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 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
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.
other related posts:
David Lebovitz's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
bacon & leeks quiche
chocolate & vietnamese coffee tart