Monday, June 11, 2012

One Good Reason

Happy Meatless Monday! I made this just for you...

Want One Good Reason to go vegan? How about dessert? Because vegan treats are made without butter or other animal products, they contain zero cholesterol, much more nutrition, and far less guilt. These Chocolate Mousse Tarts are a combination of two recipes. The shells are adapted from a recipe in Where Women Cook magazine (March April May 2012), for Raspberry Lemon Creme Tarts, and the filling is from a Chocolate Ganache Pie recipe in The 30-Minute Vegan. They're great to make in hot weather, because there's no baking! This is a super healthy, semi-raw dessert that's really easy to make, but looks fancy enough to impress your favorite people.

Chocolate Mousse Tarts

1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked for 30 minutes or longer
1 cup pitted dates

Cut the dates in half, to be sure they're all really pitted, and toss them into the food processor with the soaked, drained, and rinsed mac nuts. You can substitute almonds, walnuts, or other favorite nuts for the macadamias if you like.

Buzz up the dates and nuts until you have a slightly chunky paste that holds together. Add a little water as you blend if necessary.

If the the dough is too sticky to work with, refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Shape the shells by placing tablespoon-size balls of dough in a mini-muffin tin, and pressing out the center to form little bowls. (Any kind of rounded handle will help with the shaping. I used the pestle part of my mortar and pestle.) Clean up the edges. Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 15 minutes or so, and then remove the tart shells gently with a knife. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Chocolate Mousse Filling:
1 (9 ounce) bag vegan bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Sunspire)
1 package silken tofu (organic, non-GMO!)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 T vanilla (Oooh! Or maybe orange or mint extract!)
1/8 tsp sea salt

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, taking care not to get any water in it, or it might "break."
Blend all other filling ingredients in food processor. Add melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Chill for an hour or more, until it sets up a bit.

You can fill the tart shells with the chocolate using a spoon, or with a pastry bag for a fancy decorative swirl. Top with berries and fresh mint if you have them, and keep refrigerated until it's time to serve them. These are best eaten the day you make them, but they hold up well overnight, if for some reason they aren't all devoured.