Trying to find a gluten-free treat that actually tastes delicious?
Searching out something that doesn’t sacrifice taste just because it’s a little healthy?
GOT THAT TOO!
AND you don’t feel like baking??
Oh, I GOT IT!!
How is it possible something so delicious could be so guilt-free on many levels? I had to combine a couple of recipes and search far and wide for some ingredients (if by traveling to two grocery stores with one being a teeny tiny Trader Joe’s means “far and wide” then I, of course, am not exaggerating in any way), but once I tried the final product, the effort was so worth it. If you’re not interested in meandering a healthier route, which I suspect you may not be if you’re often checking out this blog, you can easily make this dessert a one-stop-shop and a 15-minute project. Have no fear omnivores who love gluten, I’ll post the replacements below. Oh, and please read the tips below before starting on the recipe!
Strawberries & Cream Tart
Stuff You’ll Need
Makes one 9″ tart
For the Crust
- 1 oz good-quality dark chocolate
- 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate or carob chips
- 2 tsp safflower or canola oil
- 1 package of vegan-friendly, gluten-free chocolate wafer cookies (I used Pamela’s Simplebites Extreme Chocolate Mini Cookies) or about 3 cups worth
- 9″ pie plate or serving plate
For the Filling
- 6 oz non-dairy cream cheese, like Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp dark agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
For the Topping
- 2 Tbsp all-natural strawberry preserves (no sugar added) or strawberry fruit spread
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
How to Do It
- Using a food processor, finely ground the chocolate cookies. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and continue to heat until melted, stopping every 15-20 seconds to stir. Add the melted chocolate and safflower or canola oil to the cookie crumbs, and blend again. Remove the mixture from the food processor, and press into the bottom of a 9″ pie plate, until the plate is entirely covered. Put the crust into the freezer for 15-20 minutes while you work on the filling.
- Make the coconut whipped cream by scooping out the heavy part of the coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can. Whip the cream on high speed until the beater begins to leave marks through it. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and add the agave nectar, corn starch, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whip again at high speed until blended and slightly thick. Place the bowl in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes to firm.
- Combine the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and almond extract in a large bowl, and whip on low speed until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the strawberry preserves or fruit spread in a microwave-safe bowl for 10 seconds, or until soft and almost liquid. Stir with a fork, and mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract and lemon juice. Pour the juice over the prepared strawberries, and use a large wooden spoon to stir the ingredients together and coat the strawberries. Set aside.
- Remove the chocolate crust and the coconut whipped cream from the freezer. Gently fold the frozen whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, and spread the mixture on top of the chocolate cookie crust. Top with strawberry topping, and serve immediately.
Tips & Treats
- To make a successful whipped coconut cream, refrigerate the can of coconut milk before opening. Most sites suggest at least 4 hours, and I refrigerated mine overnight. It’s also best to chill everything you’re using to make the whipped cream-the beaters, the bowl, and maybe even in the spatula. Depending on what brand of cream you use (I used Goya), it may not separate as the original recipe describes, but it may be creamy throughout. It’s okay to use the whole can if this is the case, but be aware that it will be different from what you’re used to if you’re transitioning from Cool Whip or real whipped cream. The texture is slightly softer, but the taste is dramatically better (assuming you like coconut).
- Just a quick note on sugar: if you’re entirely vegan, and you choose not to consume sugar that you’re unsure of the refining process for, check out this website for vegan-friendly sugars. Oh, and avoid Domino.
- If you’re not interested in making the Earth- and health-friendly replacements, you can substitute the gluten-free chocolate cookies for 25 chocolate wafer cookies, the Tofutti cream cheese for real cream cheese, and the coconut whipped cream for frozen Cool Whip. However, I encourage you to try something new and be open-minded, as this is one heck of a dessert that will blow any misconceptions of a healthy diet to smithereens.