(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
These tarts are simple yet elegant. Chocolate and mint are one of my favorite flavor combinations, which inspired this recipe. We use food-grade peppermint essential oil to achieve a lovely mint flavor, but you can use mint extract instead. Moringa powder is used as a natural superfood color to create a pastel-green color in the mint cream filling.
Yield: Three 4ʺ (10-cm) tarts
Cacao Coconut Crust
- 130 g raw almonds
- 80 g medium-shred unsweetened dried coconut
- 36 g cocoa powder
- 18 g powdered coconut sugar (powdered in a blender)
- 37.5 g chopped and melted cocoa butter
- 30 ml coconut nectar, agave or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a food processor, process the almonds, coconut, cocoa powder and powdered coconut sugar together until the mixture resembles coarse flour. Add the melted cocoa butter, coconut nectar and vanilla, and process again until the mixture starts sticking together. Do not overprocess the mixture, or you will start to release too many oils from the almonds and coconut.
- Using your fingers, divide the crust mixture equally among three 4ʺ (10-cm) round tart pans with removable bottoms and use a small spoon to even out the bottom of each crust. Set them aside at room temperature while you make the filling.
- 140 g raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours and rinsed
- 120 ml almond milk
- 60 ml coconut nectar, agave or maple syrup
- 1 ½ tsp sunflower lecithin powder (optional)
- 1 Tbs (6 g) moringa or matcha powder (for color)
- 10 drops of food-grade peppermint essential oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs (25 g) chopped and melted cocoa butter
- In a blender, blend together the cashews, almond milk, coconut nectar, sunflower lecithin (if using), moringa powder, peppermint essential oil and vanilla until smooth. Add the melted cocoa butter and blend again until well combined.
- Pour the mint cream into each tart pan and gently pat the tart pans on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Chopped dark vegan chocolate, melted
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a squeeze bottle or piping bag for decorating. If using a piping bag, cut a small hole on the end of the tip. Create horizontal lines a scant ¼ʺ (6 mm) apart on top of the mint filling. Using a toothpick, run the toothpick through the horizontal lines vertically, going in opposite directions, to create a beautiful design.
- Chill the tarts in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator for 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Note: In this recipe, the tart pans do not need to be lined since we are not using any sticky ingredients, such as dried fruit. Once the crust is set, it will pop right out of the mold.
About Crystal Bonnet
Crystal Bonnet is a pastry chef and the owner of Crystal Dawn Culinary. Her signature raw dessert style is nutritious with a professional twist. She draws inspiration from various sources, including seasonality, cookbooks, art, Pinterest, and social media. She carefully considers the flavors that she will incorporate into the recipe, although sometimes she works backwards with a plating style that she wants to achieve and then thinks about the dish.