Friday, May 10, 2013
Chocolate Truffle Tart for Mother’s Day
Chocolate. And lots of it. This is what’s on my mind with Mother’s Day this weekend! (And avocado toast – but that’s for another time.) I tend to prefer plain chocolate, the darker the better, and keep a stash of bars on hand for easy nibbling. Sometimes, though, I want my chocolate in a more elegant form, something pretty and festive.
When I was cooking at Hillel UW, a popular dessert that I often made for the students’ Shabbat dinners was a chocolate mousse pie. This pie was quite simple to make, using melted chocolate and whipped cream for the mousse and crushed Oreos and butter for the crust. Really, what’s not to love? College kids know a good thing!
Given my new love for coconut whipped cream, though, I decided to re-create this pie using it in place of dairy whipped cream. And I love pairing walnuts with chocolate, so I took my tweaks a step further and made a chocolate walnut crust. After grinding walnuts, cocoa powder and coconut sugar together, I stirred in some coconut oil and pressed the mixture into a spring form pan to form the crust. While it baked, I melted chocolate and whipped coconut cream.
I keep a can of coconut milk in the fridge now, so it’s easy to have chilled coconut cream to whip up quickly. By turning the can over and opening the bottom, you pour off the liquid (save it for making smoothies) and then scoop out the coconut cream. After beating it, you can add vanilla or a touch of sweetness and decadently dollop away.
For this tart, I added vanilla and espresso powder to the whipped cream before folding in the melted chocolate. After pouring the filling into the cooled crust, I chilled it to firm up. The last step was showering the finished tart with golden flakes of toasted coconut.
I sighed when I took my first bite. More truffle than mousse in texture, this is an insanely rich, dense, luscious tart, perfect to celebrate Moms everywhere. Wishing all of the Mamas a beautiful Mother’s Day!
Chocolate Truffle Tart
2 cups raw walnuts
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
6 ounces dark chocolate, 70-85 % is ideal
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon hot water
1 15 ounce can whole, unsweetened coconut milk, chilled overnight
1 teaspoon vanilla
A pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup shaved coconut, toasted until golden
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts, cocoa powder and coconut sugar together until the nuts are ground. Add the melted coconut oil and pulse a couple of times to mix. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and gently pat on the bottom to form the crust. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes. The crust will be soft but will harden a bit as it cools. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat, just until it is mostly smooth. Remove from the heat and stir to finish melting. Set aside to cool just a bit. Stir the espresso powder and hot water together in a small bowl.
Remove the coconut milk from the fridge. Turn the can over and open it. Slowly pour the clear liquid out (save for a smoothie!) and scoop the coconut cream out into a bowl. You should have about 1 cup. With an electric beater, whip the cream on high speed for about 3-4 minutes, until it lightens and is creamy. Add the espresso mix, vanilla and a good pinch of sea salt. Whip the cream on high again for a minute, scraping down the sides. Pour the melted chocolate in and gently fold it into the cream. Pour the chocolate mix into the cooled crust and gently spread it evenly.
Put the pan in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before serving. You can prepare it the night before, too. When ready to serve, run a small knife around the edge and pop open the sides. If the top has cracked a bit, don’t worry – the coconut will hide it! Place the tart on a serving dish, shower the toasted coconut flakes on top and slice. The crust may remain a bit soft, so use a pie server to gently lift out each piece. I like the tart's texture and flavor after sitting out for about 15 minutes, as it softens just a bit and tastes richer.