This dark chocolate tart with cinnamon sugared cranberry and satsumas is gluten free and dairy free, but tastes rich and decadent- a luscious treat for the holidays!
It’s hard to believe I’m finally sitting down to write this post after one of the most harrowing weeks my region has ever seen. I prepared and shot this dark chocolate tart accented with cinnamon sugared cranberry and Satsuma mandarins the day the Thomas Fire started, and I remember experiencing some lighting challenges since the sky was already beginning to turn hazy from smoke. Since then, with so many who have lost their homes and some who are still at risk, sitting down to extol the virtues of cinnamon sugared cranberries it just seemed trivial and irrelevant.
It’s been a challenge to proceed with the normal routine this last week, with the fire still looming and now creeping into Santa Barbara county. Face masks, opaque skies, toxic smoke and ash, power outages and school closures have become the norm. Nearly all my clients who live in Montecito have been evacuated, and we’ve gone from welcoming evacuees from Ojai into our home to nearly becoming evacuees ourselves, as our street became part of the voluntary evacuation zone yesterday.
As we packed our bags with our most precious belongings, took photos for insurance purposes and formulated an emergency plan, pangs of fear mingled with an immense sense of gratitude that we even had the luxury of time to do these things, as I know so many of our neighbors to the south did not, or still lost everything despite taking all the proper precautions.
Now as we prepare to head north (more for the sake of a desire to breathe clean air again than because of an imminent threat to our home), I’m also incredibly thankful to the fire fighters who continue to protect us, our homes and our animals, and for our incredible community who rally together during times of crisis to help those who need it the most.
The Thomas fire is still only at 10% containment as I write this, but much of it has moved into the backcountry and the extreme fire weather conditions have died down, so I’m hopeful that the additional threat to homes has finally begun to subside. Today is the first day I can bring myself back to the world of blogging long enough to share this Dark Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon Sugared Cranberry and Satsumas with you. In hard times like these, chocolate is a good thing to have around.
The crust is gluten free (comprised of almond flour, oat flour and cocoa powder) and laced with wintery spices like ginger and cinnamon. I adapted the filling from a chocolate glazed tart recipe from Epicurious that I’ve been using for years. To make it dairy free I replaced the heavy cream with coconut milk (also be sure use dark chocolate that does not contain milk solids, butter or cream).
Although I’ve been making this dark chocolate tart for ages, I’ve never thought to pair it with cinnamon sugared cranberry and Satsuma mandarin segments. But I’m really loving the festive seasonal touch they offer. Cinnamon sugared cranberry is an easy way to dress up any holiday dessert, but I especially adore the bright, fresh contrast they offer to the deep chocolate flavors in this tart.
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For the crust:
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
For the filling:
- 1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk
- 9 ounces dark chocolate chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the cinnamon-sugared cranberries:
- 1 cup sugar divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- Satsuma mandarin slices for garnish
To make cinnamon-sugared cranberries, combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cranberries until well coated. Allow to sit for 1 hour or up to overnight in syrup. Drain cranberries and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
Working in batches if necessary, roll cranberries in remaining 3/4 cup of sugar until well coated; let dry for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, mix together almond flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and mix in coconut oil and maple syrup with a wooden spoon or by hand. Dough should stick together when pressed between fingers (if too dry mix in 1 teaspoon of water at a time, until dough sticks together).
Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Bake until firm, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Bring coconut milk to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.
Pour into cooled crust and bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) Cool completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour.
Just before serving, garnish with cinnamon-sugared cranberries and satsuma segments.
If you like creamy dairy free desserts, try these: