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Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa

CHOCOLATE FIG TART

We planted our backyard garden and wee orchard the year we moved to Phillip Island, and hubby kindly included two fig trees because of my love of the fruit (which he dislikes). Now, nine years later in early autumn, the trees are filled with figs. He tenderly cares for each piece of fruit as it ripens, watching, so he can snatch it before the birds peck at the flesh through the netting. Yet I don’t mind sharing with the little birds. I’ve plenty since the trees bear fruit so abundantly, and I’m left to devise ways to eat and cook, preserve and share. 

Chocolate mousse tart is a family favourite that I make and top with whatever fruit is in season, like figs and persimmons in the autumn. The prep is quick and easy, though you need to plan ahead to soak the cashews overnight and afterwards, wait at least 6 hours for the chocolate mousse to set. Yet, I think a delicious dessert is worth the wait.

Health benefits:

·       Raw cacao powder (pronounced ‘cu-COW’) is an amazing superfood that provides far more antioxidants than acai berries, goji berries and blueberries since antioxidants comprise a whopping 10% of the weight of raw cacao powder. It’s the highest plant based source of iron and is rich in magnesium and calcium. Cacao powder is an excellent source of sulphur for strong nails, shiny hair and healthy liver, is a good source of dietary fibre, and a scientifically proven mood-enhancer.

CHOCOLATE FIG TART

V, SF, GF, T

 Makes a 25 cm (10 inch) tart

 

For the crust:

12 medjool dates, deseeded

1 cup almonds

½ cup rolled oats (GF)

3 tablespoons cacao powder

pinch of salt

coconut oil

 

For the filling:

1½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained

400 grams (14 oz.) coconut cream

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup cacao powder

¼ cup rice malt syrup

 

Toppings:

5-6 figs

vegan chocolate curls,optional

 

Place almonds in a food processor and process until a rough crumb. Add the other ingredients and process until the mixture is a sticks together. Grease the tart pan with coconut oil. Gently press the mixture into the oiled tart pan on the base and sides, and place in the fridge while preparing the filling. Process all the filling ingredients into a smooth consistency in a food processor. Pour the filling into the tart crust and refrigerate for about 4-6 hours until set. Before serving, slice the ripe figs in half and arrange on top of the filling separately or in a pleasing pile.  You could also serve the tart with a light dusting of vegan chocolate curls over the figs. It’s best to serve immediately after removing from the fridge so the tart slices keep their shape and are cool to taste.

Enjoy!