Raw Salted Caramel Cacao Tarts

 

 

I made these tarts in mini 3 in. tart pans however you can make them in an 8X8 in. square pan and cut them into bars as well. As bars they were one of the most popular treats at my local farmers market booth this past summer! The leftover caramel is delicious spread on tart granny smith apple slices!  I have enhanced the flavour of the caramel with Caramel Medicine Flower extract. Medicine Flower has created an amazing line of  organic natural extracts that can be ordered on line at medicine flower.com. or purchased at specialty grocery stores. Lucuma also adds nutrition and  a creamy caramel like flavour. Lucuma is an exotic Peruvian fruit that is a beneficial source of carbohydrates, fiber, beta-carotine, vitamin B3, niacin and iron! It is readily found at your local health food store.

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The crust:

if using mini tart pans, line each with a single layer of saran wrap. If making as bars, line your baking pan with parchment.

  • 3/4 cup raw unpasteurized almonds (sprouted and dehydrated if possible) *
  • 1/3 cup raw shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 5 pitted medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil softened

*To sprout raw almonds soak in water overnight before dehydrating at 117 degrees F. for 24 -36 hours. Sprouting the nuts not only enhances their nutritional value but also gives the almonds a nicer crunch in the crust.

Process almonds in a food processor until crumbly. With the motor running, add coconut, dates, and coconut oil until the dates are well incorporated into the mixture.

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Press the mixture into the saran wrap lined tart pans or parchment lined square pan until evenly distributed. Use the back of a spoon to press the mixture firmly into the pans. Place in the freezer to set while you prepare the caramel.

Caramel:

  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup almond butter (raw or toasted. I use a home made combo of almond and coconut butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla powder or liquid extract
  • 1/4 tsp. himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp. lucuma
  • 1/2 dropper full of Caramel Medicine Flower extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, raw or toasted (to arrange onto the caramel)

In your food processor process the dates until broken down and mushy. With the motor running, add the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, lucuma, and caramel medicine flower extract if using. Continue to process until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides of the container a few times to incorporate all of the ingredients into the mix. It should begin to form a large sticky ball!

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With a spoon or an off set spatula, spread the caramel onto the refrigerated crusts to a depth of 1/4 inch. You should have some left over which can be refrigerated for later use. This mixture is very sticky and can be hard to spread. Often damp fingers work better than a spoon. Arrange pecans onto the caramel.

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The Ganache:

  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • extra cacao powder to dust

Combine all ingredients apart from the extra cacao powder in a stainless steel bowl. Set over a saucepan with a few inches of water in it over medium heat to create a double boiler. Whisk as the mixture warms and the coconut oil melts to create a smooth, shiny, chocolate ganache. Pour equally over the caramel and pecans. Return to the refrigerator to set for at least 1/2 hour.

To garnish, place a tbsp. of cacao into a fine sieve and then tap gently over the tarts to dust. Decorate with extra pecans if desired, sprinkle with coarsely ground sea salt.

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