Firstly, I’d like to apologise to all of you following Lent this year. (You poor souls.) There is a lot of vegan chocolate food porn coming your way, so dieters, avert your eyes!
My second point might actually kind of make up for the first one: this tart is gluten-free and vegan! Hurray!
This gluten-free baking shenanigans was a bleep to start with, but I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I’ve probably jinxed it by just saying that, but oh well… life’s an adventure, and so is cooking.
I was scared of it at first, and eyed it from a safe distance for a long time since I have never had any problems with gluten, wheat or any other grains, and I do love bread ever so much (I’m European — you’ll never change me when it comes to bread) but I appreciate that a lot of you guys do experience these dietary issues. So I finally rolled up my sleeves and set to learning how to bake vegan and gluten-free.
(FYI, this book is a wonderful resource for gluten-free vegan baking. Go go get it.) (And this post by Oh Ladycakes, which I somewhat based this recipe on.) It’s been a bit tricky but I feel like for the first time I’m having success in the kitchen! And I’m no longer scared of my gas oven. Well, not that much anyway.
It pays off to be bold. To try something that you think: ‘There is no way on Earth I can EVER do that.’ But then you do it, and you look back and think actually, it wasn’t all that hard.
Last weekend, I climbed the Pentlands. For those of you who don’t know, these hills are Edinburgh’s back garden; they stretch far into the distance, a supersized play area of lush green hills looking out over the city from the South. We climbed the first hill, and when I got to the top I thought: ‘That’ll do.’ I saw all the other ahead of us, even bigger, even more awesome, and I felt my legs shaking with the effort of that teensy first hill. My resolve wavered. We went on along a level path, thinking we’d leave it there — and then there came a fork in the path. We could go up, or we could go down and end our walk early. Mr Cookie Monster looked at me with that look in — ‘G’wan, sure!’
I sighed and began climbing again.
The path was lined with wild mountain thyme, the hill covered in heather blowing like horse hair in the wind. It was cold and windy and my calves were screaming for mercy, but we kept going. I stopped to take pictures and rest, and drink in the view. There was beauty in the struggle.
And then we got there: the top.
If you ever have a bad day when you feel about as attractive as a slug, where you doubt your abilities and feel like the biggest loser ever to walk this planet, take my advice: go climb a hill. You don’t need to be fit (I certainly am not), you just need to be hungry for something new to experience.
We sat there looking over Scotland’s capital, catching our breath, feeling our ears burning from the cold, and thinking there were many other things we could have done with our Sunday, but nothing that would have been nearly this satisfying.
GF Cardamom & Pistachio Chocolate Tart
For the pie crust
400g (14 oz) Divine 85% chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp Suma coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4-1 tsp Suma ground cardamom
2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
A big handful of Suma pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 inch) pie tin.
- Mix the ground flaxseed and water in a small cup and set aside. The mixture will gel after a few minutes, creating a flax “egg”.
- Add the almond meal and brown sugar and lightly combine. Fold in the flax “egg”, melted coconut oil and olive oil. The “dough” will look quite wet and not at all like regular pie crust, and it won’t stick together like normal glutinous dough does, but it should be fairly pliable. Once the ingredients are mixed well, roll the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl.
- Place the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour to allow the dough to firm up a bit.
- Cut two equal square pieces of parchment paper; place one a flat surface and save the other for later.
- After the half hour has passed take the ball of dough and place it onto the parchment paper. Flatten the ball into a rough circle and cover it with the second piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, flatten the circle to about half a centimetre (0.2 inch).
- Remove the top piece of parchment paper. Carefully flip the dough into the pie dish; or place the pie dish upside down over the dough and then flip it. Either way, press the dough into the pie dish and trip the edges. If any pieces of the dough happen to break off, it’s easy to patch together using your fingers.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are firm and slightly golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Place all the ingredients, except for the pistachios, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently until evenly melted.
- Set aside to cool a little. When the base is baked and cooled, pour the chocolate filling into the base.
- Scatter the pistachio nuts all over the chocolate filling.
- Leave in the fridge to set for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
In other news, Easter isn’t so far away! I would totally serve this sophisticated tart at a grown-up Easter dinner party, because tarts always give the impression that you put lots of effort into them. In fact, this one isn’t tricky at all. But your guests don’t need to know that 😉
And if you needed any more chocolate inspiration for Easter, check out my ebook: The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Little of Chocolate. It’s full of easy chocolate treats that young and old will love.
When was the last time you really challenged yourself to conquer something new, and what was it?
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Love and cookies,
Disclaimer: This recipe is sponsored by Suma Wholefoods as part of the Suma Bloggers Network. All opinions are my own, and I think Suma is a great cooperative. You can find out more about them here.