These Chocolate Date Caramel Tarts are a decadent treat that won’t leave you feeling guilty. These tarts are gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, and Paleo!
Busy, busy, busy. I really don’t know how else to sum up my life right now.
Of course, I’m having the absolute time of my life, traveling to new and exotic cities every weekend, eating way too much delicious food (if there is such a thing), spending time with my best friends, and completely exhausting myself in the process. But hey, I’m only here for a limited amount of time, and I plan on making the most of it!
The side effect of my busy/exhausted life is far too few posts for you guys, and for that, I repeatedly apologize. I do hope you’re all enjoying my travel posts though!
I have baked a total of one time since I’ve been here, and it was boxed cake mix with a can of frosting (though we did sprinkle Reese’s on top…). #foodbloggershame, but my friends and I had to have chocolate cake on Valentine’s Day to go with our wine and movie. I’m seriously missing my kitchen and the ability to make the recipes that I dream up/drool over on Pinterest everyday. I never realized just how much I would miss baking and cooking and just having a full kitchen at my disposal (one that wasn’t full of gross dirty dishes…*glaring at my hallmates*).
But, I guess one of the perks of going home will be that I’ll have my kitchen back! So despite how much I know I’m going to miss London, that’ll be a comfort I’ll cherish so much more. Cause when I get back, I’ll be able to make more things like this yummy tart!
This recipe is from Gourmande in the Kitchen, who is a serious genius when it comes to making absolutely stunning and healthy (usually vegan and gluten/grain free, sometimes paleo) desserts and food. Like this tart…date caramel?! So so smart, and I can attest, so delicious.
You do have to be a date fan. I personally love the particular sweetness and flavor that dates give, but I know some people don’t love it. The crust here is so easy, and has a shortbread like texture that I love. The walnuts, which are folded into the caramel and sprinkled on top, give a wonderful crunch, but can be left out if you don’t love walnuts, or subbed for your favorite kind of nut (pecans would be delicious!).
The ganache is smooth and not nearly as bad for you as pure chocolate would be, but if you’re not paleo and not overly concerned with your calorie intake, a melted dark chocolate ganache with traditional cream would be luscious and amazing here as well. The sprinkle of sea salt on top ties the whole thing together, and I don’t recommend skipping it (but hey, I’m also a major fan of salty/sweet). I also did a little swirly drizzle of honey, but that’s also totally optional.
I did make my tarts into little babies, partially because they’re adorable, partially because I couldn’t find the bottom to my 9-inch tart pan. Oops. Use what you have! If you don’t have a tart pan, use a pie tin. It’ll just be in pie form. Do what works. It’ll still taste delicious! Girl Scout’s honor (did I mention how upset I am over missing Girl Scout Cookie season?!).
I have a Berlin/Amsterdam recap coming soon! But for now, enjoy these tarts :)
- 2 cups (250 grams) almond flour
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 160g (about 10) Medjool dates soaked in ½ cup of warm water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (112 grams) toasted walnuts, chopped (divided use)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60 grams) extra virgin unrefined coconut oil
- ½ cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- Grease four 4.75 inch tart pans* with removable bottoms (or a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom).
- Place almond flour and salt into a large bowl. Add maple syrup and melted coconut oil and blend together with a fork until it resembles coarse meal, about two minutes.
- Divide evenly among the pans. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of each tart pan with your fingers. Prick with the tines of a fork.
- Let the dough firm and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 8-13 minutes, or until golden but not dark. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making filling.
- In a food processor puree the soaked, pitted dates along with the soaking liquid, melted coconut oil, salt and vanilla extract until thick and smooth. The texture should be slightly whipped. Small pieces of the date skin may remain. Stir in ¾ cup of the chopped toasted walnuts. Divide the mixture among the cooled tart shells and spread mixture into an even layer.
- Set in the fridge while making the cocoa ganache.
- In the food processor, blend together maple syrup and melted coconut oil until well combined.
- Add in cocoa powder and process until smooth scraping down the sides as needed.
- Pour over date walnut base and spread out evenly over the top. Sprinkle with extra sea salt and the remaining chopped toasted walnuts. If desired, drizzle with a small amount of maple syrup or honey (I used honey, not vegan).
- Return pan to fridge to set and firm for at least one hour before serving.