I have been waiting a while to share this indulgent yet nutritious (yes, that’s right!) treat with you all. To mark national chocolate week, I am so excited to now share my dark chocolate and sticky date tarts with you all. I’m not really sure where I should begin with such a sweet treat as there’s so much going on in terms of flavour…you have the buttery like and nutty base layer…the smooth and sticky date filling and then the rich and silky raw cacao topping. The raw cacao nibs also add that extra bit of crunch which contrasts beautifully with the fudgy texture of the chopped dates on top. It’s packed full of vitamin e from the almonds, crammed full of antioxidants from the raw cacao powder and good fats from the coconut oil to name but a few goodies. These tarts are best enjoyed on workout days and preferably and the evening.
All you need is:
(Makes 8 mini tarts)
(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes (including assembly of the tarts)
For the ‘pastry’ case:
200g of almond flour (Sukrin is a great choice)
½ cup of raw coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or ¼ cup of maple syrup
¼ teaspoon of pink Himalayan Salt
1 level teaspoon of ground Ceylon cinnamon
For the sticky date filling:
1 cup of organic medjool dates, pitted and at room temperature
¼ cup of filtered water
2 tablespoons of raw almond butter
For the raw chocolate topping:
¼ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup of maple syrup (meridian is a great choice)
2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs
3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
From your kitchen:
A mixing bowl
A wooden spoon
A sharp knife
8 mini tart shells
A silicone spatula
A couple of tablespoons for measuring
A couple of small saucepans
A baking sheet
A silicone whisk
Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. To create the pastry layer all you have to do is combine the ground almonds, coconut oil, ground cinnamon and Himalayan salt in your mixing bowl using a wooden spoon. Once it comes together, take your wooden spoon and use your hands to form the dough.
Next, use a rounded tablespoon of your pastry mixture for each tart case and flatten out your pastry evenly using the palm of your hand and your fingertips. This process can take up to 10 minutes but I promise you, the effort will be worth it as this will make sure that your tarts are strong enough to hold your filling along with baking evenly. Place your tarts on your baking tray and bake for around 12-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Leave to cool.
To prepare your sticky date filling, heat your dates gently on a low heat with your water in a small saucepan. Alter 5 minutes the dates should be warmed through and soft so using your wooden spoon simply break down the dates until a thick texture is formed from the dates. Don’t worry if there are still some small chunks of dates in your date filling, this will add more texture. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before using your spatula to spread your sticky date filling evenly over your nutty base layer. Using a teaspoon, spread over your almond butter evenly across the 8 tarts and leave to one side.
Lastly, for your raw chocolate topping gently heat your coconut oil and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Using your silicone whisk, gently add your raw cocoa powder and whisk thoroughly until a delicious liquid is formed and there are no lumps remaining from the raw cacao powder. Carefully cover your tarts (my favourite part!) evenly and decorate with your cacao nibs and chopped dates. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
I hope you enjoy making these tarts as much as I did and hopefully see how delicious sweet treats can be with the added nutrition from real and natural ingredients. These tarts are great for special occasions and even Christmas, just increase the cinnamon to two tablespoons and you can top the tarts with dried cranberries.