Chocolate Mini Tarts (vegan, gf, raw)

Hubs gets home from work, walks in the door. I’m in the kitchen, which is a disaster zone and I am very irritated…

Hubs:  What’s wrong?
Me:  Oh I just wasted all this time making this stupid recipe and it tastes like crap.
Hubs:  Oh no. What is it?
Me:  Mini chocolate tarts. They’re raw, you won’t like it.
Hubs:  It looks really good.
Me:  Yeah, and I think my photos turned out great, but now I can’t even use ‘em.
Hubs:  (takes a bite) What’s the problem? It’s great! I love it!
Me:  You’re lying. You’re just trying to make me feel better.
Hubs:  (takes another bite) No I’m not – I think it’s really good!
Me:  Really? I hate it. I think it’s terrible.
Hubs:  You’re crazy if you don’t put this on the blog.

He polished off that mini tart and ate another one the following day. I guess he wasn’t lying.

Mini Chocolate Tarts #raw #vegan #glutenfree #gfcommunity #foodphotography  86lemons.com

So there you have it. I’ve given you fair warning. I didn’t care for it. Hubs loved it. I’ve been sitting here, trying to think of why I didn’t like it, and how I can describe my dislike to you. But I can’t put my finger on it. The best I can come up with is… to me, the banana flavor came through too much, and the chocolate flavor wasn’t prominent enough. I did like the crust. But if you’re thinking it’s going to taste like regular pie crust with regular chocolate pudding pie filling – it won’t. It’s a raw (gluten-free, vegan) dessert, so it tastes like a raw, healthier version of the “real thing.”

I will say this, though. When I was newly vegan, a friend suggested that I try chocolate pudding made with avocado because she and her son love it. I tried it and HATED it. It smelled and tasted like chocolate avocado. Ewww! How could she recommend such a disgusting thing?! I threw it out immediately. That was nearly a year ago. BUT, I recently read a post that explained how the mixture needs to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes in order for the flavors to meld, and for the avocado smell/flavor to go away. If you taste the mixture straight out of the blender, it will not be good. I was pleasantly surprised when this tip worked (I waited an hour just to be sure)! The avocado flavor really does magically disappear.

Mini Chocolate Tarts #raw #vegan #glutenfree #gfcommunity #foodphotography  86lemons.com

You will definitely want to use tart pans with removable bottoms for this recipe. Otherwise, consider serving the tarts in the pans because I’m not sure this crust will entirely hold together for you.

Mini Chocolate Tarts #raw #vegan #glutenfree #gfcommunity #foodphotography  86lemons.com

This recipe comes from Sarah at The Naked Kitchen. Her version (Raw Strawberry Chocolate Mini Tarts) was slightly different. She topped her tarts with sliced strawberries for a beautiful presentation. I tried that, but I got frustrated and decided to go with a single raspberry instead. Something I learned from the FAQ page on The Naked Kitchen site:

What are raw coconut crystals and coconut nectar and why are they used so often in your recipes?
Raw coconut crystals and coconut nectar are both plant-based sweeteners that we use in our recipes as alternatives to artificial sugars. Unlike other processed sweeteners, both coconut crystals and coconut nectar are minimally processed and still contain all their nature enzymes and nutritional value.

Why don’t you use agave nectar?
Most agave ‘nectar’ or agave ‘syrup’ is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup which is devoid of virtually all nutrient value. Agave nectar has a fructose content of about 75% which is much higher than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) itself with a 55% fructose content. While we try to limit the use of sweeteners in our recipes, when a sweetener is needed we prefer to use either raw coconut crystals or coconut nectar.

Interesting. This led me to further research, which left me a little confused, but definitely more informed. I had no idea that agave nectar has such a bad reputation. I’m not prepared to take a definitive stand on sweeteners (because I simply don’t know enough yet), but I do recommend that you do your own research and make an educated decision about what’s best for you. Personally, I will be rethinking my use of agave nectar. If you have any insight on this issue, please share your comments below.

Mini Chocolate Tarts #raw #vegan #glutenfree #gfcommunity #foodphotography  86lemons.com

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know what you think! Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe my taste buds were whack that day. Or maybe Hubs’ were. Hard to say.

