vegan chocolate and salted caramel tarts

Our vegan chocolate and salted caramel tarts are a to-die-for dessert. They are made up of shortcrust chocolate pastry, salted caramel and dark chocolate ganache layers.

vegan chocolate and salted caramel tarts

INGREDIENTS
PASTRY
  1. 120 g white all purpose flour
  2. a pinch of salt
  3. 6 level tsp icing sugar
  4. 6 level tsp raw cacao powder
  5. 40 ml / 2½ tbsp olive oil
  6. 20-30 ml / 1½-2 tbsp water (at room temperature)

CARAMEL SAUCE
  1. ½ cup sugar (I used brown raw cane)
  2. ½ cup full fat coconut milk + ¼ cup (see instructions)
  3. ¾ level tsp fine salt

CHOCOLATE GANACHE
  1. 100 g / 3.5 oz dark (70% cocoa) chocolate
  2. 60 ml / ¼ cup full fat coconut milk
  3. 30 ml / 2 tbsp water
  4. 2 tsp maple syrup (optional)

METHOD
PASTRY
  1. Sift flour, icing sugar and cacao into a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and rub it into the dry ingredients with your hands. Finally add water – be careful, do it gradually – how much water you’ll need depends on how absorbent your flour is (mine needed 25 ml). Combine all the ingredients into a dough gently, but do not knead. Wrap it in a piece of cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 4 portions. Place each portion of the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll gently until you get a rough circle, about 2-3 mm in thickness. (Below a photo from another tart recipe illustrates how to line tart moulds with shortcrust pastry).
  3. Put each rolled-out pastry over each mould and and work the pastry into the mould making sure it reaches all nooks and crannies. Once you are happy with the coverage, trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork in a few places. Place the pastry in the fridge for about 60 mins.
  4. 45 min into pastry chilling time, preheat the oven to 175° C / 350° F. Line the pastry cases with a small piece of baking paper and fill with baking beads.
  5. Blind bake the pastry for 15 mins, then remove the beads and bake for another 5 mins. Cool pastry cases down completely before pouring any of the filling in.
CARAMEL
  1. Spread an even layer of sugar at the bottom of a dry pan or pot. Heat up sugar on a medium heat (I used setting 3 out of 6). Refrain from stirring it, although if your pan has hot spots, you may need to gently manoeuvre unmelted sugar into a hot spot. Meanwhile, warm up ½ cup of coconut milk in a separate pot.
  2. Once all the sugar has melted, let the sugar caramelise and darken slightly (it will happen quite quickly so be careful not to burn it). The darker the caramel the less sweet it will be. Once the sugar achieves the colour you are after, take the pan off the heat and slowly stir in warmed up coconut milk and then add salt. Be very careful as even though warming milk up minimises this, caramel may be splattering at this point and it will be very hot.
  3. There is a chance that once you add coconut milk, some of the caramel will harden into big lumps. What you need to do is to return the pan to the stove and set on a very low setting (I used 2 out of 6) to allow these lumps to melt away. Make sure you keep on stirring the mixture. Now, because the longer you cook your caramel sauce the more sticky and less sauce-like it will become, if you do need to bring it back to the stove to melt any stubborn lumps, add another ¼ cup / 60 ml of coconut milk to the pan to ensure that once your lumps have dissolved the caramel will retain sauce consistency. Do not panic if it appears to be too runny at first, caramel thickens as it cools down. If it does end up being too runny, place the pan back on the stove an reduce the caramel gently to thicken the sauce.