I’m starting off this post with NO apologies. Yes, this is a post dedicated to some of my favourite food addictions and guilty pleasures.
On Sunday, I had an absolutely useless day. I spent most of it spread out on the sofa, with both cats snuggled on top of me. They are small, but they can be quite heavy (especially when one is snoring on top of my bladder!) I had a kicker headache. I had no motivation. Even though there was a one final sink full of dishes from a dinner party we had on Saturday. I really didn’t care. I took the lazy girl’s way out, made a cuppa tea and turned on the tv. Not much on. Oh wait, National Treasure was on. I’ve only seen it like a gazillion times, but for some reason, I can watch it again and again! Princess Bride has the same effect on me 🙂
Next thing I knew it was dinner time. Yeah, not much of an imagination as to what to make. I was all set to make and throw a tray of chicken wings into the oven, when I realized, I really wasn’t in the mood for meat. I know, who was I?!! So I opted for cereal and granola with almond milk. You are wondering, what about Jim? Jim wasn’t home- he had some work to attend to.
Eventually Jim joined me at home. He had eaten on the way home. I didn’t ask what he had (sometimes it is good not to know) He convinced me that I had a chip craving (it doesn’t take a lot to convince me- he knows my weakness for salty snacks), so he used me as the excuse to run out and pick up potato chips, for an evening of further tv watching (weren’t we in a lazy mood?!) To be fair, the weather was up and down all day, the sky filled with heavy clouds, which I’m sure affected our heads, and moods.
While I was laying there with the cats still on my lap (they had changed positions) my brain suddenly decided to do something creative. I can’t explain how it went there, but I had a sudden craving for a chocolate tart. Don’t ask me what triggered it. One minute I was watching the season finale of Endeavour, and the next minute I was thinking about chocolate. And salt. I know, a chocolate cream pie in a pretzel crust! Then I realized that there were no pretzels in the house. I looked down at the chip bag I was holding, and thought, ‘these are salty, why not use these instead?’ So I stopped eating the vital ingredient to the recipe that was developing in my brain, folded the bag up and put it on the table.
The more I thought about it, I wanted a denser, darker chocolate filling, as opposed to a pudding like filling. I knew I had enough chocolate bars in the pantry. And then it hit me. Coffee. I could crush up some coffee beans (I had crushing on the brain, since I knew I would be taking a rolling pin to the potato chips) But then I admitted that ground coffee would work just fine. But I would add some crunchy texture to the otherwise velvety-ness of the chocolate ganache filling with cocoa nibs. And to top it all off, some Jacobsen Stumptown Coffee Salt. Yes, salt and coffee in the same shaker!! Sheer Brilliance. And I love Stumptown coffee, so this collaboration is epic, Jacobsen! I was going to have my cake, and eat it too. Chocolate, Coffee, Salt. The trifecta of a wondrous dessert was taking shape.
So this morning, I pulled out a fabulous recipe from Gimme Some Oven. I love her almond meal crust. It used coconut oil and maple syrup and makes a fabulous gf crust. I replaced some of the almond meal with crushed potato chips. I added instant coffee to the mixture as well, and then pressed it all into a tart pan with a removable bottom. It baked up quickly and perfectly. This is the only baking in the recipe: 12 minutes in the oven. The rest of the recipe is soooo easy.
In the meantime, I took her ganache recipe but played with the filling just a touch. I added more instant coffee to the melted chocolate, and I used several types of chocolate: dark, semi sweet, and a little bit of milk chocolate. Once it had all melted with the steamed coconut milk, and had cooled down a touch, I added several tablespoons of cocoa nibs. I really wanted the crunch. Also, since they are naturally unsweetened, they would cut through the richness of the chocolate filling. The coffee does this as well. If you add just a bit of coffee to a chocolate recipe, it actually accentuates the chocolate. If you add more, it now becomes a key player, and also cuts through the sweetness. I just love that bitter (in a good way) hit of coffee in desserts.
And after it has set up in the fridge (this is the hardest part), the final dusting of Coffee Salt will finish it all off. You could be really decadent and drizzle some amazing olive oil over a slice. This dessert is not for the faint hearted. You don’t need a huge slice to be satisfied. I state that this could feed 10. It could even feed 12 in a pinch! But it does make for a showstopper of a dessert.
And I never said that this would be a healthy, good for you dessert. Sure, the crust is gluten free. Yes, the filling uses coconut milk instead of dairy. But come on. There’s potato chips in the crust. And more chocolate than is necessary. But if it comes together in a snap, is tasty as heck, and satisfies a serious craving, then I say ‘Go for it!’
Salty Coffee Chocolate Tart
This press in crust of almond meal and potato chips is the base for chocolate decadence. The no-bake ganache filling is pure chocolate with just enough coffee and salt to cover all your cravings in one slice!
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal/almond flour
- 1/3 cup packed crushed plain potato chips
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk full fat (from a can)
- 1 pound 16 ounces dark chocolate, roughly-chopped (I use Lindt bars, but use any good chocolate, not chocolate chips- these contain too much lecithin and won't melt properly)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa nibs
- topping: flaky sea salt I use Jacobsen Stumptown Coffee Salt- do try and find it!!
To Make the Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Stir together crust ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan (or pie dish).
Bake for 12 minutes, or until it begins to feel dry and firm. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, as the crust is baking, heat the coconut milk on the stovetop or in the microwave until simmering. Place the dark chocolate in a bowl, and pour the coconut milk evenly over the top of it.
Wait 30 seconds, then slowly stir together until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract, coffee granules and salt until combined.
Once it has cooled down a little, add the cocoa nibs and stir well to combine.
Pour the chocolate filling into the baked crust, and smooth the top with a spoon until it is even. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
Serve chilled, sprinkled with flaky sea salt.