Does this recipe need an introduction? Is the photo above not pretty much enough to have you running for the shops to pick up the ingredients already? 😉
This stunning dessert was something I had been playing with as an idea for a while but it came together when the close friend of a client of mine asked if I would be able to cater a special family dinner for her. They are entirely plant based, dairy free, sugar free and gluten free, but adore chocolate, and obviously being a special occasion I wanted to make sure they had a showstopper to finish up the meal with.
So where do I start…Well the crust is a delight in itself, nutty from the oats, with a slight hint of the salt coming through to balance the richness of the chocolate filling (it is also supremely delicious raw and so if you are whipping one of these up make sure as chef you have a little nibble!)
The centre is then just pure indulgence, no ifs or buts. I wouldn’t class this an everyday dish but as a celebratory dessert, well then I hold my hands up and say it’s pretty much the best you’re going to get! By using raw cacao and dark chocolate you gain all those wonderful antioxidant properties, and the relatively small amount of raw maple syrup means it’s not overly sugar laden and the minerals maple brings separate this entirely from something you’d get from a regular recipe.
I personally think the sharp tartness of raspberries are the perfect complement but if you have another fruit you would prefer to use, by all means swap them.
Oh and be warned, if you lick the spoon when making the filling…well then you’re a goner my friend! It’s just too tasty not to end up with it all over your face and in your eyebrows…take it from someone who’s been there… 😉
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, grease your tart tin with coconut oil, making sure to go into all the flutes at the edge.
To make the pastry firstly grind your oats to a fine flour in a high speed blender or food processor. Add the cacao and salt, pulsing again to combine then add in the maple syrup and coconut oil, pulsing to bring together into a dough. Squeeze between your fingers and if it’s crumbly add the water until you can form a ball that holds together.
Take a piece of parchment paper or cling film and lay it over your work surface, place the ball of dough in the middle and lay another piece on top. Use a rolling pin to roll out into a sheet about 1/2cm thick.
Remove the top piece of parchment/film and carefully transfer to your greased tin, easing it into the edge and gradually using your knuckle to press it firmly into the flutes. If you have any tears or gaps simply use the excess from the sides to patch.
Place into the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden and firm when pressed. Remove and leave to cool.
To make the filling place the chocolate into a bowl, balanced over a pan of boiling water and leave to slowly melt.
Place the espresso powder into a food processor, dissolving in the boiling water before adding the cacao powder and leaving to sit for 5 minutes.
Once the chocolate has melted leave it to cool for a few minutes then add to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients, blending until you are left with a beautifully glossy, shiny, thick ganache.
Pour into your cooled pastry case and pop into the fridge to firm up for an hour.
Decorate with fresh raspberries and pop back into the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will happily keep for a couple of days so you can easily make it in advance.