I’m almost 3 weeks into Vegan May and so far, so good. Yeah, OK, I miss cheese a little bit, but having gone to Club Mexicana last weekend and eaten some of their Vegan Cheese Fries the craving was satiated slightly. We hosted some friends over the weekend for Eurovision and I decided to try and bake something for us all to share after we’d had a little bit too much to drink. Having tackled vegan cinnamon buns I wanted to do something else which usually relies pretty heavily on dairy, a Vegan Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart. Caramel usually has stacks of cream and butter, a ganache filling is filled with cream and pastry, almost by definition, is crammed full of butter.
I’ll let you in on a little secret though, a whole load of the store bought pre-made pastries are actually vegan. Obviously, check the ingredients before buying but a bunch of them don’t contain any dairy whatsoever. This means you haven’t got to stress too much about trying out one of the many, and varied, vegan pastry recipes kicking about on the internet, unless you are absolutely desperate to of course. If anyone does have any particularly good or go to ones, then please send them my way.
Both the caramel and ganache are as simple as if you were to make the dairy versions. There’s no need for anything particularly fancy in either, other than a very small amount of vegan marge which you can find in most supermarkets these days. Coconut milk is the key ingredient throughout, but it doesn’t leave the whole tart tasting too heavy, especially with a salty caramel and thick good quality dark chocolate.
Vegan Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart Recipe
- 500g Shortcrust Pastry
- **For the Caramel**
- 100g Sugar
- 120ml warmed + 60ml Full Fat Coconut Milk
- ¾ tsp Sea Salt
- **For the Chocolate Filling**
- 200g Dark Chocolate (I used 80% but it needs to be minimum 60%)
- 50g Vegan Butter
- 300ml Coconut Milk
- **Optional Garnish**
- Cacoa Nibs
- Sprinkle of Sea Salt
- Preheat the oven to 200°C(180°C fan assisted) and preheat a baking tray in the oven at the same time.
- Roll out your pastry and use it to line a pie dish with a slight overhang. Push into the corners and prick the bottom with a fork.
- Line this with grease proof paper, fill with baking beans or similar and transfer to the preheated baking tray in the center of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust has started to brown. Remove the sheet and weights and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- While the shell is cooling, make the caramel. In a heavy based saucepan spread the sugar out over the base.
- Place the pan over a medium heat and leave without stirring until it starts to melt. Once it does, you may need to move quickly as you don't want it to colour too dark. Once it has melted completely, and hasn't gone too dark, remove from the heat and stir in the warmed coconut milk. Be careful as it will likely bubble here.
- If it clumps then return to a low heat and continue to stir until the lumps melt out. It will look quite runny but as it starts cooling it will thicken up. You may need to add the second batch of coconut milk while you're removing the clumps.
- Take off the heat, stir through the salt and allow to cool slightly before pouring into the prepared shell. Spread it out evenly and place in the fridge to set while you make the filling.
- Melt the chocolate with the butter in the pan until it goes silky, stir through the coconut milk and keep stirring until you've got a glossy mixture.
- Pour into the pie and place back in the fridge to set. Allow it to set completely before you garnish and serve.