If there's one food group I cannot live without, it's chocolate.
...yes, I just called chocolate a food group. Let's just say that, when I became lactose intolerant, chocolate swooped in and essentially replaced my "dairy" food group. And if you think I'm being basic or dramatic, maybe this pudding, these cupcakes, this acai bowl, or this smoothie will convince you of my (increasingly) aggressive dependency.
Ever since trying a chocolate-covered espresso beans a few years ago, I've had a more specific (& more caffeinated) craving for anything and everything chocolate + coffee. And as I've gotten older, it's even surpassed my love for the always-classic chocolate + peanut butter combo. It's gotten so bad that I've started eating a handful of cacao nibs each morning with my cup of coffee.
Last week I decided to take control of my issues and spent a solid eight hours in the kitchen, you know, working it all out. And what happened in those eight hours was so beautiful & so satisfying that I had to share.
Enter: decadent, rich, & dairy-free dark chocolate espresso tart. And if you're as big of a fan of this combo as I am, you've gotta try this one out.
The recipe is extremely simple, and it all starts with a [vegan, 7-ingredient] salted-oat crust. Combine the ingredients in a food processor, pulse it out, then press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch round tart pan. Throw the crust in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until your kitchen smells toasty and amazing.
Side note: make sure your tart pan has a removable bottom, like this one. You'll thank me later.
While the crust bakes, you'll want to make the filling + oat topping.
The filling is also extremely simple and just 8 ingredients (4 of which you also used in the crust!). Dissolve the instant espresso powder in hot water in a food processor, add in the other ingredients, and mix until smooth and creamy.
For the oat topping, you'll combine the oats + coconut oil in a small saucepan, let that toast up, then add in sugar. Once the sugar has melted, you'll add in a little more sugar and let it cool. By this time the crust should be finished baking, and once it's cooled off, you can pour in the filling and sprinkle with the oat topping + flaky sea salt. Then you just let it chill in the fridge for an hour or so. That's it! You're done! It is just that easy.
This dark chocolate espresso tart is a chocolate and/or coffee lover's dream. I love it because it's rich and chocolatey but not super sweet, which is often a deal breaker for my salty-sweet palette. This tart goes great with coffee, although I tried my hardest to eat it with my afternoon coffee vs. my morning coffee because, well, health. But given it's made with dark chocolate (antioxidants!), coconut oil, and lots of oats, I guess it's not too far off from my occasional chocolate breakfast smoothie.
Warning: a little bit of this tart goes a long way. I'm usually a big proponent of big slices of cake/pies/literally every type of sweet I eat, but I can only get through about 3/4th of a slice of this tart before I tap out for a second (see: come up for air).
This undetectably dairy-free tart is perfect for nearly every event imaginable: birthdays, parties, BBQs, office pot-lucks, weekend gatherings, Monday afternoons...
Okay, well, now I think I'm getting just a little too non-specific. But since it's a Monday, and I happen to have a slice of this chocolatey tart in the fridge, I'm going for it. Because I can. And you know what? I think you should, too.
Let me know if you make this dark chocolate espresso tart by commenting below and/or posting a picture and tagging it with #onthedf. I’d love to see how you all recreate it or what event (or meal?) you make it for. Or pin it to your Pinterest for the next time you need a bangin' (but fairly simple) dessert to bring to a friends' dinner party or family get together.
dairy-free dark chocolate espresso tart
prep time: 1 hr, 40 mins // cook time: 20 mins // total time: 2 hrs
yields 8 slices
1-¼ cups old-fashioned oats
¾ cup flour
⅓ cup virgin coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
¼ cup light agave syrup
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1-½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp instant espresso powder
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
⅔ cup virgin coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
7 oz dairy-free dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (i used lily's dark chocolate baking bar)
½ cup + 1 tbsp light agave syrup
1-½ tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coffee extract
¼ tsp salt
the oat topping
1 tsp virgin coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
2 tbsp old-fashioned oats
1 tbsp demerara sugar
flaky sea salt
1. preheat oven to 350˚f.
2. combine oats, flour, coconut oil, agave syrup, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand.
3. transfer mixture to a 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom and press it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (it should also smell toasty and amazing).
4. while the tart crust bakes, make the filling: in a food processor, dissolve espresso powder in ¾ cup of very hot water. add in cocoa powder and let sit 5 minutes. add in coconut oil, melted dairy-free dark chocolate, agave syrup, vanilla extract, coffee extract, and salt and process until mixture is very smooth and thick; set aside.
5. next, start prepping the oat topping: add coconut oil and oats to a small saucepan and cook over low heat. stir consistently for about 5 minutes or until the oats are toasted. slowly add in half of the demerara sugar and continuing to stir until sugar is melted. remove the oats from heat, then stir in the remaining sugar; let cool for 5 minutes.
6. once the crust is done baking, remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack. once cooled, evenly scrape filling into the tart shell and tap lightly to pop out any potential air bubbles. scatter the oat mixture over the tart, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until the filling is set.
7. use a dry, hot knife to slice into 8 pieces, then let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
8. though best when fresh, you can store leftover tart in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
[inspired by bon appetit's recipe]