Finishing this post has been epic. Or does everything seem epic when you’re 30 weeks pregnant?! I can’t believe how much I’d forgotten about being pregnant – especially that everything seems to take twice as long as they used to. Especially when you have a toddler in tow. Plus we are now in full baby prep mode – organising furniture, car seats, clothing and sleeping arrangements. Life is hectic and I have a sneaking suspicion that this is how it may be for a while.
But somehow in the craziness, I still manage to bake every few days. Usually Raff and I do it together – it’s like it keeps us sane. And together. Which is an entirely crazy concept in itself – those of you who have tried baking with a two-year old will know exactly what I’m talking about….but there is something incredibly joyful about seeing a child attack and clean out a mixing bowl almost better than a wash up can do. I can’t get enough of it. And neither can she.
But this recipe was one that I happily created on my own and in my own time. I truly understand when people say they find baking somewhat therapeutic. In addition, I’ve been craving anything with even a sniff of chocolate in it (Dario may ask how this is different to any other time…and I might say that I’m pregnant so shut up and pass me the Lindt). So without further ado here is the mother of all healthy(er) chocolate tarts. I had to make it twice and get mum to make it a third time to get it right – and I must point out the importance of refrigerating the dough for at least an hour (more if you can) and once you have rolled it out and put it in the tart pan, if it is looking too soft it’s really worth putting back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes if you have time (as I’ve noted in the recipe below). You’ll get a more user-friendly crust that way. Also, we still aren’t giving Raff chocolate (a little cocoa and unprocessed sugars in baking but not store-bought chocolate) so this one was for us.
PS. So I’m going all nerdy and designing a nutrition plan for post pregnancy – I have decided to do a 12 week health blitz so I’m starting my plans now so that I don’t have to think about it during the blur that is life with a newborn. I’m using my fledgling nutrition knowledge plus inspiration from loads of cool blogs. Roasted Strawberry and Basil Agua Fresca from Healthy Green Kitchen, Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint from Smitten Kitchen and Fig and Fauna’s Radish and Potato Salad are all getting a run. I honestly can’t wait to get started! And if you have any favourites you want to pass on (if you’re a blogger don’t hesitate to plug your own recipes too!) please do so in the comments below!
Healthy(er) Chocolate and Walnut Tart
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
4 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp dutch process cocoa
3 tbsp cocao nibs
175gm butter, cubed and frozen
3-4 tbs iced water
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
Pulse the dry ingredients together in a food processor until combined (about 10 times). Add the frozen butter and pulse until the dough resembles rough breadcrumbs. Add the iced water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently to bring it together. Shape it into a ball or rectangle (depending on the shape of the tart case you are using), wrap it in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Unwrap the dough, roll it out on parchment paper and invert it gently onto the greased tart case and press it in and up the sides. Cover with the cling wrap and put it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and blind bake for 20 minutes with baking beads or rice weighing down the parchment paper. After 20 minutes, remove the baking paper and beads and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
75gm butter or coconut oil (taste-wise I prefer the butter but coconut oil works just as well if you like it in baking)
120gm good quality 70% dark chocolate
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dutch process cocoa
While the tart case is cooling, chop the dark chocolate and put in a small bowl. In another bowl, melt the butter or coconut oil in the preheating oven until liquid and pour over the dark chocolate. Let sit for 3 minutes and stir. Melting it this way should leave you with some chocolate still solid which I like because it leaves chunks in the tart. If you would prefer it melted completely, melt the butter and chocolate gently together in a heavy based saucepan, stirring continuously. Set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, maple syrup, salt and vanilla in a bowl and add the cocoa. Whisk in well to ensure there are no lumps. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Add the walnuts and stir through. Pour the mixture into the cooled tart case and spread evenly over the base. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until set.
Let cool and dust with coconut flour before serving if desired. Serve with yoghurt or maybe even this ice cream.