march 11, 2016
If you like dark, creamy chocolate desserts that are not too, too sweet, this one’s for you. If you are enamored of desserts with natural sweeteners, this one will do very nicely. If you like to get your vegetables from dessert, you’re three for three!
A friend recently sent a recipe for flourless brownies made from almond butter and zucchini from the Delighted Momma website. They were tasty, and had a cake-like texture. Playing around with the basic recipe, I craved density and darkness. Omitting the baking soda gave me density and adding extra-dark cocoa powder brought me and my tasters over to the dark side, in a good way. Out went cinnamon and nutmeg and in went almond extract to augment the creamy almond butter.
Here are the tastemakers in this recipe : fragrant organic almond extract, bittersweet chocolate finely chopped (at least 72%) and extra dark cocoa powder. In testing, I first used regular unsweetened cocoa powder and missed that super chocolate taste; you can find Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder on your supermarket shelf, or, you can order the black cocoa powder made by King Arthur. The dark cocoa versions were superior.
Any dessert that can be made ahead gets five stars from me. In fact, this dessert tastes just okay on the first day, but as the tart ages in a nice cool spot at room temperature, the chewy bits of zucchini soften, the shards of bittersweet chocolate lose their edges and become creamier and the density factor shoots sky high. Day four seems to be ideal for maximum dessert enjoyment, so if you’re entertaining, plan ahead and make this chocolate lover’s tart first and fuss over dinner details at your leisure.
Did I mention this is an easy dessert to stir together?
Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Tart
1 cup almond butter
⅓ cup honey
3 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
pinch of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 large egg, whisked
1 ½ cups grated (unpeeled) zucchini
1 3.5 ounce bittersweet chocolate bar (at least 72%), finely chopped
optional garnishes for serving : sweetened whipped cream, cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray 9 inch shallow tart or pie dish with cooking spray.
- In mixing bowl, use wooden spoon or heavy spatula to mix together the almond butter, honey, cocoa powder, salt and extracts – mixture will be very thick.
- Add beaten egg and mix well.
- Add zucchini and chocolate, mixing well, and spoon into greased tart dish.
- Bake about 25 minutes or until center appears just set; surface will appear very glossy.
- Store covered at room temperature for up to 5 days in a cool spot away from heat sources or direct sunlight (so the tart does not sweat), or freeze for later serving.
- Cut portions with sharp knife and garnish as desired.