Vegan Chocolate and Raspberry Tart
As the last few leaves cling to the trees, so too am I clinging to summer with this chocolate and raspberry tart. But even though we are well into winter, this tart is still a corker. It's rich, it's tart, it's everything you want it to be and it just so happens to be suitable for vegans. I am not vegan myself but I still wouldn't change a thing about this. It is also the combination of raspberries and chocolate that may have made my opinion a little bias. I believe that it is the ultimate combination, better than orange and chocolate, better than mint and chocolate. It is just perfect.
I actually find vegan baking really interesting. Creating vegan food has become more and more popular which has, thankfully, led the way to higher quality vegan products. However, the assumption that vegan food is somehow inferior to the 'not so vegan' food still exists. I wont deny that I was one to think this only a few years ago but my mind was changed at the time when I ate a doughnut, from a well known establishment. It was the best doughnut I had ever eaten and I didn't realise it was vegan until it was all gone. That's when it clicked, that vegan didn't equal bad.
It was after this that I really delved into researching. Baking is a challenge without eggs but I was determined. I learnt what could replace them and found that bananas were a option that was quite reliable, and it is why I often use bananas in my bakes. Coconut cream and agar agar were other ingredients that are incredibly helpful to provide the creamy textures that I had relied on butter and cream to do.
It was, in fact, when I had to make a gluten free, vegan, soy free and yeast free product that I came up with this recipe and it was received incredibly well by people with allergies and without. So, whether you are vegan or not it is undeniable that this recipe is incredible and that you can create some really amazing bakes without eggs, butter or cream.
Health fact: raspberries are filled to the brim with various vitamins and minerals as well as being a great source of fibre. One portion of raspberries can provide over half of your daily vitamin C intake, which helps maintain a healthy immune system. They are also a great source of antioxidants which can reduce the rate of aging.
Health fact: dates are also high in antioxidants as well as calcium and phosphorous which can aid with bone health. They are a great natural sweetener and high in fibre.
Health fact: oats aid with weight loss and can lower cholesterol. There have also been studies that suggest that oats can reduce the risk of childhood asthma.
For the health benefits of chocolate, check out my post titled 'Chocolate cake in all its glory'
Note: this recipe is gluten free and suitable for vegans but if you are making it for someone with coeliac disease just double check that the oats haven't been contaminated with gluten!
Chocolate and Raspberry Tart
+1 hour refrigeration
100g Porridge oats
50ml Boiling water
For the base, line a springform 8inch tin with cling film.
Roughly chop the dates and then soak them in the boiling water for 10 minutes.
Add the water, dates and porridge oats to a blender and blend until it forms a, mostly smooth, ball.
Press this into the prepared tin, evenly pressing it up the sides and base. Place this in the fridge to set while you make the raspberry layer.
130g frozen raspberries
100g coconut cream
1/2 tsp agar agar
1tsp vanilla extract
20g Caster sugar
For the raspberry filling, add the agar agar to a small bowl with 2tbsp of boiling water. Set aside to absorbs the water while you do the next few stages.
Place the raspberries in a pan and bring to the boil. Boil for around 3 minutes and then use a metal sieve to strain the raspberries into a heatproof bowl. Push the raspberries through the sieve until all the liquid is in the bowl and you are left with seeds and a small amount of pulp in the sieve. Discard the pulp and seeds and keep the juice.
Place the raspberry juice back into the pan with the coconut cream, vanilla, sugar and the agar agar. Bring up to a simmer on a low heat, whisking continuously to melt the agar agar. Simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat and place a layer of clingfilm on the surface set so it doesn't create a skin. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
After 10minutes, gently pour the raspberry mousse into the cooled base and then return to the fridge.
130g dark chocolate
170g coconut cream
pinch of salt
After the raspberry mousse has been in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, start making the ganache.
Chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Warm the coconut cream and salt in a pan on a low heat. Bring up to a simmer and then pour over the chocolate. Leave to the chocolate and cream to sit for around 20 seconds before whisking vigorously until it is smooth and glossy.
Check that the raspberry layer has set before gently pouring the chocolate ganache on top. It is easier to decorate the tart before the chocolate has set. Decorate how you wish with some raspberries, mint leaves and porridge oats.
Set the chocolate ganache in the fridge for 30 and then remove from the tin and enjoy!