Grain-Free Vegan Chocolate Fruit Tart

by Valerie on April 15, 2011 · 7 comments

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This past Sunday was my dad’s birthday and part of the reason I was visiting my parents this past week. At some point last Friday, my mom and I realized that her standby apple tart approach for desserts would not work for me unless I found a gluten-free option.  I don’t know why neither of us thought of it sooner – I guess a combination of the fact my parents do not eat dessert often and the fact I was completely jet lagged (though I did not arrive hungry, as you saw in this lunchbox post).  I  was initially going to make an almond flour pie crust and keep to the apple tart theme, but there were some splendid avocados and pears ripening on the table, so I decided to make a chocolate fruit tart with a chocolate cream layer.  You will recognize the chocolate cream as inspired by Gena’s recipe and my adaption of it.  While this is definitely a decadent dessert, it is should be low-glycemic on account of all the protein, fiber and fat balancing out the carbs.  I have stopped labeling recipes as low-glycemic, however, and favor the term sugar-conscious as it is more all-encompassing.   

Note: There are many permutations in terms of order of the parts of preparing this recipe. I made the tart base and roasted the sweet potato for the chocolate cream the day before serving the tart, but made the chocolate cream only about an hour prior to serving the tart, and assembled the tart immediately prior to serving.   I have written the recipe assuming you make the base and the cream at the same time and allow both to rest at least 2 hours (which is what it took for the tart crust to completely cool) or overnight.  If you roast the sweet potato separately from the tart, I would recommend baking it at 400 degrees and cutting the roasting time down by 10-15 minutes.  Also, if you want to prepare the chocolate cream ahead of time, it lasts well for up to 24 hours in the fridge. 

Chocolate Fruit Tart (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free, Grain-Free, Refined-Sugar-Free, Sugar-Conscious)

Chocolate cream ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 avocados, mashed (equivalent to 1 cup of avocado)
  • 2 Tbsps unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao (I used this raw kind but any unsweetened cacao will do)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 10 drops vanilla stevia

Tart base ingredients:

  • 1/2c garbanzo flour
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted or grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tbsp agave

To serve:

  • 1 cup berries or sliced fruit of your choice

Preheat oven to 375F.  Using a fork, poke holes into the sweet potato, wrap in foil and bake for approximately 60 minutes, until the sweet potato is caramelizing (technical term: gooey).  Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool at least 2 hours or overnight. 

While the sweet potato is roasting, prepare tart base.  Whisk all ingredients together, until there are no lumps. Line a 9 or 10 inch round pan with parchment paper.  Pour batter in pan and spread evenly to the edges of the pan (or as close to the edges as possible).  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tart surface feels dry to the touch.  I used a 9 1/2 inch ceramic tart pan because that is what my mom had, but I have found flatbreads to be forgiving enough that you could likely use a 9 or 10 inch pie plate or cake pan.  If you use a metal pan, cooking time will likely be 2-3 minutes less.  Remove from parchment paper after tart base has cooled for at least an hour. Allow tart base to continue cooling at least 2 hours to overnight, wrapped, in the fridge.

Once the sweet potato is completely cool, remove peel of sweet potato – you should end up with about 3/4 to 1 cup of sweet potato. Place peeled sweet potato with all other chocolate cream ingredients (avocado ranging to stevia, see above) in food processor or blender.  Blend or process until smooth.

Unwrap tart base and place on serving plate. Spread chocolate cream (you may have some leftover) and top with fruit of your choice.

The recipe does not make for a thick tart, as you can see below:

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It does however make for a truly delicious tart, with overtones of dark chocolate.  I initially made the tart with a sliced ripe pear, which was a wonderful complement to the chocolate. We ate half the tart as dessert to my father’s birthday lunch, and I picked out all the pears on the other half of the tart. At dinner, my mom topped the second half of the tart with raspberries and served it with the leftover chocolate cream.

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I am not sure which was my favorite. They were both scrumptious.  I bet strawberries or pineapple would be great fruit toppings too.

I am submitting this recipe to several blog events:


Kelly of the Spunky Coconut is hosting The Spunky Coconut Easter Holiday event. Fruit tarts are quintessentially Easter-ish to me, so I am submitting the recipe to her event.  Cooking from Kelly’s recipes earlier this year when I adopted her also definitely contributed to the inspiration of this tart as Kelly makes many grain-free, refined-sugar-free desserts.


Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake (who incidentally, I also adopted in the last year – you must make her carrot hummus!) is hosting this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free, created by Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried ( I have also adopted Naomi. No wonder I eat so well – I cook from some truly fabulous blogs) – but back to GAHIGF, and no, I have no idea how to pronounce that. Maggie picked the theme Springtime Brunches, which to me is also all about tarts and muffins.  So I am submitting the tart and eyeing the muffins Maggie recently shared with us.


I know I usually submit bean dishes to My Legume Love Affair, created by the Well-Seasoned Cook, but I noticed a bean derivative such as chickpea flour (also known as besan) can be an acceptable ingredient.  This month’s MLLA is hosted by Desi Soccer Mom, a new-to-me blog. I love blog events such as this as it allows me to always find new blogs.


And since this recipe is wonderfully indulgent and gluten-free, I am submitting it to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, hosted by Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.  I have adopted Amy in the past, but in the meantime, be sure to check out her recently-released book: Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less.  I have yet to cook from it as it arrived not long before I left to visit my parents, but I have already spied a chickpea flour-based Socca Pizza that is a must-make for me.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 eliz@thesweetlife April 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

what a beautiful tart!! gorgeous.


2 Gena April 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Wow! I love seeing this, especially since it's a new kinda recipe for you! Beautiful and tasty looking.


3 Katie (quick cook rice) April 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Looks amazing! I'm definitely making this, and I second Gena. I don't normally see you make dessert. Yummy.


4 Jaclyn April 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Looks delish! Gorgeous pictures too.


5 Aubree Cherie April 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

This is so beautiful – and looks ridiculously tasty! I've added it to my Favorite Recipes post for last week. Thanks!!! ~Aubree


6 withoutadornment April 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Yum! I love how you put both avocado and sweet potatoes in this! It looks absolutely amazing and very pretty!


7 Desisoccermom May 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Valerie, thank you for this delicious entry. I have never seen or heard of chickpea flour being used in a desert that is not Indian! Yes, we do make a bunch of desserts with it but to use it in a tart makes me respect this gluten free flour even more. I am glad I found your blog too.


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