The mighty coconut's presence in my kitchen has, until now, been limited to lamingtons and curries. Not that there's anything wrong with lamingtons or curries, but it's like finding out you've been wasting your star player on the bench.
Let's start off with sweet. When baking, coconut flour adds a sweet and dry, almost gritty, texture. It's so dry that if you're using it in place of wheat flour you will want to change the ratio or increase your binders (read more about substitution here). If you'd rather someone else do the math, a quick google of coconut flour recipe will open a world of coconut flour pancakes, coconut grapefruit pound cake, and jelly donut cupcakes.
Alternatively, please look at those photos. BAM. Sweet case closed.
If you hanker for savoury instead of sweet, check out green pea fritters, carrot scallion latkes, spinach and tofu balls, and savoury pancakes (is that 2 pancake recipes in one post? You bet your sweet, coconut lovin' ass it is).
Gluten free & high in fibre, it even scores well on the allergy friendly scale.
See? Star player.
Ok, enough of this gushing: it's time to play ball! Err... discuss dark chocolate & mint ganache tart.
I'll keep this quick because, let's be honest, I have tart to eat for dinner and you need to go and make yourself some.
This recipe is based off a Heston Blumenthal tart. I loved it when I first made it, but fell even harder when I altered it for a gluten-free, dairy-free friend a few months back. The base is... perfect. The fresh mint cuts through the velvety dark chocolate ganache, and the white chocolate topping is crack-tastic (in both addictive and physical traits).
Dark Chocolate & Mint Ganache Gateau - Makes 1 x 9" tart
Use a springform dish: it will make removing the tart a lot easier. As will a blow torch or hairdryer.
130g (1 cup) pecans
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp chia seeds
Cold water (make sure it's cold!)
1 x 270ml can coconut cream
Pinch of salt
Small bunch (~20g) mint, roughly cut
160g dark chocolate, roughly cut
Peppermint essence - optional
White chocolate topping
90g white chocolate
First, prepare your baking dish by lining it with baking paper. Preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F) with a tray in the top third of the oven.
Make a chia gel by mixing your chia seeds with 4 tbsp of boiling water. Put aside for about 10 minutes, mixing once or twice.
Blitz the coconut flour and half of the pecans in a food processor to make sure they're mixed together. Add the remaining pecans and the chia gel to the food processor. (The reason you're adding these nuts later is because you want some to be coarser). Keeping the food processor on, add cold water a tablespoon at a time until the dough sticks together and becomes a ball (between 7 - 10 tbsp).
Place the mixture into the base of your lined baking dish and make even, then prick the base with a form. Blind bake for 10 minutes, then bake for another 20 minutes (checking after the 10 minute mark).
Once cooked, leave aside to cool.
Place coconut cream, salt, and mint in a pot over a medium heat. Bring almost to the boil, then leave to the side for 5 minutes to infuse.
Strain the cream into a bowl and add the dark chocolate. Make a bain marie by placing the bowl over a pot with a small amount of water (make sure the water isn't touching the bowl) and, over a low heat, melt the chocolate until it becomes a ganache.
Have a taste of the ganache--I like the subtle mint flavour, but if you like a bit of pow add some peppermint essence a tiny bit at a time. That stuff is powerful!
Putting it together
Using a pastry brush, spread some of the ganache on top of the crust then place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the ganache will not seep through. After 5 minutes, pour in the remaining ganache and place the tart in the fridge to set for 2 hours.
After the gateau is fully frozen, sit the gateau on a wide upturning glass or pot. Remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch or hairdryer. Remove by carefully sliding the ring downwards. Place back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
White chocolate topping
Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie and then, using the back of a spoon, swirl it over the top of the tart. The heat from the white chocolate will melt some of the dark chocolate and result in a marbled effect. Alternatively, you could go for a smooth appearance but work quickly: the cold tart sets the white chocolate quickly!
Place back in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to set the white chocolate. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before eating.