Recipe: Choc-hazelnut salted caramel paleo tart
If you look at this tart and think it’s amazing, let me confirm that it totally is. In fact, I gave it to 6-7 people to try and everyone loved it and couldn’t believe that it was actually paleo friendly. Even my boyfriend, who doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all, ate a full slice and raved about it along the way.
The recipe for this tart comes from Let’s Eat Paleo cookbook by the most delightful two ladies from the The Merrymaker Sisters. Their e-book cookbook is filled with yummy, guilt-free paleo dishes, desserts, snacks and drinks but this tart – which was actually the last recipe in the book – caught my eye because it sounded and looked so decadent and I fancied a little weekend project. There are a few processes involved but it’s actually pretty straightforward to make as I discovered, possibly due to easy to follow instructions from Emma and Carla. I took a few photos along the way to make it even more easy to follow for those of you who get puzzled by dessert recipes like I do.
Cook’s notes: I haven’t changed the recipe as such but I have amended some of the ingredients simply because of what I had in my own pantry and because of my strange compulsion to tinker with things. I left comments where I amended ingredients in case you get their ebook (and you should!) and wonder why some things are slightly different.
For the base
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp coconut oil melted or soft
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey (Natvia was used in the eBook recipe)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
For the caramel filling
- 150 g pitted dates (about 20 Medjool dates, soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes)
- 1 cup coconut cream (coconut milk was used in the eBook)
- 1 tbsp soft or melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
- 1 tsp sea salt or himalayan pink salt
- 2 tbsp crushed almonds
For the chocolate topping
- 100 g coconut oil
- 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 °C/ 355 °F. Grease a 22cm tart tin (my tart was 26cm so the tart might have ended up a little thinner but still worked as you can see).
Place 1 cup of the hazelnuts in a food processor (the girls used a Vitamix, I used a standard food processor). Reserve 2-3 tablespoons for later. Grind and process into fine meal, for about a minute. Add the almond meal, coconut oil (I didn’t even melt mine), egg, maple syrup (girls used Natvia and you could use any other natural sweetener) + vanilla. Whiz again until the mixture comes together.
Scoop the mixture out and make it into a large ball. Place and flatten between 2 sheets of baking paper (about 50x50cm). With a rolling pin, roll out the base to about 3mm thick (mine was more like 5cmm). When rolling, start from the middle and roll to the edges in different directions. Peel the top layer of baking paper off, then flip the base over the tart tin. Be gentle.
My base broke a little but you just fill in any gaps with your fingers. Make sure the area where the sides and the base meet is filled, a little thicker if possible. Place a round layer of baking paper over the base and fill with baking beads. I used uncooked chickpeas. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove the baking beads and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown. I turned the oven to 170°C for the second 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, in the tin.
Now for the filling. Drain the water from the soaked dates. In the food processor, whiz the dates, coconut oil and vanilla until they foam a thick paste. Add the coconut cream or milk and salt, whiz again until really smooth (about a minute, scrapping the sides as you go).
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking/freezing time: 1 hour
Number of servings: 8-10
Make sure to check out Let’s Eat Paleo ebook from The Merrymaker Sisters for more delicious recipes and paleo cooking ideas.