Vegan Berry Chocolate Tart

Is it just me, or are tarts making a comeback?  Cookies and cakes just can’t stand up to the delicious, aesthetically pleasing tart.  Don’t get me wrong, a cookie will always be my number one dessert (…or snack…or breakfast), but dang those tarts are hot right now.  Just look at it.

This tart is completely vegan friendly, and incredibly simple to make.  Almond, berry and chocolate put together to achieve divine sensation for your taste buds.

There’s also a gluten free option, though the one I made was not.  The crust uses a combination of almond flour and all purpose, and coconut oil instead of butter.  Producing an almost shortbread-like texture, it’s the perfect compliment to the gooey compote and rich chocolate.

I’ll give you a moment…

I’m sure everyone has heard that coconut oil has numerous health benefits.  One of these benefits is the high amount of lauric acid-almost 50% of the total fatty acids.  Lauric acid forms monolaurin when it is digested.  This fatty acid has the ability to kill harmful pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.  In addition to helping your inside health, it can work wonders for your skin and hair.  When applied topically, coconut oil can nourish the skin combating dryness and overtime preventing and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.  Coconut oil is often used to make hair shiny, and prevent protein loss.  However, keep in mind that coconut oil is still a saturated fat, and there is not enough evidence to conclude whether it affects your body differently than “bad” saturated animal fats.

Ingredients
Crust
1 C Almonds, ground into flour (I used raw, slivered almonds and put them through a food processor)
1 1/2 C All Purpose Flour, can substitute a gluten free blend
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2/3 C Coconut Oil, melted

Berry Compote
12 oz Frozen Berries, I used a blend of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, but any kind will work
1/4 C sugar
1 T Corn Starch
2 T Cold Water

Vegan/Paleo Chocolate
3/4 C Coconut Oil
3/4 C Cocoa Powder
1/3 C Maple Syrup (or honey, though it won’t be vegan)
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Crust
Combine the almond flour, all purpose flour, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a mixer.  Add the coconut oil and mix.  Dough should be wet and malleable, but not sticky.
Press dough into tart or pie pan.  You may have some extra depending on the size of your pan.  Put in the oven for 15 minutes, until slightly browned around the edge.

Compote
Place berries and sugar in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until berries are broken and juices have been pulled out.
Mix the cornstarch in the cold water to create a slurry.  (Cornstarch must first be mixed with a cold liquid before added to a hot product.  If a slurry is not first created, the cornstarch will coagulate together and remain lumps.)
Once the berries begin to boil, stir in the slurry, and cook until the compote becomes clear.
Pour the compote into the shell, and place back into the oven for about 10 minutes.  This will set the compote layer.
Once the tart is removed from the oven, place in refrigerator or freezer to cool.  The oven can be turned off.

Chocolate
Combine the coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan.  Melt and stir until completely incorporated.
Once the compote has cooled pour the chocolate on top of it.  It is important the compote is cooled to allowed the chocolate to harden quickly.  If this does not happen, the coconut oil will separate out.
Fruit can be arranged on top of the tart when the chocolate is semi-set

The tart can be cut and served as soon as the chocolate is firm enough to slice.  It is best kept in the refrigerator for up to four days.

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