King size almond and coconut soft crust pastry tarts, filled with deep and rich organic chocolate, nestled with hints of fresh cherry. The tarts of all tarts if you will.
In my opinion, this really does have to be the best Primal tart I've made (and tasted!) to date. The combination of the sweet cherries works beautifully well against the rich dark chocolate and the soft pastry, which crumbles in your mouth with the first bite, complements the richness and brings a softer flavour to the tarts.
I had a lot of fun with this recipe actually. Although it looks quite complicated to make, it really can be made in less than 25 minutes (including baking time) and includes only 8 ingredients - all organic and as natural as possible.
You may also notice that I've used fructose (fruit sugar) and dark chocolate in this recipe. "But Steve, I thought you said sugar is bad for us?"
Let me explain...
In my book, Primal Cure, I discuss in depth the many benefits to eating dark chocolate and actually, I give you 10 reasons as to why you should eat it. You didn't expect me to say that now, did you? You see, the dark chocolate I'm on about is the real kind of chocolate we should be eating. Not the highly manufactured, sugar-stuffed candy bars that have goodness knows what in them. Around 3,000 years ago when the Maya Indians discovered cacao, they named it 'Theobroma Cacao' which means 'Food of the Gods'. When buying bars of chocolate however, we should always make sure that they're organic and that the cacao content is higher than 70%. For this recipe I've used 85% dark chocolate, however the closer you can get to 100% then the more beneficial the chocolate will be towards your health.
There are many benefits of eating dark chocolate, including:
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Protects against type 2 diabetes
- Lowers blood pressure
- Supports brain functions such as memory
- Decreases inflammation
- Supports our cardio vascular system
- By triggering leptin, the hormone that tells us we are full, it helps us to lose weight
As for fructose, small doses are not an issue, especially if it's locally grown and in season. You see, when Mother Nature created fructose, she did so the right way. The potential poison in fructose comes in the same wrapper as fibre, which appears to prevent any negative effects on our metabolism. However, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), consumed in packaged foods and sauces, ruins our healthy flora and fauna. As a result, this creates an army of deadly bacteria in our bodies and makes it difficult for us to live a long and healthy life. Not exactly Primal, huh?
The fructose in this recipe comes from the fresh, organic cherries - a deep red stone fruit offering a healthy dose of fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, folic acid and calcium. Cherries are also known for reducing inflammation in the body as they protect our blood cells from damage caused by oxidants and free radicals. In a study held by the School of Psychology and Sport Sciences it was found that tart cherry juice appeared to aid post workout recovery and muscle function after strenuous exercise. Cherries are also great for improving our quality of sleep, reducing our blood pressure levels and for lowering the risk of gout attacks. It really is a fruit we should be including in our diets every now and then.
As for my almond, coconut and dark chocolate cherry tart, I can promise you that only the best Primal ingredients are used. When eaten in moderation, this makes the perfect Primal dessert and it'd be rude not to share with your family and friends! Do not be fooled, whilst 3 thick tarts are photographed, please feel free to thin out the tart pastry and make a few more tarts. I simply went for three chunky mouth-watering tarts for my friends and family to share between them. One individual tart can easily be shared between two (or three) people - if you're not feeling too greedy. If you're after some extra indulgence and gooey goodness, then try microwaving the tarts for just a few seconds before tucking in. It completely changes the texture of the tarts and instantly doubles the indulgence!
Primal Almond and Coconut Dark Chocolate Cherry Tart
Serves: 6 - 8 people
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 10 - 12 minutes
- 95g organic coconut flour
- 25g organic almond flour
- 25g organic flaked almonds + 2 tbsp for topping
- 55g + 1tsp raw organic honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 55g solid organic coconut oil (room temperature - butter like texture)
- 2 tbsp full fat organic coconut milk
- 200g organic 85%+ dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup organic fresh cherries (diced) + extra for topping
- Begin by pre-heating your oven to gas mark 4 and grease 3 mini tart tins (or one 9" tart tin) with coconut oil.
- In a mixer add together the coconut flour, almond flour and flaked almonds and stir. Add the honey, solid coconut oil and salt and mix everything together until you have a solid ball of dough. You also want to make sure that you have no lumps of coconut oil.
- If using 3 mini tart tins, then divide your dough into 3 even balls, pop them into the tins and spread out and up the sides. Do this for all 3 tins. If you're using a 9" tart tin then simply do the same but for one tin.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Heat a pan with boiling water and place a heat proof bowl on top. Add the chocolate and simmer until all the chocolate has melted. Once done, add 1-2 tbsp of coconut milk to your diced cherries. Stir until everything is mixed together and fill your tarts with the chocolate. The chocolate will start to harden once you add the milk but this will help you set the chocolate in a swirl patter. Once done, pop them in the fridge until the chocolate cools and then remove and top with extra cherries.
- If you prefer hard tarts then keep these in an airtight container in the fridge. However, if you'd like these tarts to be a little softer (the best way to have them in my opinion) then keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. Just make sure it's not too hot otherwise the chocolate will melt!