Today, as I was walking Zayn to school, I suddenly stopped. There, set against the clear blue skies, was a tree full of beautiful, tarnished leaves. There were ruby reds, russets, sunflower yellows, and many more floating to the ground…
Out of nowhere, it hit me: not only have we said goodbye to the summer, but we are in late September. LATE September.
How did that happen!?
Although I am a summer girl through and through, I am ready for Autumn in a way. I’m ready for cosying up on the sofa with good TV, kicking up leaves with the boys, digging into comforting soups (I’ve already made my Chilli Pumpkin Coconut Soup twice in a week!), chunky roll-neck jumpers, stomping about in boots and snuggling into my coat with a soft scarf.
Oh, and fig season. Everything is all about fig season.
You see, chocolate and figs are one of my favourite combinations – there’s just something so dreamy about the two – and I couldn’t resist buying a basketful of figs when I saw them on offer earlier in the week. Immediately, I dashed home to make this Chocolate Orange Fig Tart.
I first had the idea for this tart in the spring when I read about the chocolate / orange / fig combination in my Flavour Thesaurus. Full of weird and wonderful (as well as traditional) flavour combinations, the book got my brain whirring. Sadly, I had to wait painfully long until figs were in season, and have only just got round to making it!
Anyway, the waiting was definitely worthwhile because this has since become one of my all-time favourite recipes. With the rich, creamy chocolate mousse pared with the tang of orange and the mild, sweet figs, it really is just dreamy!
So, what lies within…?
Well, I decided to make this mousse a little differently to the filling in my Chocolate Ganache Tart. I know that a few readers can’t stomach large amounts of coconut milk, so I created this one just for them.
Instead of coconut milk, it’s made using avocados and luscious, melted dark chocolate. The result is the creamiest, silkiest vegan chocolate mousse I have ever made – and it tastes amazing!
The base, too, could not be simpler – and there is not a date to blend in sight!
Perhaps (most definitely!) I am a little lazy, but I sometimes get tired of blending up dates and then constantly stirring and churning up my mixture, so this base uses date syrup instead.
Overall, the tart takes just around ten minutes to create – bish, bosh, bash, blend! – so it is a great one to create if you’re short on time.
Anyway, this is the most perfect pudding to serve up on a cosy Autumnal evening, and would also work beautifully for an easy, speedy dinner party pudding. Me and Amir have already eaten nearly the entire tart in just a few days!
I hope you like it that much, too. Although you waistlines won’t thank me for it!
Do you have any unusual flavour combinations for me to try?
Chocolate Orange Fig Tart
- Creates one 20cm tart
- For the base –
- 1 1/2 cups almonds
- 1 cup oats
- 5 tbsp cacao OR Rejuvenated Chocolate Protein Smoothie
- Zest and juice of one orange
- 3 – 3.5 tbsp date syrup or brown rice syrup
- 2 heaped tbsp Lucy Bee coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
- 1-2 drops orange extract
- Pinch salt
- For the filling –
- 2 medium to large ripe avocados, pitted (I used Strong Roots frozen avocado)
- 170g dark chocolate – at least 80% cacao solids – finely chopped (I used Montezuma’s Absolute Black With Orange & Cocoa Nibs)
- 2 heaped tbsp Lucy Bee coconut oil
- 3 tbsp dairy-free milk of choice (almond, coconut or other)
- 3 heaped tbsp coconut yoghurt or dairy-free yoghurt of choice (I used Co-Yo)
- 3.5 tbsp date syrup OR handful dried figs, soaked in hot water and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Rejuvenated Chocolate Protein Smoothie OR cacao
- Juice and zest of one orange
- Orange extract, to taste (start with 2 drops)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
- Pinch salt
- 4 ripe figs, cut into slices, to decorate
- Start by making your base by blending together the almonds, oats and smoothie / cacao until they form a fine flour. Tip into a bowl, then stir in the remaining ingredients, kneading with your hands, until it sticks together into a sort of dough. Press into the base of a springform tart tin (I used a 20cm tin). If it’s too dry, add a touch more coconut oil. Too sticky and some more oats will do! Place the tin in the fridge to firm up.
- Next, make your filling. Melt together the chocolate and coconut oil in a bain marie, stirring until smooth.
- Place the avocados into a blender along with the milk, coconut yoghurt, cacao, date syrup, salt, vanilla and melted chocolate and blend until completely smooth. Add in the orange zest and juice, as well as the orange extract, and blend once more. Stop to taste and adjust the sweetness or chocolate flavourings (adding more cacao, if needed, or slightly more yoghurt if it’s too rich for your taste) as necessary.
- Spoon the smooth avocado filling over your base, then place back in the fridge to firm up, ideally overnight.
- Before serving, decorate with the sliced figs, then remove from the tin and cut into slices. Eat immediately.