I am beyond excited to share this recipe of minty chocolatey goodness! Why?
1. Because I finally got to put my tart pan Christmas gift to good use.
2. Because I got to prove Berney wrong.
I recently explained this recipe idea to Berney over the phone one night. After a second or two of silence he said, “Well…that sounds like it could either turn out really good…or really bad.” Not exactly the “you GO girl!” I was hoping for. It was the middle of a long, exhausting week for him though, so I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just extra tired and slightly delirious. But still, I was SO determined to prove that this tart idea would ONLY turn out really good. This past weekend he was back in town to visit, so
I made him he got to taste the final product. For all womankind I am proud to say… I was right.
Ultimately, I guess Berney is the one we have to thank for this recipe. Without that motivation driving me for success, we all might never have known the amazing mint-chocolate thing that is this tart! Thanks, babe.
So let’s get down to this amazingness, shall we? It starts with a raw brownie-like crust. I suppose “crust” is a little misleading because there’s really nothing crusty about it; it’s really more like a brownie. A soft, tender, semi-chewy raw brownie shaped like a crust. It goes perfectly with the buttery smooth layers of mint and chocolate.
We’ll move to the mint layer next because, well, it’s next. I got the inspiration for this layer from my Vegan Peppermint Patties (one of Berney’s absolute faves). I highly recommend a good high-speed blender for the mixing because you want the filling to be as smooth as possible. The mint layer is my favorite part of the entire recipe. It’s just so ridiculously creamy! Plus the mint gives your mouth a cool, refreshing sensation as the creaminess melts on your tongue. Oh my yes.
The final layer is the silky chocolate ganache. Traditionally, ganache is made with cream. We’re obviously not using real cream because that’s not vegan… But we are using coconut cream. Which is basically one of the greatest Trader Joe’s finds of all time. If you can’t find the coconut cream (pictured below), don’t panic too much because you can also use canned full-fat coconut milk. But I highly recommend the coconut cream.
On their own, each layer is pretty great. But together… Oh. Together they are divine.
And it’s the perfect divine treat for warm days when you don’t want to turn on your oven but you still want to make a special dessert! Who am I kidding? It’s perfect for ANY day no matter what the weather is.
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup (packed) pitted dates (if dry, soak for 10 minutes in warm water and then drain)
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained*
- 6 Tbsp agave
- ⅓ cup coconut cream
- 1 Tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1 Tbsp peppermint extract
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup coconut cream
- 1 cup vegan-friendly chocolate chips
- Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add the walnuts and cocoa powder and process until a fine meal is achieved. Add the dates and continue to process until a sticky ball forms.
- Evenly press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared tart pan. The crust will be very sticky, so to prevent it from sticking to my hands I repeatedly run my fingers under the faucet to keep them slightly wet. Place in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the mint layer.
- In a high-speed blender, add all ingredients for the mint layer (cashews through coconut oil) and blend on high until completely smooth and no cashew pieces remain.
- Pour mint mixture into chilled crust. Tap the pan gently on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles. Return pan to refrigerator and allow to set for at least 2 hours.
- Once mint layer is ready, prepare the chocolate ganache layer. Add the coconut cream and chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments (mine only needed 1 minute total) until coconut cream is liquid and the chocolate is melted enough to stir, and then whisk until fully combined and smooth.
- Evenly pour over the mint layer, and once again gently tap the pan on the counter to pop any trapped air bubbles.
- Return the tart to the refrigerator and allow to fully set for at least 4 hours, or overnight, before serving.
UPDATE: Photos updated 10.24.16. But here’s my fave from the original post just for reminiscing purposes…