For vegan and raw food enthusiasts, as well as those of us with history of a fondness for French pastries (that would be me), this recipe is a nice segue between our love affair with "Haute Cuisine" and down to earth "good-for-you" whole food alternatives. You can make small tartlets, individual tarts or one large cheesecake with this recipe. The photo shows bite-sized tartlets made in 1 1/2 inch tartlet molds.
yield: 3 dozen tartlets | prep time: 45 minutes | resting time: 4 hours
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 ¾ cups raw cashews
- ¼ cup pitted dates
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- up to 3 tablespoons water
Place the macadamia and cashew nuts in a medium mixing bowl and add enough filtered water to cover by 2-inches. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plate and set aside to soak the nuts for 8 to 10 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the tartlet crusts. Dice the dates and place them in a small mixing bowl. Cover with about a cup hot water and soak until soft, about 20 minutes.
When dates are softened, drain thoroughly and add them along with the pecans and 3 tablespoons of the cacao nibs to a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Pulse this nut mixture until evenly and finely ground, but not to a paste.
Place a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into each of about 3-dozen small tartlet molds (or use one 8-inch springform mold, using all of the crust and the filling mixture for a large cake). Press the nut mixture into an even layer, covering the bottom and sides of the molds. The crust may be prepared up to two days in advance if stored, covered at room temperature.
To prepare the filling, drain the macadamia and cashew nuts, discarding the water, and place them in a blender (a high powered blender, such as a Vita Mix gives the most creamy texture, but other blenders can be used). Add the coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon juice and zest, agave, maple syrup and vanilla. Blend thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the beaker as necessary, until the mixture is very evenly ground and has a nice thick, creamy texture. If necessary, add up to 3 tablespoons of water to facilitate a smooth texture.
Pour this filling into the prepared molds. Top each tartlet with a sprinkling of reserved cacao nibs, then arrange on a baking sheet and cover. Place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until the tartlets are frozen solid. Before serving, remove from the freezer and thaw until just soft. The tartlets may be kept in the freezer, covered, for up 2 months.