There are foods that come and go from my diet, but chocolate is something that always manages to find its way back into my life. I adore dark chocolate, and although I try to stay as far away from sugar as I can, I try to find new ways of indulging without feeling guilty or putting a big burden on my digestive system. When I first discovered raw cacao powder, it was like a miracle. Its intense flavor could turn any insipid vegan dessert into a delicious treat. I add it to porridges, puddings, raw energy balls, smoothies, or healthy desserts and it always reveals a new dimension to any of these – the one of chocolate!
Raw cacao is not a superfood only because it tastes amazing, but also for its exceptional nutritional benefits. When you read in glossy magazines that chocolate is good for your health, you should always think of raw cacao and not the roasted and chemically processed chocolate that we buy from the supermarket.
Also, craving chocolate doesn’t mean that your body needs the sugar it’s made of, but the minerals that abound in raw cacao. Our bodies have a special sense for nutrients, and we should always listen when they’re trying to tell us something.
The action of the nutrients in raw cacao is very extensive: regulates blood pressure, lowers the bad cholesterol, improves heart function, heals diarrhea, diminishes appetite, prevents wrinkles and more. Raw cacao beans are loaded with minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium, but also with essential monounsaturated fat (oleic acid), fiber, and B-complex vitamins. They also contain more antioxidants than blueberries, acai, or goji berries, helping us to fight disease and reduce oxidative stress.
Serotonin, a primary neurotransmitter in our bodies, which helps us deal with stress, is another compound of raw cacao. Most of these nutrients are lost during processing raw cacao; that’s why I always recommend adding raw cacao powder in desserts and breakfast meals, rather than eating products that contain processed chocolate or refined cocoa powder.
For me, this tart is the ultimate treat, because it contains all my favorite dessert ingredients: raw cacao, virgin coconut butter, homemade hazelnut butter, and almond flour. I don’t prepare it too often, because I rarely make sweets, but it will definitely find its way on our Easter table again. I was craving its deliciousness while I was making it, so I didn’t have enough patience to wait until the filling thickened, which is why it looks a little runny in the pictures. Keeping it in the refrigerator for at least an hour will do the trick and your tart will look just perfect.
Rich Chocolate Tart, Vegan and Gluten-Free
- For crust
- 1 &1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut butter
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3-4 tbsp pure water very cold
- For filling
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp hazelnut butter
- For garnish
- Almond flakes pecan nuts
- Preheat the oven at 180ºC/356ºF.
- Add all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse to obtain a dough. Cover with plastic foil and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Grease a tart tin win coconut oil, add the almond dough, press and spread with your fingers onto the whole tin.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown, remove and let cool.
- In a large bowl add coconut milk, coconut oil, cacao powder, maple syrup and hazelnut butter and mix to obtain a smooth cream.
- Fill the crust with the cream, top with almond flakes and pecan nuts, cover with foil and cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour.