Coconut and Dark Chocolate Tart with Ginger Caramel (GF)
This Coconut and Dark Chocolate Tart has proven to be a moment of character building for me, haha. Well, not one those moments that make you question everything about yourself, but this recipe has shown me the importance of persistence!
There’s a quote by Winston Churchill that says, “I’ve never failed at anything in life. I was simply given another chance or opportunity to get it right.” It’s a quote that I wrote down a few weeks into my culinary internship at Red Mountain Spa when I was feeling incredibly insufficient and pretty much a failure at this cooking thing, haha. I kept that quote in my recipe binder, so I could see it every day and when I was felt like giving up or discouraged because I couldn’t get a recipe right or frustrated with my lack of knowledge… whatever it was at that moment, this quote got me through a lot of it.
Even to this day, that quote reminds me that I’m not a failure in anything and to pick myself back up to try again and do I what I did, even better than before. There’s so much powering in that type of thinking, am I right? When you don’t give failure a place in your life, no matter what other’s may be saying, you can conquer, create, and do more than you’ve ever imagined!
Whew, sorry! I got a little motivationally and “let’s-give-a-lecture” there! Honestly, this Coconut and Dark Chocolate Tart with Ginger Caramel brought that quote back to my mind for the zillionth time, since writing it down almost 15 years ago. The recipe was originally meant to be a coconut and dark chocolate with toasted macadamia nut tart. You may have seen the “didn’t make the cut” photo on Instagram last week. In fact, I ended up making the crust about 5 times before I felt it was right. Anyone in the mood for an unending amount of dry cookies, with an abnormal amount of frosting, to munch on? That’s about all I can come up with in order to use up those bad boys, haha.
Ultimately, I had to really dig into this one and question why certain things were not adding up – the layer of macadamia nut mixture was causing the chocolate ganache to separate from the crust; the coconut milk and dark chocolate ganache wasn’t pouring nicely; the crust was dry and brittle; I wanted this recipe to be gluten free, so regular flour wasn’t an option. Let’s be honest, I have plenty of delicious recipes I want to play with, so it would have been easier (and cheaper) just to give up and move on. And secretly I know my family was begging me to give up, haha! You can only eat so many chocolate tarts in one week before you question your sanity! However, when there’s chocolate involved giving up is never an option! Can I get an amen?!
Well, I’m so glad I persevered. After a few attempts, my dad suggested caramel. At first, I was like, “no way, dad!”, but as usually, I slept on it and realized he was right. I dropped the macadamia nut mixture and played with caramel layered over finely chopped crystallized ginger. The results of this tart were ethereal! And it’s gluten-free, ya’ll, but can easily be made back to the regular all-purpose flour version. For those of you who make this gluten-free, make sure to check the ingredients you use. Even though the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free, (if you use the coconut flour) each brand is different. Cocoa powder especially, and for this reason, I listed a few brands that are preferred by those on a gluten-free diet.
I hope you enjoy this decadent and well worth the pursuit of perfection Coconut and Dark Chocolate Tart with Ginger Caramel. And if anyone has a moment to spare, I have a few leftover in the fridge that need eating! I think everyone is chocolated-out here, haha!
With love from my kitchen to yours,
- 4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
- 5 oz. coconut oil
- ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 4 tsp vanilla extract - the McCormick brand is gluten-free
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups coconut flour; can substitute all-purpose flour but will no longer be gluten-free
- 5 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder – recommended gluten free brands are Hershey’s, Callebaut Royal Dutch Cocoa Powder, Anthony's Organic Cocoa Powder or Saco Premium Cocoa
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup diced crystallized ginger
- 1 ½ cup coconut milk
- 9 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- Diced crystallized ginger
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Left over chocolate ganache and caramel
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt until completely combined. Set aside
- Using a mixer, beat together butter, coconut oil and confectioner’s sugar, in a different medium-sized bowl, until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract and then egg. On low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. Don’t over mix. Shape dough into a round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Can be frozen up to 1 month.
- Lightly spray six 4-inch tart pans, with removable bottoms in oil. Press dough into tart pans and up the sides. Very gently pierce dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake crust until sides look dry and bottoms look bubbly, about 12 minutes. Transfer tarts to a rack to cool. If any of the sides have fallen, gently press back up with the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass. Cool completely.
- Melt dark chocolate in the microwave on low. Apply a thin coating to the inside of the tart shells and allow to harden. This will keep the shells from getting soggy when filled with the caramel and chocolate.
- Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and warm until the butter has melted; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil, without stirring, until dark golden and the mixture reaches 340 degrees F on a thermometer. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture (be cautious, as it will bubble up). Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Allow to cool to room temp. (Can be made 2 days in advance and stored in fridge. Bring back to room temperature before pouring into tart.)
- Sprinkles a thin layer of chopped crystallized ginger over crusts, saving about 1 tbsp for garnish. Pour caramel sauce over ginger, filling up to about 1/3 way to top of tart shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.
- Place chopped chocolate into a medium sized bowl. In a small sauce pan, bring coconut milk to a simmer. Pour over chopped chocolate and wait to stir until chocolate is mostly melted. Stir until chocolate and coconut milk is smooth and combined. Very carefully pour mixture over caramel layer in crust. Refrigerate tarts until filling is firm, at least 3 hours.
- Remove chocolate tarts about 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating. Drizzle tart with any extra chocolate ganache or ginger caramel that was left over. Decorate top with diced crystallized ginger, toasted coconut flakes and/ or edible flowers such as pansies or rose petals.