Autumn and Winter are the times for chestnuts. You may even have a can of chestnut puree left over from the Christmas stock pile, or the cooked vacuum packed kind you can puree yourself. Organic Bergamot lemons have just appeared back on our shelves and I could not resist adding some zest to the chocolate mousse-y goodness of the filling. I have decided chocolate to be permanently in season, no arguments!
The recipe can be made lickety split! The longest part is waiting the three or four hours for it to set in the fridge or freezer, whilst you lick bowls,spoons and spatulas 🙂
Seasonal Chestnut Chocolate Pie / Tart
Prepare a 20cm/ 7.8inc tart dish by greasing lightly with a little coconut oil. If using a spring form tin line it with some baking paper to prevent sticking. You will need a saucepan and perspex bowl to melt your chocolate in. I use a handheld immersion blender and a coffee grinder for the nuts, if you have a jug blender that will do even better.
The Press In Base
- One and a half cups of ground almonds
- A third of a cup of walnuts
- One tablespoon of cashews
- Eight apricot kernels*
- An eight teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt
- An eight of a teaspoon of cardamon powder
- Half a teaspoon of vanilla powder/ one pod/ one tsp of vanilla bean paste
- Three drops of lemon oil/ a quarter tsp of extract
- One and a half tablespoons of organic cold pressed coconut oil
- One tablespoon of cashew nut butter
- One and a half tablespoons of raw dark agave**
- Two and a half tablespoons of maple syrup**
* You can use a quarter teaspoon of almond extract instead
** You could also soak six or seven medjool dates or un-sulphered apricots over night. Puree them and use them instead of the syrups.
Chestnut Chocolate Mousse-y Filling
- One small avocado- mashed
- Optional: Zest of one unwaxed organic bergamot lemon*
- Zest of one unwaxed organic orange*
- Five drops of orange oil/ one tsp of natural extract/ zest of another orange
- One cup/ 225g of unsweetened chestnut puree
- Juice of half an orange
- Make up a quarter cup of raw dark agave and maple syrup
- One scant teaspoon of vanilla powder/ two pods/ two scant tsp vanilla bean paste
- 70g/ 2.5oz bar of at least 70% good quality dark chocolate
- Three tablespoons of roughly chopped cacao butter
- Optional: One tablespoon of cacao paste
- One tablespoon of cocoa or cacao
- A generous eight of a teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
- Half a cup of non-dairy milk
*Organic as I do not want to zest chemicals
Ready your ingredients and grab a bowl. I like to prepare the dry things first. Grind your walnuts, cashews and apricot kernels to a soft meal. Put in your bowl. Add in the ground almonds, salt, cardamon and vanilla powder. If using vanilla bean paste add it to the wet.
In another bowl mash your coconut oil, cashew nut butter, lemon oil/ extract, agave and maple syrup.
Add your dry ingredients to the wet ones. Give it a stir, you will need to get in there with your hands in order to get it to turn into a crumbly meal. It should stick together when pinched between your fingers.
You can now press it into the tart dish. Try and get it nice and even. Cover it with baking paper or foil. You can now pop it in the fridge or freezer while you make the delectable chocolate top!
Chestnut Chocolate Mousse-y Filling- Method
Put some hot water in a saucepan and keep it on a medium heat on your hob. Make sure you use a saucepan that your perspex bowl will fit over later when melting the chocolate.
In another bowl start combining your ingredients. If you have a jug blender you can add them all to this. Firstly mash together your small avocado, zests, orange oil /extract.
Next grab your can of chestnut puree. So pretty and smooth and shinny! Doing a good impersonation of chocolate. Mash this into the other ingredients, add the juice of half an orange and the agave and maple syrup. Using your blender, blend them all together to a soft fluffy puree. Leave to one side while you get ready to melt your chocolate.
Roughly chop your bar of chocolate and add it to the perspex bowl on the saucepan. Add in the cacao butter and cacao paste if using, keep stirring until it melts. Turn off the heat. Add your vanilla powder/pod/ paste, the salt and the cocoa or cacao. Mix throughly. Gradually start trickling in the half cup of non-dairy milk. Stir it all together.
Take your base out of the fridge/ freezer and uncover it. Now using an oven mitt or towel pick up the bowl with the chocolate and carefully add to the chestnut-y puree, gently folding it through at the same time. Use a spatula to get the very last bit of the chocolate goodness.
Quickly, before it begins to thicken, pour the mousse on top of the base. Using a spatula spread it evenly. Do not be heavy handed, you want to keep the air in it. Grate a little extract orange zest on top. Cover it up again, try not to have it touch the pie filling or it will mark it, you could make a foil tent if you like. Leave it to set in the fridge or freezer. A minimum of three or four hours. It is even better if you can leave it overnight.
I store mine in the fridge. When you are serving it leave the slices warm up a little. You can taste it better when it is not too cold. I served mine with some shaved chocolate and a little coconut yoghurt. You could also use your favourite vegan ice-cream.
Happy new year to you all. I think it would be lovely to add tablespoon of Grand Marnier, let me know if you try that! Xs Aissa