My family is new to the primal lifestyle, though we’ve been moving in that direction since I began eating meat again last year. Before that I was a vegan baking fiend. Gluten, sugar, and canola oil made regular appearances in my kitchen. (I know, I know… but I’m reformed and don’t use any of those ingredients now!) This past year I found out that I am severely gluten–and dairy–intolerant, so I began experimenting with other flours. And yet, for all my efforts–and I became a decent gluten-free baker–I still felt horrible. Only a month ago my family cut out grains and legumes for good, as well as refined sugar. I use honey occasionally–and dark chocolate for special days–but have come to enjoy the pure taste of fruit as treat enough most days.
Since I’m new here, I figured I’d give you something autumnal and decadent enough for entertaining, and yet still without the refined ingredients in most desserts. This tart is, save for the dark chocolate, sweetened entirely by whole fruit. Just fruit, nuts, a little coconut, and dark chocolate–no funny stuff! I used chocolate with 72% cocoa, but you’re welcome to use a slightly darker chocolate if that’s what you prefer. Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps–it’s really quite easy to make. Enjoy this chilled–if you can wait two hours before serving.
Dark chocolate-fig tart serves 8
for the crust:
- 170 g raw almonds
- 60 g dried Mission figs, hard stems removed
- 2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
for the fig layer:
- 100 g dried Mission figs, hard stems removed
- 3/4 c water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
for the ganache:
- 70 g best quality dark chocolate, at least 72%, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 c full fat coconut milk
for the topping:
- 3-4 fresh black Mission figs, thinly sliced crosswise
Preheat oven to 350 F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the ingredients for the crust into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the knife blade. Process until the ingredients hold together when pressed, about two minutes. Form the nut mixture into a ball; then press onto the parchment into an 8-inch round with slightly raised/crimped edges. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden but not dark. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the crust is baking, place the remaining figs in a small saucepan with the water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and mashing with the back of a fork until the consistency of a chunky jam. Remove from heat; spread over the baked crust. Transfer carefully to a large plate, and allow to cool completely.
As the tart is cooling, make the ganache by bringing the coconut milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. (Hint: Wash the one you used for the fig jam and reuse it for the ganache.) As soon as the coconut milk is bubbling, remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring constantly until melted and well-combined. Allow to cool to room temperature. When the tart is completely cooled, carefully spread all but a tablespoon or two of the ganache over the fig layer. Arrange the fresh fig slices over the chocolate; then drizzle with the remaining ganache. Serve immediately, or refrigerate (covered) for at least two hours or overnight.