The Chocolate Enigma Tart

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I like to call this little wonder an enigma, because most people never guess that the main ingredient in this little beauty is AVOCADO!

Why use avocado? Besides the delectably dense and creamy texture,  these little powerhouses are a major win for your health.

Avocados are surprisingly high in carotenoids, especially the very dark green portion closest to skin. Carotenoids are typically prevalent in fruits and vegetables that are red or orange in color. The fact that avocados have a vast array of carotenoids is an enigma in and of itself! These bad boys are high in the most common carotenoids: beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin; as well as the lesser known: neochrome, neoxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and violaxanthin. Carotenoids are groovy because they are antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation in the body--the major culprit for disease. The best way to ingest these is through food (rather than supplements) so eat up!

Avocados are also high in fiber, both the insoluble and soluble kinds. It is recommended to eat a diet of 3:1 (insoluble to soluble) for optimal digestion. Avocados are the perfect ratio.

Plus, they just kick every other food up a level! The versatility and simplicity of an avocado his hard to match. Nothing beats avocado smeared on toast with salt and pepper, I mean--come on.

But they’re so fatty, you say. Well you’re right, but you know what, these fatties have the kind of fat you WANT to eat more of. Here is what the Worlds Healthiest Food Index has to say:

Over half of the total fat in avocado is provided in the form of oleic acid—a situation very similar to the fat composition of olives and olive oil. Oleic acid helps our digestive tract form transport molecules for fat that can increase our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. As a monounsaturated fatty acid, it has also been shown to help lower our risk of heart disease. So don't be fooled by avocado's bad rap as a high-fat food. Like other high-fat plant foods (for example, walnuts and flaxseeds), avocado can provide us with unique health benefits precisely because of its unusual fat composition. 

The other major ingredient in this tart is really, really, dark chocolate. I used 99% dark. The bitterness of the chocolate, with the smooth creamy avocado, and the hint of sweetness form the maple syrup, creates a really well balanced flavor. You may choose to go sweeter for this recipe, but to get the antioxidant benefits from chocolate it is recommended to use at least 70% dark chocolate. And that goes for anytime you choose to enjoy some dark chocolate! Once you get accustomed to the deep, dark flavor--you won't want to go back to the other stuff!

To the tart!

Ingredients:

Chocolate Filling

  • 1 bar melted dark dark (99%) chocolate, approximately 10 oz (I like this brand)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut manna (similar to coconut butter)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup liquid (could use non-dairy milk or water, I used strong coffee)
  • Cinnamon

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (can be white,  pastry, whole wheat or sprouted wheat or combination. I used 1 cup pastry flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (approximately juice from 1 satsuma orange)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (optional—but REALLY good)

**This crust is the same recipe used in the Simply Sweet Cranberry Tart . For this tart, you will need to bake the crust first, as the filling will not be cooked.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. While preheating oven, break up chocolate bar into a heat safe bowl. Add bowl to the oven to melt chocolate.

3. Grease a 9 inch pie pan with coconut oil.

4. Mix all the crust ingredients together in a bowl.

5. Press dough into the pie pan, and up the sides. Try to press as evenly as possible.

6. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes (until edges are brown and bottom is dense, not wet.) While crust is baking, mix up the chocolate filling.

7. Remove melted chocolate from the oven, add it and all the other filling ingredients to a food processor or powerful blender.

8. Blend until smooth. Mixture should be firm but pliable. If too firm, add a small amount of liquid.

9. When crust is baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

10. Fill with chocolate avocado mixture. Spread with a rubber spatula until smooth.

11. Top with a light sprinkling of sea salt (I used Hawaiian black salt)

12. Pop tart into the freezer for a couple of hours. Let sit for an hour or so to soften before serving.

I am looking forward to experimenting with avocado for other creamy tart delights! Imaging a slightly sweet key lime number right now--and just imagine the color! Hmmmmmm.

I hope you enjoy this beauty. It certainly was a hit at this Gathering.

It can be a hit at your next get together too!

The Chocolatey Enigma Tart

Ingredients

For Chocolate Filling:

  • 1 bar melted dark dark (80% or more!) chocolate, approximately 10 oz
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut mana(similar to coconut butter)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup liquid (could use non-dairy milk or water, I used strong coffee)
  • Cinnamon
  • For the Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (approximately juice from 1 satsuma orange)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (optional—but REALLY good)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While preheating oven, break up chocolate bar into a heat safe bowl. Add bowl to the oven to melt chocolate.
  3. Grease a 9 inch pie pan with coconut oil.
  4. Mix all the crust ingredients together in a bowl.
  5. Press dough into the pie pan, and up the sides. Try to press as evenly as possible.
  6. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes (until edges are brown and bottom is dense, not wet.) While crust is baking, mix up the chocolate filling.
  7. Remove melted chocolate from the oven, add it and all the other filling ingredients to a food processor or powerful blender.
  8. Blend until smooth. Mixture should be firm but pliable. If too firm, add a small amount of liquid.
  9. When crust is baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  10. Fill with chocolate avocado mixture. Spread with a rubber spatula until smooth.
  11. Top with a light sprinkling of sea salt (I used hawaiian black salt)
  12. Pop tart into the freezer for a couple of hours. Let sit for an hour or so to soften before serving.

