During my pregnancy (which ended over 2 years ago with the birth of my beautiful little boy!), my tastes changed from savoury to sweet and I still find it hard to go past something dessert-like at the end of a meal. It doesn’t have to be big, which is why I love the idea of a petit four.
I finally built the courage to tackle raw ‘pastry’ when my lovely friend, R, dined at my house recently. She has a nut allergy so I couldn’t serve her one of my usual suspects (ie. some sort of raw cheesecake). This led me to invent a dessert with a cocao/coconut-based pastry and a filling of seeds and honey — and it happens to be delicious.
The best thing about these tiny treats is that, although they taste like they should be bad for you, they are packed full of nutrients like vitamin E, protein, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, tryptophan, good fats and more, all of which make for a truly guilt-free dessert.
All of my ingredients are raw and organic and, because so many people have asked, I sourced my ingredients from Organic on Charles, Manna Wholefoods, and the PAWS shop.
Recipe #107: Teensy chocolate tarts. A raw and nut free recipe. Makes 24, plus extra for tasting.
A food processor or Thermomix are a must for this recipe. You will also need a (silicon) mini muffin tray.
You will need — for the filling:
► 50g pepitas
► 50g sunflower seeds
► 90g honey
► ½ tsp cinnamon, ground
► up to 1/8 cup of water
You will need — for the pastry:
► 200g sultanas
► 100g raw cacao powder
► 120g coconut flour [if you have a coconut allergy, you can use finely ground nuts. Just be aware that you won’t need as much (if any) coconut oil to bring it together]
► 50g coconut oil
I make the filling first so that I don’t have to wash Mac (my Thermomix) between tasks.
To make the filling, process the pepitas and sunflower seeds together (Thermomix speed 7 for 10-20 seconds, depending on how fine you want to go). Pour the mix into a bowl and mix in the honey. Stir in the water a little at a time, adding just enough to make a sticky paste. Set the filling to one side when you’re done.
I have good reason for not using Mac to process the honey and water: it gives me greater control over the thickness of the paste, and ensures that I don’t overprocess the pepitas and sunflower seeds. If you do happen to make your paste too runny, just add some coconut flour or a little more ground pepita/sunflower seed mix.
You can also use 1 tbsp of rosewater in the filling instead of some of the plain water, and I think it gives the dish a slightly Persian flavour. Rosewater is meant to be great for you, just be aware that it’s not raw, as it is the by-product of rose oil preparation (a steam-distillation process).
For the pastry, process the cacao, coconut flour and sultanas together until fine crumbs are formed (in the Thermomix, this takes about a minute on speed 6, scraping down the sides of the TM bowl at least once during this time). If you are following the TM directions, pour this mix into a separate bowl so that you can heat up the coconut oil.
Warm the coconut oil until it is liquid (Thermomix: 37°C for 2 minutes on speed 2. Or you can do this in a saucepan over the stove). Process this with the cacao/coconut flour/sultana crumbs until the mixture clumps together (Thermomix: speed 6 or 7 for up to 30 seconds). What you have now is a warm mixture with a mudcake-like texture — and this is absolutely awesome to eat on its own.
Take teaspoonfuls of this mixture and form it into balls, then place the balls into the mini muffin tray. Create a well in the centre of each ball and form it into a pastry shell, as shown:
The next step is to chill the pastry shells for at least an hour in the fridge or freezer; this will make them easier to remove. When they have hardened, pop the pastry shells out of the mould and fill to the brim with the filling you prepared earlier.
Serve at room temperature — or warmed for 5 minutes in your dehydrator — and garnish with a half-strawberry dipped in agave syrup.
I am so excited about these two-bite treats. I hope you enjoy them as much as my friends have!
PS. My beautiful friend Hayley asked me to tell you that these are: “deliciously tantalising and I could feel the goodness dancing within.”
Addendum of 30 August: I clarified the fact that the ingredients listed are all raw and organic. Note that this recipe is also suitable for coeliacs and for strict vegans, if you replace the honey with maple syrup/agave. Enjoy!