Recipe of the week: vegan chocolate & oreo mousse tart
15th March 2018
Award-winning food writer, food & prop stylist, and food photographer Natalie Seldon shares this delicious vegan recipe in time for Mother's Day...
Richly flavoured, yet light as air, there are few more perfect ways to end a meal. This is one of those 'love at first bite' recipes where you're left wondering how and why you've coped so long without this yumminess in your midst!?
This magic is creamy, rich and smooth, like the best chocolate pudding-meets-mousse-meets-chocolate-pots-de-creme of your life. There's no milk, cream, eggsor in fact anything dairy-like. But there's also no scary vegan ingredients - it's just all things you could buy at your regular supermarket. My favourite kind of recipe.
Why this vegan chocolate tart is quite so mind-blowing!
-The mousse contains only 5 ingredients. The base only two!
-TASTES LIKE HEAVEN.
-But is also healthy and sin-free.
-It contains Oreo cookies.
I could stop there. But we could also keep going:
-Tofu. Let's just get that out of the way right now. Everything else in this short ingredient line-up is going to be fine with you, and then you're going to see tofu and you're going to doubt me. I see you, doubter. I was a doubter myself and I promise that you will eat this and think zero thoughts about this addition. In fact I have a new found respect for tofu because here it helps create just the right level of thick and creamy, that blends together easily, but the flavour is almost completely neutral. Smooth, silky perfection.
-Obviously, chocolate and more chocolate. Your favourite kind is a major player here and did you know there is such a thing as vegan (dairy-free) chocolate? I used Doisy & Dam's Organic Maca, Vanilla & Cacao chocolate here, partly because this is a lovely new brand of wonderful flavour combinations I was particularly keen to shout about (such as Goji & Orange and Date & Himalayan Pink Salt..mmmhhhhhh) I'm also a casual, part-time vegan so I'll take my real-deal chocolate (ta), but I have purchased and used dairy-free in the past and can vouch for both their good quality and existence.
-And to wrap up, the mind-blowing element is a little bit of almond love. Just scoop some almond butter in that blender (I'm a big fan of Vitamix!) to get a buttery texture, and leave the smoothing-out part to the chocolate almond milk.
Yummy, Yummy, YUMMY.
Now for some serious base talk. I personally love an Oreo cookie and I knew this would create a beautifully dark chocolate, crunchy base layer to compliment the oh-so-mousse-ey soft filling. I urge you to use your favourite kind of biscuit though as I'm all too aware that personal biscuit brand choice is a serious matter. Chocolate hob nobs, chocolate chip cookies, almond biscuitsthe list of possibilities is endless. Most supermarkets have quite an extensive range of vegan biscuits on offer now too, so if you are vegan but also love an Oreo, you can buy their vegan substitutehere. Alternatively, why not go for a nut base using all your favourites blended together with chocolate almond butter, and to help bind the mixture together, a few Medjool dates or melted coconut oil.
Raise your hand if you love a tart toppingif your whole food life is mostly about what you can drizzle, sprinkle, or crumble on top?
Well, this is your chance as this is YOUR chocolate blank canvas. My personal favourites as I show you here are either some simple edible flowers (I separated the petals to show you all an alternative and effective idea) or some fresh berries - both of which make this tart into a real show stopper if you are serving guests at home. But you can also use a handful of blueberries placed in the centre - fresh or frozen, banana slices, toasted coconut shavings or a mixture of your favourite chopped nuts. On that note, sweet granola such as my Maple-Roasted Nut & Seed Granola from my book which has become a firm favourite, would add a delicious variation of textures (but even a good store-bought granola would be a pretty happy combo with this heavenly yet healthy chocolate dessert!) And if you prefer the simpler things in life, stick to a delicate sprinkling of sea salt which is still guaranteed to make the crowd go 'WOW!'.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can also easily play around with flavourings to suit your own taste - pop in a teaspoon of coffee, a zest of an orange, or booze (whisky, rum, Grand Marnier - whatever you fancy), a sprinkle of chilli flakes or a few cardamom seeds, or let the chocolate do the talking as I have chosen to do here. Either way, you'll have one of the easiest, most delicious and satisfying puddings around.
So, to concludewhether it's for a special occasion, an impromptu gathering with friends, a restorative chocolate and red wine night in pyjamas alone? (I'm behind that decision all the way!)
Whatever it is, go forth and prosper - because the simpler things in life taste even sweeter!
Vegan Chocolate & Oreo Mousse Tart
You will need: a 21cm loose-bottomed tart tin, lined and lightly greased
100ml almond chocolate milk (I used Alpro soya; find this in the long-life milk aisle)
275g silken tofu
75g Pip & Nut chocolate almond butter (or you can use regular almond butter)
250g dark chocolate broken into pieces (vegan optional or I used Doisy & Dam's Organic Maca, Vanilla & Cacao chocolate: see note in list above)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
For the crust:
300g Oreo cookies, broken into smaller pieces (vegan & gluten free available here)
175g coconut oil, melted
1. Begin by making the crust. Tip the biscuits into a food processor, blitz to crumbs and pour in the melted coconut oil. (You could also bash the biscuits into crumbs with a rolling pin in a plastic food bag, then stir in the oil.) Press the biscuit mixture into the base and sides of the tin - the easiest way to do this is by flattening it with your hand under a sheet of cling film, then smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Place in the fridge to set.
2. Blend the tofu, chocolate almond milk, almond butter and vanilla until smooth. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (a bowl placed over a pan of simmering hot water) or microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Add to the processor and blend until smooth and combined - occasionally scraping down the sides with a spatula if needed.
2. Pour the filling into the oreo crust and chill for at least 4 hours, or preferably over night. Before serving, add a sprinkling of sea salt and decorate how you wish (see notes above). Devour!
Recipe, styling & photography: Natalie Seldon
Follow me on instagram:@prettyediblestylist?
Natalie is also the author of best-seller cookbook, The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds(available to buy via Amazon & most good book shops)