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Gluten and dairy-free chocolate tart with vanilla poached pears

A confession- I love making desserts more than I enjoy eating them. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the eating either but I love it when an idea comes to life and you can make something delicious to share with friends.

I made a chocolate mousse tart recently for our remedial massage therapists birthday. Adorned with berries and crystallised ginger it went down a treat over lunch one busy Friday. A little hard to serve being a mousse filling but delicious all the same. A few requests for the recipe meant I needed to have a go at remaking it and write it down second time around. I decided this time to try adding a little grass fed gelatin (I buy it here) to see if the filling held a little better and used an 85% chocolate round two for a more bitter sweet effect. The result? A bitter chocolate tart- a denser tart texture rather than a mousse but it held beautifully on cutting.

So without further ado- the recipe:

You’ll need:


* 2.5 cups almond meal (or ground activated almonds)

* 1.5 tablespoons Rapadura sugar

* 1 large egg

* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

* Pinch salt

* 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil


* 200g dark chocolate (I used an 85% cocoa- the more cocoa the less sweet it will be)

* 6 large eggs (yolks and whites separated)

* 6 tablespoons of Water

* 1/2 tablespoon grass fed Gelatin

* 1/2 tsp green leaf powdered stevia


* 4 firm pears, peeled, halved and core removed

* 1 vanilla bean

* 1/3 cup rapadura or xylitol

*1/3 small lemon

* 1/3 cup filtered Water

* 1-2 tablespoons salted butter (optional)


Make the tart shell:

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C. Grease a flan or tart case with coconut oil- I prefer the removable base types).

  2. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and combine well.

  3. Whisk the egg and oil together and mix through the dry ingredients until it resembles a crumbly texture but holds together when squeezed. If too wet add a little extra almond meal, too dry a little more coconut oil.

  4. Press into the greased flan case til evenly distributed and neatly finished around the edges.

  5. With a fork prick the base all over to allow heat to escape on baking.

  6. Bake the shell for around 12-15 minutes until dry and gently golden. Keep an eye on it- burnt almonds turn very bitter.

Make the filling:

  1. Mix the gelatin with the water and allow to bloom (swell up).

  2. Warm the gelatin mix in a bain-marie until the gelatin has dissolved

  3. Add the chocolate, broken up into pieces and mix gently til melted and mixed through. remove from the heat.

  4. Lightly beat the egg yolks, then pour into the melted chocolate: whisk quickly until evenly mixed through.

  5. Beat the egg whites with the stevia until stiff: stir in a couple of tablespoons of whipped egg whites into the chocolate to soften it, then fold the rest of the egg whites until perfectly blended.

  6. Spoon the mousse into the prepared tart shell and pop in the fridge for a few hours.

  7. Adorn with your accompaniments of choice and enjoy!

Poach the pears:

  1. Place prepared pears cut side down into an oven proof dish just large enough to fit them all in side by side but not overlapping. Add the 1/3 lemon, cut side down, skin and all.

  2. Split the vanilla bean, scraping the seeds out and adding to the baking dish, chop the pod into small pieces and pop throughout the dish.

  3. Sprinkle the pears with your sweetener of choice and dot with the butter. Add the water. Cover with Alfoil.

  4. Bake in a moderate oven (around 170-180 C) for around 20-35 minutes or until the pears are cooked to your liking (I like them beginning to soften but still firm in the middle).

Serve the tart with the poached pears and your choice of yoghurt or ice cream (cow, sheep, coconut).

The original Chocolate Mousse Tart

To make the mousse variation, leave out the gelatin (dissolve the chocolate with the water still). Use 180g 70% chocolate instead of the 200g of 85% chocolate. I also added a tablespoon of powdered ginger to the crust and left out the vanilla powder.

Originally published 29 October 2014.


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