My obsession with cherries continues. I get excited about cherries every summer, not only because they are delicious but also because they make the most impressive looking blog desserts. This recipe is actually a tried and true tart recipe. I have used my go-to chocolate base as well as my delicious chocolate cream filling but have added the addition of cherries for extra flavour and nutrition. Cherries are one of my favourite hormone balancing/fertility foods. They are rich in antioxidants and have a particular type of antioxidant called anthocyanins which has been shown to reduce pain including period pain and menstrual-related hormonal headaches. Cherries are also wonderful for improving egg quality to help increase the chance of conception as well as being a source of melatonin, our sleep hormone which is wonderful for people who struggle with sleeping. To use cherries therapeutically you would definitely need to consume them regularly, and in greater quantities than what you find in this recipe (most studies have been done on people consuming cherry juice daily) however, I think it all adds up. Can’t think of a better way to eat cherries than with chocolate.
To top this tart off I have used a homemade coconut whipped cream. I have found coconut cream quite tricky to get right in the past and I know a few of my followers have as well. For me, it all came down to choosing the right coconut cream can. I use the macro full cream organic coconut cream from Woolworths. This is my favourite and it works every time, but in the end, I think it takes a bit of trial and error. I personally like the coconut creams that use guar gum as the thickener, I think this is what makes it work, and I am happy with guar gum as an ingredient as it’s natural and safe.
I have also added a few teaspoons of cherry jam on top. I am personally not a fan of refined sugar, not only because it is inflammatory and not great for anyone health but also because I don’t tolerate it well. It makes me instantly tired and if I have too much I get a headache. I have found a jam that is sweetened with grape juice and dates from St Dalfour. I know its a popular brand that many people use and is easily found in the supermarkets. Their black cherry jam is my favourite! But you can also make your own cherry jam. Here is my recipe for chia jam, it uses strawberries but you can swap for the same quantity of pitted cherries. I find that I don’t tend to have issues with sugar in dark chocolate as I get 85% or higher and the amount of sugar is quite insignificant for me, but there are also lots of great natural chocolate alternatives on the market that use natural sweeteners. I use both.
Hope you enjoy the recipe, its vegan, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free and mostly gluten-free or easily made gluten-free.
|Healthy Vegan Chocolate Cherry Tart with Coconut Whipped Cream|| |
- ½ cup oats ( gluten-free if necessary or swap with quinoa flakes)
- 1 cup blanched almond meal
- ½ cup cacao powder
- 2 TBSP neutral oil ( I use avocado or grapeseed oil)
- pinch salt
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 cups coconut cream
- 200 g dark chocolate, chopped I use 85%
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries
- coconut whipped cream
- 3-4 tsp black cherry jam ( I use a naturally sweetened jam)
- a handful of fresh cherries
- For the crust: whiz the oats in a blender or food processor until they become a flour.
- Mix all the crust ingredients in a bowl with a spoon until slightly sticky and moist.
- Press the mixture evenly on the base and sides of a lightly greased round tart tin
- Bake the crust for 12 - 15 minutes at 180 C
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the filling
- For the filling: combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and whisk until the chocolate has melted and dissolved into the mixture. You should get a very thick smooth consistency.
- Pour over crust and place in the freezer to set for a few hours. Will also set in the fridge overnight. For best consistency, keep in the fridge.
- For the coconut cream: Place a 400g can of coconut cream in the fridge for a few hours or overnight ( if it is cold where you live you do not have to do this). Scoop out the cream ( not the water) and place in a bowl, with a hand mixer mix until the cream becomes whipped and fluffy, Coconut cream is slightly sweet already but if you want to make it sweeter you can add 1-2 TBSP maple syrup to the cream while you are beating it and some vanilla extract. This dessert is quite sweet so you can omit the natural sweetener if you like.
- Dollop coconut cream on top of the tart, swirl through some cherry jam and top with fresh cherries.
- Slice and enjoy! Keeps well in the fridge for 1 week.