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November 29, 2011

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Tart

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When I was a kid and lay in bed at night, unable to sleep, I always wondered who else was awake like me.  Did they wonder the same thing, or was I alone?  Was someone across the world thinking about how I was still awake as they went about their day?

That's actually what I thought about yesterday.  It was 3am and I couldn't sleep, my mind was racing.  My dorm was quiet.  Was I the only one awake?  Was someone across the hall lying in their bed wondering the same thing?  Was I the only one restless enough to cook something?

Yes.  I know I was.

I originally saw chocolate tarts while scouring FoodGawker, and immediately clicked on every picture I saw.  Most of the tart fillings only had two ingredients: dark chocolate and heavy cream.  But, sometimes simplicity does not mean healthy, and I needed to replace the heavy cream with something.  Coconut milk popped into my head right away.  And, since I was going to use 100% cacao chocolate, I needed other add-ins to balance out the bitterness of the chocolate.

I planned on using 1 cup of light coconut milk, agave and coconut butter.  Unfortunately, I was mesmerized by how silky the coconut milk was and poured the entire can into the chocolate-melting pot.  I didn't even realize that I did this until I saw how 4oz of chocolate wasn't thickening the mixture one bit!  I quickly ran back to my room and snatched another chocolate bar  (I may or may not have an abundance of chocolate stashed around my room).  After the second chocolate bar had melted, I had a beautiful, thick and syrupy chocolate mixture.  Unfortunately, the end product was still a little too dark for me, so in the next trial I added some stevia and peppermint extract to boost the flavor, which also got my roomies even more excited for winter break just sixteen days away!!  :)

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Tart:  [no bake, GF, vegan]
(makes one 4.25"x13.75" tart)

   Shortbread Crust:
       96g (1 cup) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, blended to a flour (GF if you like)
       48g (1+1/2 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
       1/8 tsp Salt
       105g (1/4 cup + 1 tbs) Brown Rice Syrup
       28g (2 tbs) Coconut Oil
       1/4 tsp Butter Extract
       1/2 tsp Hazelnut Extract (or vanilla)
       1/2 tsp Stevia Extract

   Chocolate Filling:
       1 cup - 1 tbs  Light Coconut Milk, canned
       40g (1/4 cup) Coconut Sugar (or dry sweetener of choice)
       63g (3 tbs) Agave Nectar
       5oz 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate
       42 drops Stevia Extract
       1/2 tsp Peppermint Flavor

Directions (for the crust):
1.  Mix all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
2.  Microwave the brown rice syrup and coconut oil at 20 second intervals until melted.  Add the extracts to the mixture and stir.  Pour this into the mixing bowl and fold with a rubber spatula until the mixture is even.
3.  Dust a flat surface with brown rice flour (any other flour will work), press the mixture into a ball and place onto the floured surface.  Roll the crust to your desired thickness.  Make sure to keep your pan handy to see if the crust is in the right shape (I had to rip the sides off and add it to the ends to make the crust long enough for my pan)
4.  Spray the pan lightly with PAM, dust with some more flour and carefully place the crust into the pan.  Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Directions (for the filling):
1.  Add the coconut milk, coconut sugar and agave to a pot.  Heat on medium and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
2.  Break the chocolate into small pieces, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chocolate.  Occasionally stir with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides to prevent burning.
3.  When all is melted and a solid, smooth texture, take off the heat and quickly add the extracts.  Stir again to make sure the mixture is all even.  Take the crust out of the fridge and pour in the chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate overnight.

To serve, dust with cocoa powder or leave plain.  I would recommend freezing for 10 minutes before serving.

PS:  Do you have a favorite brand of chocolate?  I have always used Ghirardelli, but I would like to try some new kinds, plus, I'm sure you have a go-to favorite!   :)


  1. The tart looks absolutely fantastic and perfect for the holidays! My favourite brand of chocolate right now is lindt. It's quite easily available and tastes delicious.

  2. OoOhh Looks really good..Chocolate peppermint who could ask for more!? Dark chocolate is my favorite. Ghiradelli is what I use because that is the best our store offers. (And they put the % on the labels..sometimes I go to the candy isle to find what I need)

  3. This looks SOOOOOO good! too bad I don't have about half the ingredients... Maybe I'll give this a try over the holidays!

  4. that is the most beautiful tart i've seen in a looong while.. and its choc peppermint!

  5. that looks so good! i love the ingredients!

  6. This looks wonderful, I love the ingredients too - bet it's delicious!

  7. This looks amazing! I haven't got any protein powder (though I may have to invest, after seeing the number of yummy recipes you use it in) and was wondering whether there was anything I could substitute for the time being?

    Also, if I do end up buying protein powder, will all protein powders work the same way in these recipes?

    PS addicted to your recipe for White Icing now *shakes fist* it's going to go on everything.

    1. You can probably use oat flour and/or brown rice flour to take the protein powder's place, but add it one tablespoon at a time while mixing the "dough" as it may need more or less.

      Whey protein and egg protein seem to work interchangeably, rice and hemp proteins tend to absorb a lot of liquid, and soy protein varies among brands. I recommend using whey protein.

      Lol thanks! I was addicted to it for quite a while too.... ;)


    2. Thanks Jess, you really know your stuff! I have both gf oat flour and brown rice flour on hand (as I have coeliac disease, so can't eat gluten). I'll keep my eyes peeled for a good protein powder though :D It seems like a good thing to have around to oomph up a recipe's nutrition value.


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