coconut oil
- ⅓ cup brown sugar or sucanat
- ½ cup almond meal, packed
- ½ cup ground unsweetened coconut, or dessicated coconut
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp. cold water
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- For coconut cream pudding:
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)
- ¾ cup organic evaporated cane sugar
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
- For chocolate ganache:
- 3.5 oz. bar bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces (I used one from IKEA)
- 2 Tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp. organic agave nectar
- For caramel sauce topping:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup brown rice syrup
- pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
- For crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10" springform pan with pure vegetable shortening or oil. Trace the pan on parchment paper and cut the round to fit the bottom of the pan.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the coconut oil, brown sugar, flax "egg," and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and using an electric hand mixer, mix on low until crumbly. Stop the mixer and use your fingers to press the dough together into a ball.
- Press the dough onto the bottom and about 1½" up the sides of the springform pan. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork all over. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- For coconut cream pudding: In a saucepan, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the coconut and almond milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla extract. Transfer to a clean bowl and allow to cool. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and chill until ready to use. Before assembling tart, stir in the toasted coconut.
- For chocolate ganache: Place all of the ingredients in a glass, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds and stir. Continue heating at 10-20 second intervals, just until most of the chocolate is melted, the rest will melt as you stir it. (Be careful not to let it burn.) Pour into the cooled crust and chill until set. (If you want a thicker chocolate layer, double this recipe.)
- For caramel sauce topping: Combine brown sugar, almond milk, brown rice syrup and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and syrupy. (Test by dropping some onto a plate to see if it sets up a bit. Or it should read the "thread" stage on a candy thermometer, or about 225-230 degrees F.)
- Carefully pour the syrup into a clean, heat-proof jar and allow to cool slightly before using. (You won't need all of it.)
- To assemble: Spread the coconut cream pudding over the chocolate layer and let chill until set. Top with a good drizzle of the caramel sauce and sprinkle the top liberally with the toasted coconut.
- Allow to chill for about 30 minutes before serving. (Can be made ahead and assembled at the last minute. If you need to chill the tart for a long time before serving it, wait to drizzle it with the caramel sauce until just before serving.) It is best eaten the same day, but will keep for a few days.
*Gluten-Free, Vegan Coconut-Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies (from my archives)
*Gluten-Free Pear, Chocolate, Hazelnut Tart (from my archives)
*Vegan Black Bottom Coconut Cream Tartlettes from Fragrant Vanilla Cake
*Coconut Cream Tart from MarthaStewart.com
*Toasted Coconut Cream Pie from Completely Delicious