Raw vegan tarts or desserts - tips and tricks

Raw vegan tarts or desserts - tips and tricks

Mocca Tort - crust at bottom only

Since starting on making raw foods, my favourite and most successful have been the raw vegan tarts.
The recipes I have used have come from either Peter and Beryn's Rawlicious,  or Natalie and Noel's 'easy living food', but I have tweaked and modified them a little, and improved on them a bit.
Well I think so anyway
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Well, as I have mentioned, I started making these for a friend's vegan restaurant in Cape town, and they were the third fastest selling item, so they can't have been too bad.

Mango Tart - mousse texture
What prompted this particular post? As I am away for a while, I cannot make the tarts anymore. I passed my recipes over to them, and I was a bit surprised at how different their versions turned out. When discussing this with them, I realised there were quite a few aspects I had rather taken for granted.

Cheeze-cake and Coconut Tart

So, here are my ideas and tips to make these tarts turn out perfectly.

The crust;
1 - For all these tarts I use a 23 cm diameter springform tin.
2 - The first few I made, as per recipe, I made the crust fit the base as well as up the sides. I found this made the base a bit thin, and the sides always ended up too thick, and thus too much crust in a slice. I now only put crust at the bottom of the tart.
3 - Pretty well all crust mixtures have nuts in them. Most recipes say put all ingredients into the food processor and blend. I have found it better to put the nuts in first by themselves and process for a few seconds till they have broken up a bit. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend till you get the texture you want.
I usually prefer not to go too fine, but keep a slightly chunky texture.
4 - If using coconut oil, always melt it first. 2 reasons - it mixes in quicker and better, and it is easier to get the right amount in the measuring spoon.
5 - Press the mixture really firmly into the tin, as level as possible.
6 - Use a fork or point of a knife to make punctures all over the base. This helps the mixture grip or stick to the base.
7 - Put the base in the fridge to harden up a bit while making the filling.

Chocolate ganache

The filling:
1 - If using coconut oil, again, melt it first. In fact, when making one of these tarts the first thing I do is take the jar or tub of coconut oil and stand it in warm water, so it is melted by the time I need it. Again 2 reasons - firstly you can get the right amount, and in the case of the filling, you need as much liquid as possible to make it easier for the blender to work.
2 - Always put all the liquid ingredients into the blender first, and start blending bit by bit while adding the more solid ingredients. You will still have to use the tamper, but it helps.
3 - Whatever the flavour you are making, you want to get the filling really smooth, so you need to blend it very well. I always take a spatula and scrape down the sides a couple of times during the blending to make sure all the mixture is well blended.
4 - When using fruit in the mixture, I usually add this last. This is because fruits vary in size and moisture content, and the aim is to get the right final volume of mixture. For this size tin (23 cm) I aim for 1100 ml of blended mixture. I only use the recipe instruction of eg 4 cups of pineapple as a guideline. I add enough fruit to get the required volume.
5 - Fruits also differ in sweetness depending on their ripeness. So do the taste test and maybe add a little stevia liquid if it isn't sweet enough. Stevia liquid works well for this as you don't need a lot so it doesn't affect the consistency too much.
6 - Use of coconut oil - It depends whether you are making a cheese cake type of tart or a mousse type which will be softer, and which will collapse if left out the fridge. So the more coconut oil you use, the firmer your filling will be.

Chocolate Mousse Tart - see how the end is already soft!

Just another note on coconut oil - this is one oil that you can melt and let solidify any number of times without changing it's properties, which is why it is ok to do what I suggested in point 1.
When you are finished, take it out the water and when hard again, put it back in the larder.

The pictures show the various raw vegan tarts I have made - some with crusts up the side and some not. Some mousse texture and some cheezecake texture.
My recipes use stevia or agave nectar for sweeteners as I aim to be vegan, but you could use honey. Remember honey will solidify more than stevia or agave, so if you use honey, you might need to use less coconut oil.

My favourite - Lemon Tart

For any of these recipes, just search the blog!

Bon apetit. - Have fun in the kitchen!

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