I’ve been making these all week to perfect the recipe. Currently third batch deep and I’m relieved to say I’m finally happy with the pastry. These coconut caramel tarts are pretty much all the things I love squeezed into one sweet little sized pud. My kinda self care. Vegan, gluten free pastry, baked into sweet little shells in the oven and then filled to the brim with layers of sweet dairy free heaven! There’s a little disc of chocolate at the bottom, followed by a lush salted date caramel and then a peanut butter coco whip on top. Yep… I went all out. They’re rich, but not too sickly sweet, in fact I just had one for breakfast. It’s the weekend so that’s totally okay, right?
I wanted to make these as easy to prep as possible, with ingredients you’ll likely have in your pantry at home. Of course they taste sweet and creamy, but they aren’t laden with refined sugar and grains like your standard fancy pud. They’re easily made gluten free too, just be sure to grab some gluten free oats, or sub the oats for more almonds.
I got a DM from a fellow date lover on Instagram this week, saying how addictive salted date caramel is. I have to agree, this stuff tastes dangerously good. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed dunking my failed pastry cases into it. Medjool dates are also dangerously expensive. Her tip was to buy Deglet Noor dates, much cheaper but still plump and juicy when soaked in boiling water. You can use any dates really, or even raisins! I have had great success with them in other recipes, the boiling water soak works a treat.
The pastry almost defeated me, but the trick is to make sure the dough sticks together a little in your fingers before you press it into the tin. Too crumbly and it will fall apart when you take them out the tins. The second most important thing is to not over bake – I foolishly cooked them for 12 minutes and ended up with rock solid tart shells. Thankfully third time round they came out perfectly, so I’ll hope you give this one a whirl!
I’d love to know if you try this recipe, please leave me a comment below or on my Instagram.
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1.5 cups ground oatmeal
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted, soaked in boiling water
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 bar of sugar free dark chocolate
- 1 tin of coconut milk, chilled overnight, cream only
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- edible stars, coconut chips and cacao nibs/chocolate shavings for topping
- Preheat oven to 180•c. Grease 6 mini tart pans with a little coconut oil. Add almond meal, ground oatmeal, vanilla extract, ½ tsp salt and 4 tbsp maple syrup to a food processor and pulse until combined. With the processor still on, slowly pour in coconut oil. Process until incorporated and you have a crumbly dough. The dough should be moist enough to stick together between your fingers. If not, add a tbsp of water and blend again, checking again and adding a tbsp more water if needed.
- Push dough into prepared tart pans, using a teaspoon to flatten out the bottom evenly and pop in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until slightly golden. The dough may puff up a little, so you can use some baking beans/dried chickpeas in the middle of each tart. Take out from the oven and allow to cool.
- Make your caramel filling. Drain soaked dates, saving the water. Add dates, ½ tsp salt and ½ cup or the date water to food processor. Blend until smooth.
- In a small bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt bar of chocolate slowly. Gently pop tarts out of their tins and pour a tbsp of chocolate into the bottom of each tart. Spread out evenly with a teaspoon. Pop in the fridge to set, then remove and spread over a tbsp of date caramel on top of each tart, leaving a little room on top for the coconut cream.
- Prepare coconut cream topping. Open can of coconut milk and drain off the water, scoop out the solid coconut cream at the top. Using an electric whisk blend up until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add peanut butter, a pinch of salt and maple syrup and whisk again to combine. Taste and add more salt or sweetener if needed. Your whipped cream should be thick and spreadable, but if it's runny, pop in the fridge to set a little. As soon as it's thick enough to spread, dollop some cream in each tart and smooth over with a spoon. Leave to chill for an hour, then remove and drizzle with melted chocolate. Top with coconut chips, candy stars and cacao nibs.
Dee | Green Smoothie Gourmet says
Bo! I love these lovely bite-sized tarts! The secret chocolate disc at the bottom is amazing! And so warming that you bake the crust. I so used to no-bake tarts and yet today is cold so I’d love a warmer dessert, thank you for sharing! Dee xx
Ah thank you so much Dee! The chocolate base helps to stop the tarts going soggy from the caramel too, win win! I was desperate for a proper baked pastry too, I’ve had enough of raw tarts now it’s getting chilly. Hope you had a good weekend and thanks so much for stopping by! Bo xxx