TWO Easiest Vegetarian Tarts: Chocolate Chestnut & Chocolate Raspberry

I love desserts.

This holiday season, I wanted to make something using some pre-cooked chestnuts that came in a gift-basket from Melissa’s Produce, and combine it with chocolate for a rich and decadent dessert. But, not everyone can enjoy nuts – so I used the base to make a second dessert.

The crust recipe is modified from one on the King Arthur website. The modifications come out of sheer convenience, and because I like easy clean-up. The dough recipe can be done by hand – but I find that the chocolate warms up to the warmth of ones’ fingers. Also, I focused on how the dough behaved when I worked with it. The recipe makes an extremely crumbly crust so whatever you can do to reduce cutting while serving – do that.


The chestnut topping and the raspberry topping – both recipes are adapted from several other recipes – and can be modified to suit your preference. Feel free to give this tart your own spin, but the base recipe – is so easy and so very good, you will want to make this recipe often.


Notes: This dessert is eggless – aka, vegetarian, and is best made ahead one day ahead, which simplifies festive celebrations. Use small tart pans to reduce risk of the tart shell cracking, and to simplify serving.

Chocolate Crust Recipe {Makes 7-8 small tart crusts}

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup unbleached AP flour (I used King Arthur) 1 tsp salt ½ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa (I used Droste, it is our fav cocoa) ½ cup fine granulated sugar 10 tbsp. unsalted cold butter, chopped to small chunks 3 tbsp. cold water, plus 1 tbsp. more only if needed


Method

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor (or large bowl if doing this by hand). The mix will resemble a drinking chocolate mix. Run fingers through to see if the sugar feels grainy. Pulse until the texture is as smooth and fine as you can get it.

  • Add the chopped butter, pulse a few times to ensure that the butter is mixing in. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time, and pulse to bring the dough together. Use only as much as you need. The dough will be soft – transfer to a glass container, cover and chill until ready to bake, min. 30 minutes.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350’F.

  • Use small tart pans. Scoop out 2-3 ice-cream scoops worth of dough and lightly flatten into the tart pan. Lightly but carefully push the dough in place, to line the tart pan. If the dough is too firm, allow it to come to room temperature before working quickly. Alternately, roll out the dough on a floured surface and fill the tart pan. The dough rises but only very slightly – so plan for that.

  • Bake for 15-20 minutes in the center of the oven. Cool completely. Gently pry it out of the tart shell and set away in an airtight container. Top with desired suitable toppings.


Chestnut Topping {Makes 1 ½ cup}

Ingredients

1 cup peeled, steamed chestnuts, chopped (I had a pre-cooked pack from Melissa’s Produce) 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 2-4 tbsp. sugar, to taste


Method

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large, non-stick saucepan. Stir continuously until the chestnuts begin to soften, and the cream changes color from white to a deep ivory. Remove from heat.

  • Use an immersion blender to make a smooth creamy paste, ensuring that there are no chestnut bits.

  • Return to heat and continue to cook on medium low until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, about 8-10 minutes.

  • While it is still hot, transfer it into a glass container and allow it to cool completely. This can be made up to two days prior.


Raspberry Topping {Makes: approx. 1 cup}

Ingredients

1 tbsp. corn starch 1/3 cup water 1 cup fresh raspberries, washed 2-4 tbsp. sugar, to taste 1 tbsp. lime juice

Method

  • Mix the cornstarch with one tablespoon of water.

  • In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, with the remaining water, sugar, and lime juice. Bring the mix to a boil.

  • Reduce the heat and add the cornstarch and water paste. Increase the heat, boil until it thickens. Pour into glass jar and set aside to cool.


~~~

Assembly

Chocolate Chestnut Tart: Bring the chestnut mixture to room temperature. Lightly warm if the chestnut paste is too firm. Pipe it into the cold chocolate tart base, or fill the base using a spoon, and flatten the top using a spatula. Decorate with chopped chestnut pieces and chocolate chips if desired. Chill for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

Raspberry Chocolate Tart: Using a spoon, layer the top of the tart with raspberry topping. Decorate with additional fresh raspberries if desired.



This is not a sponsored post. However, I used many items that came in a Melissa’s gift basket. Droste and King Arthur flour are staples in my pantry. You may use whatever brand works for you.

AUTHOR

Nandita Godbole

Once a botanist & landscape architect.

Now a personal chef & author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger & poet. 

 

Loves freshly brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 

 

Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 

 

Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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