If you look at this tart and think it’s amazing, let me confirm that it totally is. In fact, I gave it to 6-7 people to try and everyone loved it and couldn’t believe that it was actually paleo-friendly. Even my boyfriend, who doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all, ate a full slice and raved about it along the way.
The recipe for this tart comes from Let’s Eat Paleo cookbook by the most delightful The Merrymaker Sisters. Their e-book cookbook is filled with yummy, guilt-free paleo dishes, desserts, snacks and drinks but this tart – which was actually the last recipe in the book – caught my eye because it sounded and looked decadent, and I fancied a little weekend project.
There are a few processes involved in this recipe, but it’s actually pretty straightforward to make as I discovered, possibly due to the easy to follow instructions from Emma and Carla. I took a few photos along the way to make it even easier for you to follow.
I haven’t changed the recipe as such but I have amended some of the ingredients, simply because of what I had in my own pantry and because of my strange compulsion to tinker with things. I left comments where I amended ingredients in case you get their e-book (and you should!) and wonder why some things are slightly different.
For the base
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted or soft
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (Natvia was used in the eBook recipe)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
For the caramel filling
- 150 g pitted dates (about 20 Medjool dates, soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes)
- 1 cup coconut cream (coconut milk was used in the eBook)
- 1 tablespoon soft or melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or himalayan pink salt
- 2 tablespoon crushed almonds
For the chocolate topping
- 100 g coconut oil
- 6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 355 °F. Grease a 22-cm tart tin (my tart was 26cm, so the tart might have ended up a little thinner, but still worked as you can see).
- Start with the base.The recipe uses raw hazelnuts but I decide to do a little toasting beforehand – to give them richer flavour. Heat a small frying pan and add the hazelnuts (1 cup + the 2 tablespoons for the filling). Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, swirling frequently to prevent burning, until lightly browned on all sides. Remove and cool for a few minutes.
- Place 1 cup of the hazelnuts in a food processor (the girls used a Vitamix, I used a standard food processor). Reserve 2-3 tablespoons for later. Grind and process them into fine meal, for about a minute. Add the almond meal, coconut oil (I didn’t even melt mine), egg, maple syrup (girls used Natvia and you could use any other natural sweetener) + vanilla. Whiz again until the mixture comes together.
- Scoop the mixture out and make it into a large ball. Place and flatten between 2 sheets of baking paper (about 50x50cm). With a rolling pin, roll out the base to about 3mm thick (mine was more like 5cmm). When rolling, start from the middle and roll to the edges in different directions. Peel the top layer of baking paper off, then flip the base over the tart tin. Be gentle. My base broke a little but you just fill in any gaps with your fingers. Make sure the area where the sides and the base meet is filled, a little thicker if possible.
- Place a round layer of baking paper over the base and fill with baking beads. I used uncooked chickpeas. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove the baking beads and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown. I turned the oven to 170°C for the second 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, in the tin.
- Now for the filling. Drain the water from the soaked dates. In the food processor, whiz the dates, coconut oil and vanilla until they foam a thick paste. Add the coconut cream or milk and salt, whiz again until really smooth (about a minute, scrapping the sides as you go).
- Spread the caramel mixture over the cooked base and place in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. You can sprinkle the crushed hazelnuts over the base before adding the caramel but I sprinkled mine on top of the chocolate layer instead.
- Now to make the chocolate topping. In a double boiler (a bowl placed over simmering water), melt the coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Stir until combined. Sift in the the raw cacao powder (I just added it in without sifting) and whisk continuously until smooth. I’d say about 20-30 seconds, you don’t want to overcook it. Pour the chocolate topping over the caramel and spread with a spatula. Sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- That’s it! Slice and serve with whatever you like – berries, coconut cream, etc. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Make sure to check out Let’s Eat Paleo ebook from The Merrymaker Sisters for more delicious recipes and paleo cooking ideas.