I created this vegan raw dessert after eating a Raw Chocolate Ganache Tart at a cafe. A popular raw dessert that I have often made myself too, and enjoyed. But I did always find the chocolate ganache too overwhelming – it is intensely rich. So I thought it should be balanced with something else, and reduced in height. I looked into raw salty caramel fillings, and played around with a mash up of what seems to work. This dessert turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Even layers perfectly complimenting each other. I think it’s like a raw, healthy version of millionaire shortbread, or back home we call it chocolate caramel slice. There are three parts, but don’t let that put you off. Each layer is simple and quick to make.
An updated and much healthier version of this Tart is now available here. This recipe is salty, oil and sugar-free, but has lost none of its delicious taste! Please follow the link if you’d like to make my new ‘ Oil-Free Raw Vegan Chocolate and Caramel Tart‘.
I used cashews in the nut & date base but you could substitute almost any nut – with walnut I suggest adding a bit of cacao as walnuts leave a strong aftertaste. I updated this recipe and halved the nut content and replaced with oats. Its a very high fat dessert, as they usually are, so I wanted to reduce that a little. It is actually far nicer.
I used tahini for the caramel, but you can use nut butters as well. I think in this recipe we already have enough nuts, but you can switch to a nut butter if you wish. It may need a bit of tweaking of the other ingredients if you do. Tahini is a sesame seed paste, high in protein, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals. Lucuma powder is a natural sweetener made from a peruvian fruit, rich in nutrients. It adds a wonderful extra touch of sweetness and a natural caramel flavour, but if you can’t get it you can omit it as the dates provide sweetness too. Like with the ganache, I melt the coconut oil in the caramel at a low temperature and make sure its cool before adding otherwise you will get separation when you spread the caramel on the base. If this happens just ‘mop up’ the liquid from the top with a clean tea towel before you put back in the freezer.
The chocolate ganache topping is easy peasy. Do make sure your avocado is ripe, it must be very soft. And with the coconut oil, if your kitchen is cold it will be too hard to evenly mix in your blender. So I melted mine on the lowest heat, turning it off and on to keep the coconut from actually getting warm – you should be able to stick your finger on the bottom of your pan. Raw Cacao powder is essential and cannot be substituted with cocoa! Cacao is known for its high levels of antioxidants, but it also contains iron, zinc, calcium and potassium as well as many vitamins and releases neurotransmitters, which are mood enhancers.
You will need an 8 inch or 20cm cake tin. A silicone cake mould is the easiest to use for this, but a springform pan or sponge tin will do if well greased with coconut oil. I also use individual silicone cupcake cases, this recipe makes 16.
Preparation Time: 45 mins to 1 hour, about 1 hour freezing time
- 100g cashews
- 125g gluten free oats
- 150g medjool dates
- Mix all ingredients in a food processor until it starts to form a dough.
- Place the nut & date dough into your cake tin and push firmly creating an even base.
- Place in freezer while you make the next layer.
Ingredients for the Salted Caramel
- 1 cup medjool dates
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons coconut butter or oil- melted
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Lucuma Powder
- Soak your pitted medjool dates for about 15 minutes in hot water, drain and process in a food processor. It will turn into a paste.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix until all combined. It will be a very thick mix.
- Remove the base from freezer and spoon out the salty caramel evenly.
- Add a sprinkling of sea salt crystals over the top.
- Cover with cling film and place back in the freezer while you make the chocolate ganache.
Ingredients for topping
- 1 large avocado
- 65g coconut oil
- beans of 1 vanilla pod
- 80g of raw cacao powder
- 80ml date syrup
- Place avocado in the blender first, blend well.
- Add remaining ingredients and blend on high for about 2 minutes, until it is well combined.
- Remove your dessert from the freezer and, working quickly, spread your chocolate ganache over the other layers.
- Place in the freezer again for 15 – 30 minutes – you don’t want it getting too hard, it needs to be just set. Then pop in fridge. It should still be a soft-ish consistency when you eat it, you may like to leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve dusted with raw cacao, raw chopped nuts or simply as it is.