Orange Chili Chocolate Tarts
I remember sending a photo of heart shaped pepparkakor to a friend once, with the response, “oh god Anna, not heart shaped things.”
I know, heart shaped baked goods are on the verge of very tacky. Especially when Valentine’s Day rolls around and it’s HEARTS ON EVERYTHING season. You see toast baked into the shape of hearts. Fried eggs in the shape of hearts. Heart shaped waffles. I could go on.
This heart shaped obsession is moderately sickening. Making heart shaped food is almost as bad as wrapping things in twine. And yet… Here I am on Foodie Underground today about to give you a heart shaped recipe, because, well… they’re heart tarts! As my friend Helen would say, “not sorry.”
But here’s the deal: it’s not the heart that’s important. It’s the fact that you are about to make chili and orange flavored chocolate ganache.
Chili and chocolate, there is nothing better. Especially on a dark and gray winter day. Actually, even on a sunny one.
You are not obligated to make this recipe heart shaped if you don’t want to. I’ve based the tart crust off of a recipe for almond crackers.The dough holds well in the oven, which means you can mold it into any shape that you want, or use it in tartlet tins.
Orange Chili Chocolate Tarts
1 cup (5 ounces, 140 grams) raw almonds, finely ground
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey (or vegan-friendly sweetener)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
3.5 ounces (100 grams) dark chocolate
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) rice milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried citrus peels (if you don’t have this, you can also use fresh citrus zest)
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
To make the tart shells, in a food processor, finely grind the almonds. In a bowl, mix together the almonds, sea salt and cinnamon.
Add in the honey, olive oil and water and mix together until a ball forms.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Using a cookie cutter – or just go free form – pinch of a section of the dough and press it into the form.
I find that when using the cookie cutter, it’s easiest to press the dough into the form, carefully pull it off, then sculpt up the edges, as the edges inevitably stick to the sides when you pull the cookie cutter up. How many tarts you make will depend on what size you are making them, but aim to have a thickness of about 1/4-inch (1/2-centimeter), and to have the sides go up at least 1/4-inch (1/2-centimeter) as well so that it will hold the filling.
Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are a deep golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
To make the filling, crush the dried citrus peels in a bowl and mix together with the chili powder. Finely chop the chocolate and add to the bowl.
Pour the rice milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Remove from stove and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir the melted chocolate and milk together until well blended. Let the ganache sit for a little bit to chill and thicken.
Carefully pour the slightly chilled ganache into the tarts. Place tarts in the refrigerator to set, about two hours.
Decorate with chili powder and dried citrus peel.
Note: You may end up with leftover filling. In which case I recommend you keep the rest in the refrigerator, and any time you need a pick-me-up, you go right over to that refrigerator and grab a spoonful. Or go crazy and spread it on bread. Or put a spoonful in a mug of hot chocolate. There is nothing wrong with having a little leftover chocolate ganache filling to use for whatever you see fit.
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