Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
This years Valentines Day theme has been about Perfect Matches. First there was this Peanut Butter and Jelly Tart and now I give you two of the most romantic foods ever…Chocolate and Strawberries.
Chocolate and Strawberry have long been lovers and partners in crime. I’m pretty sure they have been responsible for many engagements, cheesy romantic moments and probably a baby or two!
This Chocolate and Strawberry and Cream Tart is the perfect no bake Valentine’s Day dessert when it’s 40°C outside and you don’t want to ruin your romantic evening with a sweat mo. There are three elements to the dessert but each is simple and takes only 10 minutes. The hardest part is waiting for the cream to set and trying not to eat all the chocolate covered strawberries (that I failed!).
This Chocolate and Strawberry and Cream Tart starts with a date-based chocolate base. The base is actually a smaller quantity of this recipe. Depending on your kitchen appliances you may need to make a larger batch of the base and make the left overs into energy balls/slice. Larger blenders will struggle to break down the smaller quantities into the smooth mixture that is required for the tart base. I made a full batch of these (so 4X the recipe listed below) and kept the left overs in the fridge for lunch box snacks.
The Strawberry Cream is the hero of this cute Valentine’s Day dessert. The strawberries are cooked to intensify the flavour and then whipped with coconut cream (or dairy cream if you can tolerate it) to make a vibrant, red filling. I have stabilised the cream using gelatine to make sure the tart will hold its shape when removed from the ramekin, but if you are making this vegan style omit the gelatine and make sure your cream is super, super thick, or thicken it with chia seeds.
This brings me to a topic that I have had much frustration with lately; coconut cream. Not all canned coconut creams are created equal (some countries do not stock coconut cream so instead use coconut milk and place in the fridge for 24 hours to allow to thicken before use). Some are more watery, some grainy, others are just gross. I have always relied on my ‘can shake theory’ when choosing a can (the more liquid you can hear when you shake a can the less cream you will get from it). No shake makes for great cream but lately this has been really hard to find. My trusty ALDI cream has been unreliable but I think it may be due to the heat so I have been forced to use more gelatine than normal to get the cream to stabilise in these Chocolate and Strawberry Cream Tarts. 1 teaspoon should be right to make sure the Chocolate and Strawberry Cream Tarts hold their shape but if your cream is really runny then add an extra ¼ teaspoon.
The top of these Chocolate and Strawberry and Cream Tarts are a simple layer of chocolate, spooned on top of the set cream and set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Use the extra chocolate to cover fresh strawberries and decorate the tarts all romantically.
These Chocolate and Strawberry and Cream Tarts are a delicious and pretty way to show your loved one how much you care… and of course you get to have one too
- Chocolate Base: (see notes)
- 1/3 Cups Dates
- 1/4 Cup Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamias)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Optional: 1 teaspoon Maple Syrup (i find they are sweet enough without it)
- 100 grams Strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Tablespoon Water
- 3/4 Cup of Coconut Cream ( take a can of coconut cream/milk, remove the lid and place it in the fridge over night. Spoon the thickened cream off the top and retain the watery remains to use in the gelatine).
- 1 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon of Gelatine
- 1 Tablepsoon Water
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1/2-1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (for a sweeter, less bitter, chocolate)
- fresh Strawberries for decorating and dipping in chocolate
- Line 2 small ramekins (mine could hold 1 1/2 cups of water) with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap extends over all the edges. If you do not have a ramekin then a small tart/pie tin with decent edges or a large muffin tin would work.
- (see notes)
- Place the dates, nuts, cocoa, maple syrup and vanilla extract (with seeds if using) into a food processed and blend until a smooth paste forms. Add a teaspoon or 2 of water if the dates are having trouble blending.
- If your food processor is more Urkell than Schwarzenegger (or you have a hand held mixer) soak the dates in boiling water to soften them first, then discard the water before blending.
- Once the mixture is well combined divide it into 2 and press it firmly into the prepared ramekins, making sure it meets the edges.
- Place the strawberries, maple syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 min; or until thickened (it will have the consistency of jam).Allow the strawberry mixture to cool.
- Remove the can of coconut cream from the fridge and spoon out the thickened cream from the top of the can into a kitchen stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand blender).
- Retain the watery remains from the can. Measure 1 Tablespoons of the watery remains and put into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and allow to stand and thicken.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract to the cream and whip until combined. Add the strawberry mixture and whisk on medium/high until combined.
- Place the thickened gelatine/water over a bowl of hot water so it starts to dissolve. Add to the cream mixture and whisk to combine.
- Evenly scoop the cream into the ramekins (on top of the chocolate base) and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
- Over a very low heat, melt the Coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir. Add the cocoa and whisk to combine.
- Gently spread 2 Tablespoons of chocolate over the strawberry cream and smooth the surface. Place in the fridge/freezer for 30 minutes (minimum) and serve.
- Use the remaining chocolate to cover fresh strawberries for serving.
- The ingredients are written for 2 small tarts, however a large tart can also be made by 4 x the recipe.
- The base is made from my Chocolate Energy Balls recipe. Only 1/4 of that full recipe is required to make 2 tarts, however processing 1/3 dates may not result in a smooth mixture. It may be easier to make a larger batch and make Chocolate Energy Balls to be stored in the fridge for another day.
- Depending on the quality of your Coconut Cream you may need to increase/decrease your Gelatine. I used 3/4 teaspoon but should have used 1. If you cream is really runny used 1 1/4. Omit the cream if making a vegan version, or try thickening the cream with chia seeds.