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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chocolate Tart with Quinoa & Almond Crust ~ dairy free & gluten free


it is a new year. last year, 2011 came in quiet, maybe even a little reluctant. it turned out to be a good year. no. it turned out to be a sort of grace, my saving grace. 2012 also came in quiet and with it, comes a joyful hope that all my blessings will continue to multiply. if it is selfish for me to wish for even better tidings for myself and for those whom i hold dear, then so be it.

moving forward, with hands clasped tight in a sort of prayer, i strive for nourishment this year. nourishment of body and mind and spirit. i will continue, with dw, to learn more about the foods that will bring our bodies to the best of health, to commit to sourcing locally (or regionally) for the betterment of our humble community.


so, i hold onto these dear resolutions, these faithful hopes as i receive whatever this new year should bring forth. in return, this gift of a chocolate tart ~ luscious in body, smooth in texture, with careful hints of earthy nuts and molasses. i created a tart crust out of almond meal and quinoa flour, binding them with soy margarine and a new to me ingredient: sucanat. the result itself is lovely. yes there are things i would work on, should i make this again, but what a heavenly way to start 2012. and this is how i desire the year to be: poignantly sweet, without the cloy but with minor notes of improvement to be made, as nothing is ever perfect, nor should it be.

chocolate tart

Chocolate Tart with Quinoa & Almond Crust ~ dairy free & gluten free
loosely adapted from David Lebovitz

Note: as always, i am late being a fangirl over this man. for this particular recipe, he does have contingency plans, points of interest in regards to the ingredients used. refer to that. for my results, you can read what i ended up using and doing. whether it's right or wrong, what i ended up with worked for me. last, i almost exclusively bake with Ghiradelli chocolate products now, because almost all their products are dairy free.

quinoa & almond Crust
6 1/2 TBL soy margarine, at room temp
1/2 scant cup sucanat
1 egg, organic, at room temp & lightly beaten
1/2 cup quinoa flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/3 tsp baking powder

chocolate filling
1 1/8 cup sucanat
6 TBL warm water
4 oz unsalted soy margarine, at room temp
pinch of sea salt
4 oz semi-sweet Ghiradelli chips
2 ounces bittersweet Ghiradelli chips
2 large eggs, organic
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon dark brandy

preheat oven to 400F.

grease tart pan, i used a 10" one with removable bottom. in mixer, beat sucanat + soy margarine. if you use butter & regular sugar, it'll get light & fluffy. with these two alternative ingredients, it takes awhile. just ensure they are incorporated well. add in the egg. again, it's not going to fully incorporate like you would think but don't be alarmed. just mix it as well as you can, i did it for about 3-5minutes. then slowly add the flours, combining them all together. a dough will form. i very lightly floured the tart pan with almond meal and pressed the dough into it. cover with foil and weigh down with dried beans. bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes (i did it for 20 minutes, which ended up being much too long & it turned out too dark for my liking.)

take out foil of beans, set aside. lower heat to 350F.

meanwhile, make the chocolate filling by adding the sucanat to a heavy bottom sauce pan at medium-high. i was nervous with this step because of the ingredient used. i went slowly. i let the sucanat get hot & watched it melt into a dark goo, stirring very gently. because it has a very strong smoky molasses smell to it, i turned off the heat once it was completely melted, added the water and stirred like mad. there was seizing in some spots & i attempted to loosen them over low heat. next, add in the salt and soy margarine, stirring constantly until melted. then add in the chocolates, again, stirring constantly until smooth.

in a separate bowl, beat the two eggs and then ladle in a small amount of the filling in, continuously stirring. the mixture by this time was warm to the touch but i wanted to temper the eggs just in case. once the egg mixture is fully incorporated, add back to the filling and mix well. add in the almond meal and then the brandy.

strain the mixture thru a sieve into the tart pan. bake for about 15 minutes. i could've gone less by a 2-3 minutes. allow to cool completely before slicing into it. can be stored up to 3 days, at room temp if covered carefully.

it's nice on its own, but a tart fruit coulis would've been a nice accompaniment, or even some whipped coconut cream.


  1. Nice! I never thought of a dairy free and gluten free tart, because of the cream usually used and the tart case :) but this is great for intolerant friends~

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I don't think it's ever wrong to wish for good things. I hope 2012 is gentle and kind to us all.

    I don't know where you found the Atkinson quote but I think it is absolutely perfect.

  3. "poignantly sweet, without the cloy"

    This is lovely. Happy 2012, Lan.

  4. Oh, I'm in the mood for chocolate again after reading this. And yes, I love Ghirardelli too - I bake with it all the time even though I didn't realize it is dairy-free *dunce look*

    Love the Brook Atkins quote! Hope you and your dear ones have a lovely 2012, with all its glories and imperfections :)

  5. Oh my good sweet Lord. I mean, are you kidding with this gorgeous thing?? You make me feel like the amateur I am in the kitchen, man.

    In the meantime, though, I am 100% with you. Better food, better health, better life, more nourishment all over. Here's to a great year, whatever may happen.

  6. This looks and sounds amazing! I love that you are trying out more and more gluten and dairy-free recipes too, your body must be thanking you :-)
    Wishing you all the best for 2012 xx

  7. my 1st attempt almond crust failed miserably. seeing your beautiful creation gives me hope to do it again. Your tart looks so delicious! thanks for sharing!

  8. daisy, there's a wide world of dairy & gluten alternative baking. i've only scratched the surface.

    wendi, thank you! i happened to be reading quotes on new years, resolutions etc and the quote seemed so right.

    maria,thanks. happy 2012 to you too.

    beetlebuggy, ever since i decided to go without dairy, i read the labels now. it helps a great deal in preventing issues later. :)

    meister, trust me, this is an easy tart to do. simple steps, simple accessible ingredients. make an honest attempt & good things happen.

    emma, you are so right. my body is feeling great! i'm learning a great deal, but also feeling good about it.

    shannon, please do try it again! it's so worth it.

  9. Dayum, girl!
    You're so good.
    Happy new year!

  10. Wow, this looks beautiful! I'm especially impressed with that crust!

  11. shannalee, thank you!

    hogger, happpy new year to you too!

    heidi, thank you. the crust turned out well, much to my delight & surprise. it's always having a hodgepodge of leftover ingredients that bring forth such happy accidents.

    betty, thanks.

  12. An amizing recipe! I've got a friend who can't have dairy and next time she's coming for a visit I'll proudly present her with this tart.