Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maple Bourbon Chocolate Ganache Tart with Salted Hazelnut Crust, Vegan, Paleo, and Gluten-Free


This may be one of the best desserts I have ever made. It is complex and perfectly balanced with a salted hazelnut crust and a creamy maple, bourbon chocolate ganache filling.

The crust has a similar texture to graham cracker crusts and the filling is richly dense while remaining easily sliceable. The tart is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and paleo.


I recommend it for an adults-only crowd, or reduce or omit the alcohol for younger palates. My kids enjoyed a few bites before announcing that there was something strange about it. I admitted to possibly adding a splash of bourbon. Possibly.

“It was on the shelf,” I said. “It was calling me.” 

“You should have resisted the temptation,” Brad said, pushing his pie away. “See how well it worked out for Adam and Eve?”

Good point. 

Rich helped himself to the rest of Brad’s pie.


In my defense, bourbon has as much alcohol as vanilla extract does. Actually, vanilla extract is bourbon, primarily. So, if you put vanilla in your desserts, why not bourbon? I rest my case. In any case, more pie for me.  

Make sure to use a good quality unsweetened chocolate. I prefer Guittard Unsweetened Chocolate Gourmet Baking Bars because they are Certified Fair Trade and has a deep chocolate flavor with floral and spice notes. 

Maple Bourbon Chocolate Ganache Tart with Salted Hazelnut Crust

Serves 12


For the crust:


2 cups (about 200 grams) ground hazelnuts
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons palm shortening or vegan butter, melted


For the filling:

¾ cup coconut cream, divided
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, divided
Pinch sea salt
6 ounces 100% cacao chocolate, such as Guittard, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons bourbon, optional  

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the hazelnuts, sugar, and sea salt. Drizzle in the melted butter or shortening and vanilla extract. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  3. Press the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. 
  4. Place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.


To make the filling:

  1. Bring ½ cup of the coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt, and bourbon to a simmer in a small sauce pan. Remove from the heat. 
  2. Stir in the chocolate with a spatula and then allow to rest for 5 minutes. Stir again until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup of coconut cream to cool the mixture.
  4. Pour into the prepared tart shell and refrigerate until set, 2 to 3 hours.




Nutrition Information:
Hazelnut Bourbon Maple Chocolate Torte, 12 servings
Per slice: Calories 273, Fat 23, Protein 5, Carbohydrates 17 (Sugars 10), Fiber 4

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