A favorite past time of mine growing up has always been spending time at the cottage in Northern Ontario. Lots of sun, lots of lake, board games, cards. You name it, we probably did it. It was somewhat of a tradition to get that part of the family in one space and spend a week or two together, not a whole lot of expectations, definitely very little planned. Just go, and just be.
One of the very best parts of heading to the cottage, was stopping at the same ol’ ice cream shop on the drive up. Kawartha Dairy, where children’s dreams are made. Flavor upon flavor of rich frozen cream, sugared and scooped piled high into cones.
Kawartha Dairy is where I experienced my very first marrying of chocolate and peanut butter. I can remember my grandmother explaining to me that that was my mom’s favorite flavor – Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge. Sounds pretty decadent to me now, but at the time it sounded like just another flavor I could pile onto my triple scoop.
These days I mix chocolate and nut butter fairly frequently, whether it be in bars smoothies or full on desserts. Chocolate has all kinds of things going for it, as far as health is concerned. Peanut butter, well, maybe there are better choices but sometimes when the mood strikes, I leave my cashew/almond/everything else butter in the fridge and splurge. I buy the peanut butter and take a nice little trip down memory lane.
This summer, I was unable to head my butt up to the cottage to join the rest of the family who has no doubt been swimming, canoeing and board gaming for the last few weeks. I did, however, get to have my own little getaway with le boyfriend. We hopped a plane and within an hour + ten minutes were landing on Vancouver Island, home to the most amazingly lush gardens, huge blossoming flowers, holly hedges and pure oceanic air. Victoria, land of floral perfection.
Now back to the chocolate. Instead of having a cone filled with
pure joy Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge ice cream, which is of course itself, entirely filled with mucus forming dairy, I’m sure an unmentionable amount of sugar and don’t forget the coloring + dyes for those who opt more for the Tiger Tiger or the vibrant Mint Chip. I made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, with vegan meringue.
It’s mostly raw, it’s totally refined sugar free & if you can get your hands on oats that don’t get processed anywhere near wheat – it’s also gluten free. Bonus, it’s filled with all kinds of healthy fats and did I mention, vegan meringue? Oh, I did. Right. Well in any case, there’s that too – and it’s mighty fine.
The secret ingredient to making the meringue is – brace yourself – chickpea liquid. Also known as aquafaba, the brine that you drain off before making divine roasted chickpeas, or a fresh batch of hummus. Yeah that. That very liquid beats up into the most amazing meringue. It’s sticky, it’s sweet (when mixed with coconut sugar), it can be baked or served as it is. My version uses super fine (as in put through the spice grinder) coconut sugar so it’s not that perfect white you might associate meringue with. That’s purely based on my decision to avoid refined sugar, if you want a perfectly silky white meringue – by all means, you will achieve that with using regular sugar.
No worries if you don’t have loads of time, this tart is really quite quick to pull together or, alternatively it can be made ahead and kept in the fridge (sans meringue) until whenever you plan to serve it. The meringue will hold up well in the fridge for a few hours, but it will begin to fall fairly fast after that. I suggest serving the tart with a dollop of meringue instead of piping the entire thing if you plan to only eat a portion.
- Live a little, indulge a bit – it’s good for you!
- Thoroughly enjoy desserts that are healthy, sugar free, wheat/gluten free and without any dairy or animal products. Even if you aren’t vegan, aren’t celiac and love your sugar – it’s nice to have a rich yet lightened up dessert for summertime
- Embrace adding a touch of super foodie health to your daily intake with medicinal mushrooms – pop a scoop of mushroom powder into this dessert like I did and you’re instantly graced with all kinds of immunity building, bad guy fighting goodness! (Plus, Candy Cap + Honey Cap mushroom powders are naturally sweet!)
- 1 Cup Peanut Butter
- 2 Cups Oat Flour
- 2/4 + ¼ Cup Maple Syrup - separated
- 4 Tablespoons Cacao Butter - melted
- 1 Can Coconut Creme
- 1 Cup Cacao Paste*
- ¼ Cup Cacao Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Honey Cap Mushroom Powder (Optional)
- 1 Can Chickpeas
- ¾ Cup Finely Ground Coconut Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste
- ¼ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- Chocolate Shavings
- To make the crust, mix the nut butter, oat flour, 2/4 cup of maple syrup and melted cacao butter using a food processor
- Blend away until a dough is formed, press the dough into a tart or pie plate and put into the freezer for at least 10 minutes
- While the crust is setting, mix the coconut creme, ¼ cup of maple syrup, cacao paste, cacao powder and mushroom powder over low heat - add more maple syrup depending on preference
- Once the filling has been thoroughly mixed together, allow it to cool for a few moments off the heat before pouring into the crust
- Allow the whole thing to set in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight
- To make the meringue, drain the chickpea liquid into the bowl of a stand mixer - reserve the chickpeas for a different recipe
- Add the coconut sugar, vanilla paste and cream of tartar to the stand mixer, beat on medium until the mixture begins to froth
- Continue beating until stiff peaks form
- Scoop the meringue into a piping bag, or spoon over individual slices of the tart once ready to serve
- Garnish with chocolate shavings
* If you can’t find cacao paste, that’s totally fine – sub it with one cup of cacao powder and 1/2 cup of either cacao butter or coconut oil