Notes

Just dig in and enjoy it! Would be delicious with some whipped coconut creme! Or fresh raspberries!

 

Simply Sweet Cranberry Pear Tart

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Full disclosure, this recipe is highly inspired by this recipe, contributed by a reader of my  f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e  food blog My New Roots. It is a beautiful site with incredible recipes that are nutritious, clean, and delicious to boot! Much love to My New Roots.

I did take a few liberties with the recipe and I want to share it here now because it is an incredibly simple dish to make for the holidays that is:

  • Not loaded with sugar.
  • Packed a nutritional punch. (Thank you chia seeds and cranberries!)
  • Stunning to look at.
  • Really delicious—for days.

I first tried this recipe this Thanksgiving. Unable to make it back home for the holiday, my husband and I ventured to the mountains of Asheville, NC and stayed at a charming Airbnb that had an ample, light-filled kitchen. It was a pretty dreamy time, exploring Asheville and the charming mountain towns all around. It was crisp, clear and cold outside, and the light was divine. This little tart was a great ending to our simple Thanksgiving meal, and it held up quite nicely on our drives through the mountains. Yes, we ate it straight out of the pan in the car after a long hike—and it tasted better than ever! I think from now on a pie will accompany us on all road trips! Decadence!

The greatest bit, was that the ingredients were so portable. So this little tart would be great to whip together if you have limited time or resources and you want to make something that will really stand out for an upcoming holiday get together. I packed all the crust ingredients together in a ziplock bag, brought along a pint of cranberries, two pears, a few satsumas, a baggy of chia seeds, and a jar of coconut oil. Not too shabby.

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Oh-and I have to give a little shout out to this crust. It is awesome. It is vegan, if that is important for you, and it tastes like the most delicious little shortening cookie, but whole pie sized.

Not to mention, it is so easy to make. Pies everyday!

And now, to the tart!

For crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (can be white,  pastry, whole wheat or sprouted wheat or combination. I used 1 cup pastry flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (approximately juice from 1 satsuma orange)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (optional—but REALLY good)

For the filling:

  • 2 pears, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 6 T orange juice (approximately juice from 2 larger satsuma oranges) or water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (I used ground vanilla bean—decadent!)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 inch grated fresh ginger
  • A bit of orange zest

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the chia seeds with the water or orange juice and set aside until a gel forms.

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3. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a bowl and mix. Dough should be fairly thick, but moistened all the way through.

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4. Grease a 9” pie pan with a coconut oil and press crust evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.

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5. Place slices of one pear in a layer on top of the crust.

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6. For the remainder of the filling,  mix the cranberries with remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Add the chia seed gel and fold it into the mix. Pour filling on top of crust and pear layer and spread evenly.

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7. Slice the remaining pear to top the cranberry mix. (Note—if you use the whole pear, it will likely cover the tart—which is just lovely. I may have been snacking on pear while I was cooking~oops~ so mine is a bit skimpy on top. It was worth it! )

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8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow tart to cool completely before removing from pan.

Beautiful right! Who knew that cranberries were so magical? I want to use them everywhere now.

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And, to get in the spirit, a little festive tune (or two or three!!)

I have to admit, I LOVE the She and Him Christmas album—inventive but not too far away from the Christmas songs I know and love. Here is a favorite from their album (I am digging the role reversal).

How about one more from those two,  Christmas Day.

And finally, my all time favorite, Pat a Pan.

Nothing is better than the sound of voices singing together. It always makes my heart sing.

A happy holiday to you and yours,

Enjoy!

Simply Sweet Cranberry Pear Tart
Recipe Type: Sweets
Author: Denise
A delicious, low-sugar, tart. A feast for the eyes!
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (can be white, pastry, whole wheat or sprouted wheat or combination. I used 1 cup pastry flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (approximately juice from 1 satsuma orange)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (optional—but REALLY good)
  • For the filling:
  • 2 pears, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 6 T orange juice (approximately juice from 2 larger satsuma oranges) or water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (I used ground vanilla bean—decadent!)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 inch grated fresh ginger
  • A bit of orange zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the chia seeds with the water or orange juice and set aside until a gel forms.
  3. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a bowl and mix. Dough should be fairly thick, but moistened all the way through.
  4. Grease a 9” pie pan with a coconut oil and press crust evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
  5. Place slices of one pear in a layer on top of the crust.
  6. For the remainder of the filling, mix the cranberries with remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Add the chia seed gel and fold it into the mix. Pour filling on top of crust and pear layer and spread evenly.
  7. Slice the remaining pear to top the cranberry mix. (Note—if you use the whole pear, it will likely cover the tart—which is just lovely. I may have been snacking on pear while I was cooking~oops~ so mine is a bit skimpy on top. It was worth it!)
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow tart to cool completely before removing from pan.