Chocolate Coconut Tartelettes (Gluten Free)

I had been thinking about coconut and chocolate (picture Homer Simpson drooling with his face on the table and a thought bubble with said ingredients hovering over his head). Actually, I had a taste memory of a carob and coconut bar that we used to make at the commune that was delicious, despite the presence of scary-but-good-for-you carob. There was something about the chew of coconut and the depth of carob that made it both satisfying and decadent.

Now I'm not about to start bringing carob into the house, mostly because I love chocolate so much, but also for fear that my beloved Nick; who has already allowed dates and molasses shelf space, would find cause to site irreconcilable differences in the divorce courts if carob were to complete the trilogy of ingredients he runs from with his hands over his eyes.

It was as my ruminations were turning towards biscuits and crusts involving coconut that I got a comment from Annina of Ann's Food and visited her site to find a lovely post on coconut and chocolate tarts; as though a divine intervention had bought her straight to me with inspiration. She had also found the recipe on Marita Says and both looked just delicious. There was something of the bounty bar about these tarts, that combination of moist sweet coconut and dark chocolate, but turned on its head because the crisp coconut shell gave way to a soft dark chocolate ganache, rather than the reverse.

I didn't use their recipe, as I wanted to make something using coconut flour (not desiccated coconut) and maple syrup in place of refined sugar. However, this recipe is entirely inspired by them both. The results were really delicious; the crust is chewy, not that sweet and provides the light back ground for a very rich smooth ganache. I only filled a few of them with ganache, putting the rest in the freezer unfilled to pull out and spoon some cream and fruit into when I need a quick but deceptively fancy dessert at short notice.

Quantities are small, so double if you want more than 8 and double the ganache recipe if you want to fill them all. Use either metric or imperial measurements I have given, don't mix them.

Chocolate Coconut Tartelettes (makes 8)

Coconut Crust

2oz (60g) Ground Almonds

3oz (85g) Coconut Flour (or grind desiccated coconut till fine)

1oz (30g) Tapioca Flour

1 Large Egg White

1/3 cup (80ml) raw honey or maple syrup

Few drops of lemon juice

Ganache Filling (fills four or five tarts)

1 1/2oz (45g) 70-80% Dark Fairtrade Chocolate

1/2 cup (125ml) Double (heavy) Cream

1 tbs (15ml) honey or maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 160C fan assisted or 170C without. Generously butter 8 holes of a muffin tin.

Measure all the ingredients into a bowl and beat together until a very sticky dough forms. Spoon it evenly into the 8 muffin tin holes that you buttered and press the mixture up the sides with your fingers to form little tart cases. Any thin bits, just squidge some of the mixture over to ensure you have evenish coverage. Bake them for about 8 minutes until the top edges are starting to turn golden brown. Leave in the tray for a few minutes once out of the oven and then gently remove to a cooling rack. When cold, either fill with ganache or fruit and cream, or freeze and then pack into a box when frozen.

To make the ganache simply chop the chocolate and heat the cream and honey/maple syrup in a small pan until it is steaming but has no bubbles. Off the heat, add the chocolate and leave for a couple of minutes to melt, then stir until smooth and pour into the coconut cases. If you would like something more like a whipped truffle that you can pipe into the cases, just allow the ganache to cool and then beat with a hand held mixer until lighter in colour and buttercream consistency (don't over whip) before piping into the cases.