Vegan Bake Off Challenge – Week 9

I loved having an excuse to make a chocolate tart this week. This recipe is so deliciously simple and takes no time at all. The star ingredient here is cacao. Ever heard the rumour that chocolate is good for you? Well it’s not a complete myth, but only if it’s the right kind…

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Cacao is chocolate in its raw plant form, a small evergreen tree which is cultivated for its seeds (cacao beans). It is high in a variety of minerals and in an antioxidant called resveratrol which helps to protect your nervous system. Cacao beans are often roasted at high temperatures and then ground to create cocoa, which unfortunately reduces the enzyme content and lowers the nutritional value of the bean. Research shows that dairy also inhibits the absorption of antioxidants from raw cacao. The typical chocolate we all know is made from cocoa sweetened with sugar, combined with pasteurized milk, and often loaded with chemicals, meaning it is no more beneficial for your body than drinking a can of coke.

You can make your own healthy chocolate simply by combining raw cacao with a natural sweetener such as maple syrup and a healthy fat such as coconut oil – it’s so decadent you’d never know it was healthy! For this recipe, I’ve used this technique combined with coconut milk and almond butter to create a decadent chocolate mousse to fill my raw almond tart crust. The figs add an additional natural sweetness and are a nice seasonal touch.

Chocolate Mousse and Fig Tart
(VE, GF, refined sugar-free)

Serves 6-8. Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour resting time. No baking required.

5

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 150g almonds
  • 100g dates (approx. 10 dates)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder

For the chocolate mousse filling:

  • 1 tin of full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • A pinch of Himalayan salt

Toppings: 2-3 fresh figs, halved and sliced into thirds. You could also try adding other healthy toppings such as goji berries.

Method

  1. Pulse the almonds in a food processor before adding the dates and the cacao, until the mixture sticks together when you press it with your fingers
  2. Lightly grease a 9-inch loose-bottomed flan case using coconut oil and press the crust mixture into the tin, pressing it up the sides to form a shell
  3. Whisk together all of the filling ingredients and pour into the pastry shell. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  4. Once the mousse has set, top with the figs, slice and serve.
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