“Friendsgiving” was truly a hit this year, with 12 people coming through my home to eat some tasty plant-based foods! My first huge dinner party left everyone open minded about what plant-based food looks and tastes like… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! (Recipes for that majority of what I made, can be found on my Thanksgiving Menu page!)
Post dinner, we chatted about the desserts I’d served, particularly the Chocolate Tart. It seems that I was not the only one who grew up receiving a chocolate orange in my stocking.
Do you know what I’m talking about? The solid spheres of chocolate that you’d smack onto a hard surface so it would break into individual “orange” sections of solid chocolate. Those were my favorite chocolate treats until of course, the dairy allergy hit and I couldn’t eat them anymore. **Insert broken heart and super sad face!**
Well, fast-forward 7 years of incomplete holiday seasons (missing out since the diagnosis) and I’ve created the next best thing! This chocolate tart was originally inspired by my bourbon truffles I make for Derby Day. However, since I had a few friends coming to dinner that don’t do alcohol, I decided to forgo the bourbon this time and add some orange zest. The result, the most amazing Chocolate-Orange Tart.
This recipe is SO EASY! I even used a prepared pie dough… mostly because I’m really clumsy when it comes to unrolling homemade dough into a pie dish. Or my homemade dough attempts are just not strong enough to hold during transfer… Either way, store bought is my preference. I blind baked the crust (baked just the crust) until golden brown. Make sure to poke some holes in the dough to release air as it bakes. You can also use pie weights, dry beans, or rice to keep the dough from bubbling up.
Once the crust has cooled completely, I made my chocolate ganache with a can of coconut milk and some semi-sweet chocolate. I zested an orange and added some orange peels to the coconut milk while it came to a boil to infuse the orange flavor into the ganache. Then I strained the coconut milk before adding it to the chocolate and let it sit for a minute until I could stir it into a silky, smooth chocolate sauce. Pour the ganache into the crust and let it cool. I let it cool on the counter before placing (uncovered) in my fridge to harden completely. Leaving it uncovered ensures that no trapped heat will cause condensation to form on the cover, if water drips onto the ganache it will discolor the chocolate.
NOTE: If you discoloration happens or air bubbles appear on top of your ganache, here’s a simple fix. Take an offset metal spatula that’s been heated and smooth over the top of the ganache.(I let mine sit on my *clean* electric stove burner on medium for about 10 seconds.) Wipe off the spatula, reheat, and smooth top as needed!
As for serving, a little goes a long way here! The semisweet chocolate is so rich and decadent that you don’t need much to reach pure chocolate nirvana! This recipe is versatile too! Swap out the orange zest for some bourbon, peppermint extract, or even some lavender!
What flavors do you love with your chocolate? What flavor would you add to your tart?
- 1 can Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 12 oz Semisweet Chocolate (you can use chips or baking squares)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Orange - zest 1/2 the orange, save peel of other half (Eat the fruit, you don't need it for this recipe!)
- 1 Prepared pie crust dough (use a gluten free pie crust to make this recipe gluten free!)
- Prepare Crust: using a tart pan, gently press the dough into the crevices. Prick dough with a fork to release any air. Line the crust with aluminum foil and add pie weights, dry beans or uncooked rice to prevent bubbles. Cook according to package directions, removing the foil and weighted material 3/4 of the way through the cooking process to ensure a fully golden crust. Cool completely before filling!
- For the Ganache: In a small saucepan, add coconut milk orange zest. Bend the peels over the milk to release the orange oils and add to pan. Slowly bring to a boil, careful not to scald.
- In a medium metal mixing bowl, add chocolate and vanilla. (A metal mixing bowl is best as it helps to hold the heat!)
- Strain coconut milk and pour over chocolate and allow to sit for 2 minutes before whisking it until completely smooth.
- Pour into pie crust and allow to cool. Place, uncovered, into the refrigerator to set for 2 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge at least 1 hour before serving.