Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chocolate strawberry tart (which is also vegan)

On Valentine's Day I posted about kale. I'm pretty sure kale doesn't make the Top 10 List of Romantic Topics.

(Actually, I know that it doesn't. I just Googled 'Top 10 List of Romantic Topics' and kale was definitely not in there. I learnt a lot, but nothing about vegetables.)

Fortunately for Mr Bite, I didn't serve us kale on Valentine's Day.

I served us this:

I think it was probably more appropriate.

The inspiration for this tart actually came from one I made for Valentine's Day last year, which was a raspberry chocolate tart adapted from a recipe on my 2011 Chocolate calendar.

It was a good calendar, and it was a good tart.

I figure if I'm going to have any baking traditions, a chocolate fruit tart once a year is one I'm happy to have.

This year, the tart was adapted from the Chocolate Strawberry Tart in Kris Holechek's The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes.

It was chocolatey. And strawberry-y. And surprisingly jam-y.

So all in all, rather good.

Chocolate Strawberry Tart
Adapted from Kris Holechek's The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes
Makes 1 tart


For the tart base -
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup good-quality cocoa
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup non-dairy spread (I used Nuttelex)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup plain non-dairy yoghurt (or regular yoghurt if preferred)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp non-dairy milk (or regular milk if preferred)

For the filling - 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup corn starch / cornflour
1 300g pack frozen strawberries
1/2 cup water

Dark chocolate, ~60g
Strawberries, ~1 punnet


For the tart base -
Combine the flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the non-dairy spread and sugar until smooth. Add the yoghurt, vanilla and milk and stir to combine. Add the flour mixture in three batches, mixing well after each addition.

Flatten the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180'C. Grease and/or line a tart pan, springform pan, or (in my case) a heart shaped baking pan.

When the dough is chilled, roll out between two sheets of baking paper until 1-2cm thick. Press dough into the prepared pan and prick the bottom with a fork in a few places, to keep it from rising.

(I forgot to prick mine. It rose! But I pushed it back down successfully post-baking.)

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until firm. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

For the filling -
Combine the sugar, cornstarch, frozen strawberries and water in a saucepan. Bring contents to the boil, stirring regularly.

Reduce the temperature and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thick, stirring constantly.

(I didn't stir mine constantly, but you do want to keep a close eye on it as the mixture thickens up quickly.)

Remove from the heat and stir every few minutes until completely cool.

To assemble -

When the crust is cool and while the filling is cooling, melt 1-2 rows of dark chocolate (~30g) in a small heatproof bowl. Line the base of the tart with the melted chocolate. Set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Chop strawberries into halves and grate another 1-2 rows of dark chocolate (~30g) into a small bowl.

When the chocolate lining on the tart is set and the strawberry filling is cool, pour the filling into the tart case. Decorate with the strawberry halves and sprinkle over the grated chocolate.

Set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

I was surprised at how 'cakey' the base was when I made it, and I was quite concerned it wouldn't turn into a tart base at all. However, it did. It was deeply chocolatey and could be used as a base for any number of fillings.

I was also surprised at how jam-like the strawberry filling ended up being! On looking at the ingredients and method, I probably shouldn't have been: the steps are virtually the same as those for making jam. I liked it, but I think I could have had less of the jam-like filling and more fresh strawberries.

As for the comparison with last year? I think I may have liked the 2011 tart just a little bit more, but that may be skewed recollections over time as I can't pinpoint why. Both were certainly good, and Mr Bite seemed happy with this one.

Which, given the day, was the main thing.

Do you make tarts, chocolate or otherwise? I'd love to make a more traditional fruit tart one day, with a custardy base!


  1. looks like a lovely tart - I am envious of your heart shaped baking pan! I'd like to make a traditional marzipan sort of tart but I rarely make tarts, especially of the sweet kind!

    1. I'm the same really - the last time I made one was last February! Plus one pie in the middle of the year. I'm more of a cake person I suspect, and you've prompted me to remember to use my heart shaped pan (I love it too) for cakes as well as tarts. Especially as that's what it's actually designed for!

  2. Mmmm, that tart looks lovely. I make quite a few fruit cake/pie things (am currently on the hunt for a great blackberry pie recipe) but have yet to try the chocolate and fruit versions, which is silly because chocolate and fruit is such a great combo.

    I absolutely adore the traditional fruit tart with creme patissier under it. It would be in my list of favourite things.

    1. Creme patissier...I didn't realise that was the proper name for the filling but it is such a beautiful phrase. I love those tarts too, definitely something on my 'to make' wishlist.

      Your recent berry streusel cake has captivated my imagination so I might be heading over to your world and abandoning the chocolate :) Both are equally good really.

  3. Aw, how gorgeous! I'm guessing you mean soy yoghurt, though, in the crust, for this to be vegan? In a way hope not, because I've found all soy yoghurts in Australia to be disgusting :P

    1. Thank you for noticing my lack of yoghurt clarification! I've updated it - I did use soy for this.

      I'm with you on the poor quality of soy yoghurts and pretty much never have them plain these days (did you ever have SoYo as a child? I love that brand), but don't mind Soy Life for baking. The vanilla flavour is pretty innocuous. Most of my eating yoghurt comes from my yoghurt maker so sometimes store bought soy is also quicker!

  4. So impressed with your heart making ability, it looks very pretty

    1. Thank you! Although I don't think I can take too much credit, the heart shaped pan makes it pretty easy :)

  5. Oh you know I just had to google the top 10 romantic topics then didn't I! Funny how kale, or indeed vegetables weren't up there... maybe we should start a new list?
    Your tart looks lovely, lucky Mr Bite!

    1. Tehehe, I'm glad someone else felt compelled to do so :-) I think we should definitely start a new list, one of the suggestions I saw was redecorating the bedroom and it may just be me, but I think I'd rather have vegetables.

  6. Your heart tart is just adorable! I'm making a pie this weekend for dinner with some friends, but it's kind of more like a tart. Biscuity base, fruit filling, crumble topping. Yesterday I couldn't choose whether to make individual or group-sized, but today I'm questioning whether choc & strawb would be better...

    1. Your pie-tart sounds very appealing! One of the lovely things about that category of desserts is that they are so versatile; fruit or chocolate or just about anything works really. I should experiment with it more often I think. I'll look forward to hearing about what you make :)

  7. I have not made a tart before... interesting. Are there things you may put in it other than fruit?
    I always want to make berry baked goods but never do because of the price.. even in the summer, they're much too expensive for me. (Sometimes OK if I can find u-pick!)

    1. Oh I know...strawberries are cheap here in Summer (well, $2 per small punnet? I don't actually know if that's cheap in American fruit standards!) but other berries never are. Frozen I can stretch to, but even those aren't cheap.

      You could put things in tarts other than fruit though - definitely. A chocolatey filling would work fine, or if you used a non-chocolate crust then lemon is pretty popular in Australia. Although I guess that is technically fruit!

  8. This looks fabulous - very decadent.


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