Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chocolate Ganache Tarts!

Morning!! Today is my second day of summer and I've mastered the position of sitting on the couch with coffee, computer and the TODAY show! Where was I yesterday you ask? I was very busy on my first day of summer. I woke up nice and early Danny's fault to get the day started right. I went to kickboxing at 9:30, which I haven't done since last summer.

*Mini rant: I find it to be very annoying when the instructor is late to class. Someone from the front desk of NYSC came up to tell us she was running late because she missed her train. She ended up being 15 minutes late and ended the class 5 minutes early. Not only that but she was majorly distracted and ran out of the room twice while telling us to "run it out". I've taken this class many times and she usually is late, but not this late. I don't mind if it's once in awhile but everyone in her class was complaining she's like this every week. Okay I'm done. :)

After kickboxing I came home and started on some dessert. My mom asked me to cook for her impromptu mini dinner party she was having.  She kind of just threw it together quickly and I offered to help. So I came up with the menu Monday and then yesterday my sister and I went to the food store to get everything and spent the entire day cutting, chopping, assembling and cooking. 

The menu was:
- mesclun salad with feta, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, and walnuts
- grain salad (Trader Joe's Harvest grain mix - couscous, orzo, quinoa) with small white beans, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley, corn
- stuffed mushrooms
- Dreena Burton's artichoke dip
- traditional and olive/garlic hummus
- chocolate ganache tarts
- fruit platter
- marinated grilled chicken

It took us all day but everything came out wonderful. I will be sharing the recipes throughout the week because it's WAY too much to post all in one day! 

Chocolate Ganache Tarts (raw and vegan)

Nut Crust
- 1 cup almonds (soaked for 2-3 hours)
- 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for 2-3 hours)
- 5-6 dates
- 1/4 cup cacao powder (I used Ghiradelli's cocoa powder)
- 2 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to combine well. 
Scoop into paper or silicone baking cups. Freeze for about 10-15 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 3/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbs coconut oil
- 3 tbs maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbs agave nectar
- a pinch of sea salt

Combine all in food processor and pulse until smooth.

Put the ganache in a icing bag (or ziplock like I did) and pipe onto tart crusts. Place a raspberry or strawberry on top.

Chris HATED these....hah, right.

Alternatively, I made some with just chocolate shells. I used 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips and 2 semi sweets bakers squares. I melted them in the microwave and then spooned then into the silicone baking cups. Freeze them for about 20 minutes until hard, then pop them out of the cups.

I also used the chocolate ganache on top of these. 

Bailey approved.

Honestly, I think this is the best dessert I ever made. No guilt, 100% satisfaction! :) Thanks for all your help Chris and Jess. More on the party planning recipes to come!

Off to finally cooled down!


Simply Life said...

wow, what a creative dessert! Looks delicious!

Christie {Honoring Health} said...

Oh my goodness! Tomorrow is my husbands birthday and I have been looking for something to make for him. Now I know!

Autumn @Good Eats Girl said...

Wow, those tarts look amazing! I want one!!

What a great menu you put together! Can't wait to hear about everything!

Jen said...



Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said...


Lindsay @ said...

Wow Wow Wow. Those are gorgeous. I think I would have eaten every one of those!

Erica Sara said...

Nicole, these tarts look awesome! I just may have to start a "Nicole's recipes I need to try" folder in my computer

Katie @ Healthy Heddleston said...

Those look so delicious! Thanks for posting and I can't wait to try them!

Carbzilla said...

I can't wait to try these! They may just be my yummy treat that keeps the rest of my eating on track.

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

omg i think this is my hands down fave recipe of yours...

it's high raw vegan
no gluten
it's choc
it involves dessert

it looks AMAZING!!!!! Make a dozen for me anytime!

and love the kitchen pic of you!!!
xo said...

Oooh, those do sound delish!

Kenzie @ A Healthy Purpose said...

wow wow those look fantastic. im always on the lookout for new raw dessert recipes and this one is fabulous! easy, but impressive to friends. thanks!

pegasuslegend said...

these are awesome~

Jennifer said...

OMG, I could die. I. want. to. eat. them. all. right. now.

So when are you coming to CT to cook for me? I mean hang out with me? ;)

Kelsey said...

now this is simply fantastic!!! YOU ARE CRAZY TALENTED !!! <3

the texture combinations are so great too- looks yummy yummy

Helena said...

My mouth is watering!! They look yummy and the second way you made them are GF so I"m really excited! Definitely will try these!

espo. said...

these look AMAZINGGGGGG.

baking.serendipity said...

These look so, so good!


Mmm!I love the looks of these...and cute photos!

Steve said...

You had me at chocolate!

Noelle said...

I agree! These looks so good! Great job!

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