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Stella & Dot Giveaway Winner Announced!
Thank you to all of you who entered my recent giveaway for Stella & Dot jewelry. To new readers and subscribers, welcome! I wish I could give everyone free jewelry, but there’s only one winner this time. The winner was electronically chosen via Rafflecopter and Random.org. Congratulations to lucky winner, Kimberly S! When I emailed her to tell her she won, I received a very excited reply… “I just had another round of chemo last week, I am really having a rough time and feeling down. This is such an amazing blessing!! Thank you so very much for this!!” In our correspondence, I learned that she has B-cell Follicular Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She has 2½ years total treatment with 1½ years left to go. If you feel led to, I’m sure Kimberly (who has a very positive attitude) would appreciate your prayers. Feel free to leave her some comment love below. Kimberly, I’m so happy to know the jewels are going to a deserving reader and I wish you all the best in your journey. Praying for you in MI…

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Comments

  1. Megan says

    Kimberly, I am so glad that you won and not me. You deserve it. Stay strong. I know the power of prayer is REAL. Consider yourself at the top of my list!

  2. says

    The first time I had chocolate avocado I made a huge two-layer cake with chocolate avocado as the frosting. I couldn’t even eat it because I couldn’t mentally get past the fact that there was avocado in my chocolate. But I’m willing to give it another try!

  3. says

    Hi Livvy…I’m sure it was just your taste buds because I can’t imagine these tarts not tasting good!

    I used to use agave nectar all the time and have been trying not to use it except when I have no other choice. The reason I was drawn to it was because it had a low glycemic rating but…it is very, very high in fructose which is bad for the liver. I have changed sweeteners so many times in the past year because every time I use one, I read something bad about it. I don’t know who to believe anymore.

    Anyway, congratulations to Kimberly…I’m glad you won! :)

  4. says

    I had to laugh outloud, Livvy! Chocolate pudding with avocado…still a favorite in this house :) I am sorry you hated it at first though. Really interesting on the agave tip–and ironically, I just bought two huge containers of it at Costco tonight. I’ll definitely be doing more research before cracking them open (and maybe they’ll have to go back to the store!)

    Kimberly…congrats on your lovely new jewels! Seems like there couldn’t be a more deserving candidate! Blessings to you and much peace as you continue treatment. Prayers headed your way :)

    • says

      LOL! So, do you let yours sit for awhile before eating it?? Do you put banana in yours? You’ll have to send me your recipe. And yes, I’m going to research the agave nectar issue more, too. I read one article that listed in the top 5 worst sweeteners – and it was #2! Yikes.

  5. says

    I’ve definitely been in your spot before, where you make something, take pictures of it that turn out great, and then try it and think it’s just “eh…” or even worse! It stinks. :( But then it’s always really confusing when someone else comes along and likes it. You really don’t know what to think at that point! No matter what these taste like, though, your photos really do make them look yummy!

  6. says

    i have never made avocado based puddings for that exact reason. i just don’t think i could get past it, and i love avocado. to me, i’d rather eat an avocado in its natural state than messing with it. plus, if i were to attempt to make avocado pudding for my husband, who is the pickiest man on the planet and is a huge texture person, he’d have a similar reaction to yours. anyway, way to take one for the team! and yay for your husband enjoying them. it all works out in the end ;)

  7. Kimberly Smick says

    I have never had much luck with agave nectar, I like using stevia or stevia drops, it seems to work very well in baking, etc. The pictures of these are beautiful!

  8. says

    Hey Livvy! I’m new to 86Lemons, had just subscribed and this is the first post I received from you. I am new to being a Nutritarian and this is the first chocolate dessert I’ve seen that checks all the boxes for foods I’ll eat. They are amazing! I have to admit mine are quite blue collar compared to yours and those at ‘The Naked Kitchen’ but oh man, are they mouthfuls of chocolate sin.

    Thanks for your hard work!

    Regards, Ronald

  9. Natalie says

    I love avocado chocolate pudding, just made some today! My husband doesn’t like it and tells me not to call it pudding! Can’t wait to try the tarts. The recipe doesn’t mention soaking the nuts first, do you think it is necessary?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Natalie! I did not soak the nuts. You could try it, but there’s a chance they could become too soft – so I wouldn’t soak them for long.

  10. melissa says

    Oh your conversation with your husband made me laugh out loud and read it to my husband. That sounds just like us! I get so mad & frustrated when I spend precious kitchen time and ingredients on a new recipe and I think it is a disaster. Sometimes they go straight to the garbage can. But sometimes it just works out that way. It’s a good thing I love to cook! I just move on to the next recipe!

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