Salted Chocolate & Rosemary Tart w/ Nut Base
Prep & cook time: 40 mins
This tart base is suitable for a range of fillings. A dark chocolate ganache makes for an incredibly decadent and delicious dessert. The ganache could perhaps be spiked with a little fresh rosemary or some mint essence. Homemade labneh (strained Greek yoghurt) that has been sweetened with honey would be great. Topped with your favourite fresh or roasted fruit. A creamy vegan cashew cream would also be tasty.
Nut tart base
100g Alison’s Pantry Select Dates
1 ½ cups Alison’s Pantry Ground Almonds
1 tablespoon Alison’s Pantry Chia Seeds
½ cup Alison’s Pantry American Walnuts
½ cup Alison’s Pantry Hazelnuts
375g dark chocolate – no more than 72%
2 x 15cm fresh rosemary stems
Flaky sea salt for serving
Preheat oven to 165 celsius.
Place the dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes. Drain well.
Place the ground almonds, chia seeds, salt and other nuts into a food processor and process until the blend is a fine crumb. Add the dates and process until they are well blended and the mixture is sticky and fairly consistent in texture. This may take a minute or two and you will need to scrape down the sides occasionally.
Press the mixture into a well-greased 10cm x 35cm rectangular tart tin. Try to make it as even in thickness as possible. Damp hands can make this job easier. You may not need all the mixture depending on the size of your tin. Use the back of a spoon to flatten out the middle section. A sharp knife will help to tidy the top edge. Prick the bottom of the base with a fork a few times.
Place a piece of baking paper larger than the tin inside the base, and fill with pastry weights, uncooked rice or dried beans. The baking paper doesn’t need to be pressed into the corners at all, it just needs to stop the middle section of the base rising and cracking as it bakes. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until lightly golden. Watch carefully as the nut base can burn easily. Set aside to cool completely before filling.
Melt the chocolate gently in a metal bowl or pot over simmering water. Do not let the chocolate bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat as soon as the chocolate is melted. It is better to still have a few bits of chocolate left (these will gently melt as you mix) than for the chocolate to overheat.
While you are melting the chocolate, place the rosemary and cream in a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil over a medium temperature. Stir a few times while it is heating to help release the rosemary flavour. Take off the heat as soon as it starts to boil.
Pour the cream through a sieve (to lift out the rosemary leaves) and whisk into the melted chocolate. Mix until silky smooth. Pour into the tart shell (you may not need all the filling if you use a different size tin).
Set in the fridge for at least three hours.
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve with softly whipped cream.
Different ways to use this recipe – sweet & savoury
To adapt this recipe to create a savoury dish, omit the dates and add ½ cup of rolled oats, ¾ teaspoon of sea salt and an additional tablespoon of chia seeds to the food processor with the other dry ingredients. Blitz all these until a fine consistency. At this point add 3 tablespoons of water and process until the mixture comes together when pressed between your fingers. Press into the greased tart tin and then blind bake as per the original recipe.