As anyone who regularly follows my blog may know by now, I have a love of all things sweet! It’s so difficult to find high quality, healthy vegan, gluten free, processed sugar-free desserts, so it’s actually easier to just make my own. I came up with this coffee tart recipe recently, and have really been enjoying it! The chocolatey base, made with cacao, amaranth, walnuts and agave is sweet, chewy, and perfectly textured. It really highlights the cream filling, making a really satisfying dessert or snack.
As usual, I chose to use a base of cashews and coconut cream for my cream filling. I love cashews because they’re so creamy when soaked and pureed, and add a nice amount of sweetness to any recipe. The coconut cream and almond milk also provide additional creaminess, as well as a healthy dose of iron, calcium and magnesium, amongst other benefits. I chose to sweeten both the base and the filling with agave nectar, although maple syrup would add a nice flavour as well. I have a preference toward vanilla powder- which is actually vanilla beans that have been dried and pulverized- but you can definitely use vanilla essence if you prefer. If you’re using essence as opposed to powder, use ½ tsp to yield the same results.
I chose to use amaranth in my crust because I enjoy its texture, and also like its high protein content. I’m constantly trying to add protein into my foods wherever I can, and amaranth was the perfect addition to this recipe! Amaranth, like my other favourite grain buckwheat, is actually a seed, although it’s most commonly referred to as a grain (and for the sake of this post, I’ll stick to calling it a grain as well!). It’s gluten free, and along with its high protein content is also very high in calcium. It has a pleasing, slightly nutty flavour, and works well in both sweet and savoury applications. Amaranth also happens to be full of antioxidants, which I love!
If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know about my love of raw cacao as well. Raw cacao is great, because it gives you all the chocolate flavour you need, but is much more nutritionally dense than processed dark chocolate. Raw cacao is full of phytonutrients, and also contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, and riboflavin. In this recipe, it lends its dark colour and sultry flavour to both the base and coffee ripple in the cream filling.
For my coffee filling, I used coffee essence, which is more or less coffee that has been concentrated considerably for baking purposes. I like that it gives a strong coffee flavour to the ripple, without adding a lot of liquid. Of course, if you can’t find coffee essence, you can make something similar by reducing strong espresso by half. I find this process to be an extra step, and if you’re really busy you may consider it to be too time consuming as well.
I hope you enjoy my vegan, healthy coffee tarts! Try them the next time you’re looking for a sweet, cool, coffee flavoured treat! And, as always- eat well to live well!
- 8 dates
- 1 cup amaranth
- Handful of walnuts
- 1 tsp raw cacao
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 2 tbsp coconut cream
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 10 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tsp raw cacao
- 1 tsp coffee essence
In a food processor, combine the dates, amaranth, walnuts and cacao. Blitz together until everything is incorporated together and the consistency of cornmeal.
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the agave syrup, and work it in with your hands to form a dough. Transfer the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, and work the dough for a few minutes longer to make sure it’s pliable.
3. Press the dough into tart pans, making sure to press firmly into the edges.
4. Freeze for 30 minutes.
5. To make the cream, combine the cashews, vanilla, coconut cream, agave syrup and almond milk in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
6. In a separate bowl, mix together the cacao and coffee essence.
7. Unmold the tarts, and fill with the cream mixture. Spoon in a small amount of the cacao and coffee mixture, and swirl it through the cream mixture with a small spoon or toothpick.
8. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes.