Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chocolate & Coconut Tarts - the taste of paradise



I had been meaning to post something for Shirley's GAHIGF (grain free, nut free dishes) all month and then suddenly here it was, May 31st - looking at me accusingly from the calendar. Shirley Braden is one of the gluten free blogosphere's most wonderful ambassadors -  a kinder, more supportive soul you couldn't wish to meet.  How could I let her down by not contributing to my own blog carnival?

I have been teaching and recipe testing many things that I can't post here because I need to pop them in a book - I long to share them with you none-the-less! However, most of them contain grains or nuts, or both. So I've gone back to an old classic and I may have missed the deadline, but at least it's here. 

I give you the taste of paradise - coconut and chocolate - in a chewy, bittersweet, grain and nut free treat. If you can find carob molasses for the ganache, it brings a malty gooeyness that I really love (Nick has a horror of carob molasses, so pick your camp I guess?). You can make these tiny and serve as canapés or into a large tart and slice. I like mine as an individual portion - something I can curl my arm round protectively and growl if anyone comes near. Although I do think that ganache is the very best thing to pour into them, you could also fill with fresh tropical fruit and a drizzle of cream or coconut milk.

Chocolate and Coconut Tarts


Coconut Crust

1oz (30g) Dessicated Coconut

4oz (105g) Coconut Flour (or grind desiccated coconut till fine)

1oz (30g) Tapioca Starch or Arrowroot

1 Large Egg White

1/3 cup (80ml) grape mollasses or maple syrup

Few drops of lemon juice


Ganache Filling (fills four or five tarts)

1 1/2oz (45g) 70-80% Dark Fairtrade Chocolate

1/2 cup (125ml) Double (heavy) Cream or Coconut Milk

1 tbs (15ml) carob mollasses or maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 160C fan assisted or 170C without. Generously butter 8 holes of a muffin tin.

Making the crust:

Measure all the ingredients into a bowl and beat together until a very sticky dough forms. Spoon it evenly into the 8 muffin tin holes that you buttered and press the mixture up the sides with your fingers to form little tart cases. Any thin bits, just squidge some of the mixture over to ensure you have evenish coverage. Bake them for about 8-10 minutes until the top edges are starting to turn golden brown. Leave in the tray for a few minutes once out of the oven and then gently remove to a cooling rack. When cold, either fill with ganache or fruit and cream, or freeze and then pack into a box when frozen.

Making the ganache: 

Simply chop the chocolate and heat the cream and carob molasses/maple syrup in a small pan until it is steaming but has no bubbles. Off the heat, add the chocolate and leave for a couple of minutes to melt, then stir until smooth and pour into the coconut cases. If you would like something more like a whipped truffle that you can pipe into the cases, just allow the ganache to cool and then beat with a hand held mixer until lighter in colour and buttercream consistency (don't over whip) before piping into the cases.