Chocolate-Almond Cream Tartlets
The perfect little dessert for Passover (plus thoughts on cooking).
Photo by Leah Lizarondo
I’ve been thinking a lot about cooking lately and why I started writing about food. I started contemplating this because I’m giving a TEDx talk April 26 about how we are losing our connection with food because we are not cooking anymore.
This isn’t something “foodies” or food advocates are immune to either. Even Michael Pollan, author of many books food activists consider seminal, recently shared how he has had to deliberately make an effort to return to cooking.
Why is it so important? Because if you filter out all the conflicting noise about what we should and should not eat, cooking is the one thing you can do right now that will change your health. Real cooking.
You might ask: How do we even define “real” cooking? Obviously, heating up prepared stuff from a box every night isn’t ideal. But who has time to adhere to making meals “only from scratch?”
As Pollan writes in his new book, “Cooked,” the attainable reality is somewhere in the middle. Maybe you bought a bag of chopped onions, celery and carrots to start a soup. Or used frozen vegetables (gasp!) to make a nice fried rice. Soup that you make at home will have (much!) less salt than the canned stuff — plus it won’t contain chemicals or preservatives. Fried rice that you make at home won’t be made with MSG, nor high amounts of salt and sugar.
Cooking at home doesn’t have to be fancy — unlike dishes featured on some cooking shows. Because I write this blog, people look at me with wonder and ask me all the time what I am making at home and how I’m able to do it (with three kids and all). I tell them that dinner at home usually is very simple: beans, brown rice, broccoli is typical. If I don’t have the foresight, I cook the beans in a slow cooker in the morning or a pressure cooker at night; the rice doesn’t require attention to make; I steam the broccoli and simply dress with lemon, olive oil and sea salt.
Which is not to say our life is without treats. The recipes in this blog are proof of that! For example, this week has been more challenging time-wise and after a less-than-stellar week of meals, I whipped up this little treat for the kids: Chocolate Almond Cream Tartlets! As with many of my desserts, the tartlets don’t require any baking or precise measuring. It might look fancy, but it’s really not. And yes, it’s healthier than most desserts you can buy. It’s my cooking philosophy in a tart shell.
The base is a variation of my favorite pie “crust” you’ve seen in many of my recipes. Once you make this crust many times over, you’ll figure out that you can tweak it and use it different ways. The almond cream is a recipe from Deanna from My Goodies Bakery. Deanna is a vegan baker whose products are available in certain farmers markets. This almond cream is just as versatile as the crust and will definitely make another appearance in this blog.
Another plus? This tartlet is absolutely perfect for Passover. It’s gluten-free, vegan and pale; the tart crust is flourless, and the recipe doesn’t call for dairy, which makes it an easy thing to add to the Passover table.
A few minutes of effort. Infinite pleasure.
Chocolate-Almond Cream Tartlets
Makes about 10
From Multiply Delicious
- 1 ½ c almond flour (sifted)
- 3 T cocoa powder or raw cacao powder (sifted)
- Couple of good pinches of sea salt
- 2 T maple syrup
- ¼ T extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
From My Goodies Bakery
- ½ c almonds
- ½ c pitted medjool dates
- ½ c water
- Slivered or sliced almonds for garnish
1. Line a muffin pan with baking cups.
2. Mix all the crust ingredients in a bowl until combined.
3. Press into the bottom of the baking cups.
4. Place in freezer to set.
5. In a high-speed blender, place all the ingredients for the filling.
6. Blend until smooth.
7. Once the crust is firm (about 30 minutes), peel off the paper cups.
8. Top with the almond cream and slivered almonds.
9. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or freeze so the filling sets.
10. Keep tartlets cool before serving.