Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts

I know that it’s too early for Valentine’s Day things (well, Walgreen’s clearly disagrees), but since when are heart-shaped red chocolaty things just for Valentines?

insert a diatribe about cultural  food norms. i did this to save you having to read two rants. second rant below.

Okay, well maybe it’s not so much a rant as an observation. I think the whole Valentine’s Day being Singles Awareness day is true. When you’re single and it’s mid February, you are painfully aware of the fact. When you are in a blooming relationship, you freak out that you might become single if you mess this day up by either over celebrating or under celebrating.

But when you’re in a committed relationship, Valentines Day barely registers. You’re aware of the cute fuzzy animals in the store, and you maybe buy discount chocolate the next day, but that’s about it.  The year we got married, I got Jason a last-minute pink cake pop and he got me nothing.  I would have gotten him nothing too, but I just happened to already be at Starbucks and I know he loves those things.**   We made burritos for dinner. Nothing says romance like burrito breath and bean toots.

**And watching a big tall grown man eat a pink cake pop is pretty much the cutest thing ever. 

Valentines Day is also for your Nana, but that’s a different kind of love not applicable to this discussion. And maybe Valentine’s Day is also for very strict Catholics who still attend mass on every single Feast day. When I was in high school, my mom would get mad at me when I said I didn’t like 2/14, because I was apparently committing some sort of heresy by denouncing the Feast of Saint Valentine.

So…….I totally get if you don’t like Valentines or whatever, but you can still love chocolaty jam-filled things.

Speaking of love (or not love), here are some reasons to become enamored with — err get excited about — these tarts.

This almond-flour based crust is really easy and you can make in a blender. Cool! You use a banana as the binder, but make sure you use a greenish banana because riper ones will make the crust too wet.

The filling is made with my favorite homemade jam. Just dates and frozen raspberries. I love the pucker you get from raspberries, because it goes so well with the chocolate sweetness. But if you don’t like tart raspberries, I would recommend increasing the amount of dates in the recipe.

These freeze well (as long as you wrap them individually) so if you make them now, you can still have them in February. Make them for yourself, for someone that you love, or for a group of pals.

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts vegan gluten free

 

Oh! I finally made a Facebook for this blogaroo. Check it out  here, and do the whole “like” thing. Please? 😀

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 greenish banana
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • filling
  • 8 oz bag frozen raspberries
  • 5 dates*
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

    Filling
  1. Place the raspberries in a small saucepan and cover. Cook over medium heat until raspberries defrost and liquefy --- this should happen very quickly.
  2. Add the dates and continue to cook for another two or three minutes.
  3. Blend the dates and raspberries together until smooth, then return to heat. Cook over medium for 9-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Towards the end, you may want to reduce the heat some so you don't get splattered on. Remove from heat.
  4. Liquify the banana in a blender. Ad the rest of the crust ingredients, minus the baking powder. Blend till an even consistency is reached. Manually incorporate the baking powder into the dough.
  5. Divide the dough into six balls. Press the balls into a heart shaped cookie cutter. Remove the cookie cutter.
  6. Flatten & widen the hearts with your thumb, making large well in the center about (just under) 1/2 inch deep.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350
  8. Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler.
  9. Fill the well in the hearts with the raspberry jam, and swirl in the chocolate,
  10. Bake for 16-17 minutes.
  11. Serve with love. Optional: Sprinkle big salt flakes over top.

Notes

*for a sweeter jam, use 7 dates

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/chocolate-raspberry-heart-tarts/

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Cranberry Lemon Curd (vegan!)

It’s been so long since I’ve had lemon curd, and I don’t really know why that is. Wait. Yes I do.

I used to go to a little British-themed tea shop where they they had really amazing lemon curd. I’d get these huge fluffy scones and slather them with house-made lemon curd and clotted cream.  Sound amazing right? But actually, I was rather unhappy at that time and whenever I tasted lemon curd after that, it reminded me of not-so-good-days. I haven’t really wanted lemon curd again until just now. (um, I hope that wasn’t TMI. Do people still say TMI?)

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This particular curd is a happy kind of curd. It whips up fast and easy, which is reason enough to get jolly about it. The curd texture comes from canned cannellini beans. I know fruit curd is an odd place for beans, but I’ve tested it over and over and it works every time. You just have to rinse the beans really really well in order to get good results.

Organic canned beans only cost a few cents more and work better for this particular recipe. Drain them, rinse, soak for a minute or so, and then drain, rinse, soak, drain, rinse. Taste a bean to make sure that it’s totally bland and salt-free. If not, keep on rinsing. This whole process shouldn’t take any more than five minutes, and you can do it while the prepping other things.

Since it comes together so quickly, you have time to sit down and relax a bit and enjoy it with your favorite pastry. Or toast. Or right off the spoon!

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Cranberry Lemon Curd

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup cannellini beans, super well rinsed

Instructions

  1. Pack the cranberries down into a microwave safe bowl and cover with the water.
  2. Microwave the cranberries for about 4 minutes, until the water is completely absorbed into the berries. If there is any excess water, do not drain it.
  3. Blend together the cranberries, the lemon juice, the zest, and the beans, until smooth.
  4. Enjoy!
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/vegan-cranberry-lemon-curd/