This Chocolate Cherry Tart has a toasted almond shortbread crust filled with silky chocolate ganache and fresh cherries! This gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan dessert is incredibly rich and comes together quickly.
This summer is truly flying by – how is already almost August?! Granted, I’ve been on the go for most of it. At the end of May, I moved from Seattle to San Diego via a week long road trip down the West Coast, closely followed by three weeks cruising around Europe. As if that wasn’t enough, this past weekend I went back up to Seattle to attend Pemberton music festival near Whistler in British Colombia with my friends.
While it was all so much fun and I’m not complaining for one second, since I got back from the music festival (which was amaaaaaazing) this past Monday, I have been so happy to sit my butt down on the couch, get caught up on work, and not move too much. I, for once, am happy to not have any trips in my immediate future.
For the moment, I’m focusing on reacclimatizing to life in San Diego, finding myself a new apartment, and of couuurse, baking all the things. Things have been in flux since moving: having to figure out the hang of baking in a new kitchen, photographing in a new place with different light, and working in a new environment. Thankfully, the view isn’t so bad (if you follow me on Snapchat, you’ve seen me post it way too much) and I’m finally getting into the swing of things.
I’ve lamented on and on in my recent posts about how stoked I am for all the wonderful produce there is in southern California right now, and it seems just wrong to post recipes without some sort of produce as the star this time of year. So the star today? Cherries! Can’t let the peak of summer pass by without a cherry recipe, right?!
This recipe combines three flavors that go together like a dream: cherries, dark chocolate, and almonds. The flavors are combined often for a reason – the rich bitterness of the dark chocolate combined with the sweet juicy cherries and the nutty crunch of almonds works together so harmoniously, and I especially love the way they come together in this tart.
Let’s start with the base of it all: a toasted almond shortbread crust! The crust is made with Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, which is one of my all time favorite ingredients when it comes to making crusts. Since I discovered the magical ability of coconut flour to create shortbread-style crusts with these well-loved Homemade Twix Bars, I’ve been wanting to try tons of variations on it.
With just a bit of Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, salt, maple syrup, and coconut oil, magical things happen. To make this version filled with nuttiness, I also added a heap of well-toasted sliced almonds for both crunchy texture and that wonderful toasty almond flavor.
Once the crust is baked and cooled, it’s filled with a silky smooth vegan chocolate ganache. I added a teeeensy bit of almond extract to the chocolate ganache to amplify the almond flavor and add an extra dimension of flavor, and I love the way it pairs with the cherries. However, I know some people totally hate almond extract, so it’s no biggie if you’re one of those people – just skip it.
Once your chocolate ganache has filled up that crust, nuzzle those cherries into the chocolate in whichever pattern you desire – I just plopped them down in circles towards the center and crossed my fingers it would look nice when I was done. A sprinkle of more toasted almonds on top rounds it out, and after a quick chill in the fridge to set the chocolate, you’re ready to eat!
This chocolate cherry tart is definitely rich thanks to that chocolate ganache, but the fresh cherries help to cut through that richness so you can have more than a bite or two – no need for big slices here, though. The coconut flour crust has a nice nutty flavor and wonderful texture, perfect for holding up the filling – it’s not too hard to cut with a fork, but won’t completely crumble into dust either.
It would look even more beautiful if you opted to use a few different kinds of cherries for a variety of colors – if you do that, definitely send me a photo! ;) Make this ahead of time to serve for your next dinner party or BBQ and prepare to impress. Enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Chocolate Cherry Tart (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)
For the crust
For the chocolate ganache
- 6 ounces dairy-free dark chocolate chopped
- ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract optional
- 1 cup fresh cherries pitted and halved (I used an OXO cherry pitter to pit them)
- Toasted sliced almonds to garnish
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9" or 10" tart pan with a removable bottom.
Combine coconut flour, toasted almonds, and salt in a bowl or stand mixer. Add the maple syrup and room temperature coconut oil and mix until a large dough ball forms, pressing out any clumps of coconut oil.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely while preparing the filling.
Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Heat the coconut milk until simmering (or about 20-30 seconds in the microwave) and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute, and then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the salt and almond extract, if using.
Pour the chocolate ganache evenly into the crust. Arrange the halved cherries on top of the chocolate as desired. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds.
Place in the refrigerator to let chocolate cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I toasted 1/2 cup sliced almonds, using 1/3 cup for the crust and reserving the remaining almonds to garnish the tart.
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, one of my favorite brands for gluten-free ingredients! As always, all opinions are completely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Bakerita.