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Continuing on with the Thanksgiving theme, I have to move on to this gorgeous, FOOLPROOF(!!) chocolate ganache tart. If you’re looking for something that’s a little bit more of a “classic” Thanksgiving dessert, go check out my dairy-free Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Gingersnap Crust. It takes a little more effort but a crowdpleaser nonetheless.
Two years ago I threw my first ever “Friendsgiving”! IT WAS A HIT! I single-handedly hosted 12 people in my home to play games, laugh, and of course, eat some tasty plant-based foods! My first dinner party (read: with people I’m not related to no one) left everyone open-minded about what plant-based food looks and tastes like… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Post dinner, we were chatting about the desserts I’d served, particularly this Chocolate Tart. It seems that I was not the only one who grew up receiving a chocolate orange in my stocking…
Do you know what I’m talking about? The solid spheres of chocolate that you’d smack onto a hard surface so it would break into individual “orange” sections of solid chocolate. Those were my favorite chocolate treats until of course, the dairy allergy hit and I couldn’t eat them anymore. **Insert broken heart and super sad face!**
Well, fast-forward 7 years of incomplete holiday seasons (missing out since the diagnosis) and I’ve created the next best thing! Reminiscent of the delicious chocolate oranges, this chocolate tart was actually inspired by the bourbon truffles I make for Derby Day. However, since I had a few friends coming to dinner that didn’t do alcohol, I decided to forgo the bourbon this time and add some orange zest. The result, the most amazing Chocolate-Orange Tart. **UPDATE, last year it was discovered that Trader Joe’s now sells a version of this that is, wait for it… DAIRY FREE!!! Insert happy dance**
This recipe is SO EASY! I even used a prepared pie dough… mostly because I’m really clumsy when it comes to unrolling homemade dough into a pie dish… Or my homemade dough attempts are just not strong enough to hold during transfer… Either way, store bought is my preference. I blind bake the crust (baking just the crust) in a tart pan until golden brown. Make sure to poke some holes in the dough to release air as it bakes. You can also use pie weights, dry beans, or uncooked rice to keep the dough from bubbling up.
Pssst: I love this tart pan! It makes for the easiest removal which means perfect slices every time. Wanna make it even easier? Check your grocer’s freezer section or bakery for a pre/par-baked tart shell. (I know there are mini ones out there too… pour your ganache into a piping bag and add a little bit of ganache to individual tart shells to make this as a finger food for a party!)
Once the crust is cooled completely, I make my chocolate ganache with a can of coconut milk and some semi-sweet chocolate. I zest half an orange and add some larger orange peels to the coconut milk while it came to a simmer to infuse the orange flavor into the ganache. Then I strain the coconut milk into the chocolate and let it sit for a minute until I can stir it into a silky, smooth chocolate sauce. Personally, I think that stainless steel mixing bowls were made for this recipe. They hold the heat of the coconut milk and help keep the chocolate melted. Pour the ganache into the crust and let it cool… that’s it! I let it cool slightly on the counter before placing (uncovered) in my fridge to harden completely. Leaving it uncovered ensures that no trapped heat will cause condensation to form on the cover, if water drips onto the ganache it will discolor the chocolate.
NOTE: If discoloration happens or air bubbles appear on top of your ganache, here’s a simple fix. Take an offset metal spatula and gently heat it over a hot stove or in very hot water, then wipe completely dry and smooth over the top of the ganache. (I let mine sit on my *clean* electric stove burner on medium for about 10 seconds.) Wipe the chocolate off the spatula, reheat, and smooth top as needed!
As for serving, a little goes a long way here! The semisweet chocolate is so rich and decadent that you don’t need much to reach pure chocolate nirvana! This recipe is versatile too! Swap out the orange zest for a few drops peppermint extract, or even try infusing the coconut milk with some lavender!
What flavors do you love with your chocolate? What flavor would you add to your tart?
** I use a refrigerated pie crust when I make this. You could also look for a gluten free crust. OR skip it all together and check your grocer's freezer section for tart shells! One less step 🙂
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