It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not just because it’s the holidays but mostly because school is finally coming to an end! With just a few days of the semester left, I felt inspired to make a little dessert for the holidays. After giving it lots of thought, I decided to turn a classic holiday drink into a yummy treat you can easily make for a holiday party or to enjoy at home! This peppermint mocha tart is decadent and perfect for the holidays. It’s so incredibly easy to make and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Whether you are a fan of peppermint or not, I am sure you will love this one. Not only is this tart easy but it’s also gluten-free, and vegan! Instead of using heavy cream like so many recipes during the holidays do, I used coconut milk to yield a creamy filling. Rather than using a graham cracker crust, I utilized nutrient dense walnuts that are packed with essential fatty acids, fiber, and a great source of protein.
Although I always aim to make recipes that are healthy, I do want to make a point that sometimes, the calories, sugar, or fat content are unimportant. The holidays should be about spending time with family while enjoying delicious food. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of the foods you want to eat during a holiday party because they don’t fit into your lifestyle. As I have said before, there is a time and a place for fun foods and rather than stressing out about your food choices, enjoy whatever makes you feel good and happy. Anyways, enough with the ranting for this simple and delicious recipe, let’s get into the details of what you will need to make it happen.
For the filling:
- 16 oz. dark chocolate chips/chunks** (I used 72%)
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (do not sub lighter version, it will not come out the same)
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp brewed coffee
- 1/2 tsp salt
**NOTE: The first time I made this I used semi-sweet but it was way too sweet for my liking. I recommend using 60-75% dark chocolate for the best results.
For the crust:
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups walnuts
- 2 tbsp melted vegan butter ( I used Earth Balance)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
For the crust:
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F and place the walnuts on a baking sheet.
- Place the walnuts in the oven while preheating and remove them once the oven has reached 350. It should take anywhere from 5-7 minutes depending on your oven.
- Keep the oven on 350 as the crust will bake at 350 F.
- In a food processor add the slightly roasted walnuts and pulse to chop them slightly.
- Once the walnuts are roughly chopped add in the cocoa powder and maple syrup and continue to pulse to combine. Do not over mix it or you will start to develop walnut butter.
- After the maple syrup and cocoa powder have combined with the walnuts add in the melted butter and once again pulse in the food processor until it he mixture holds its shape.
- Press the crust mixture into a tart pan until it is evenly coated and once it is even place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Filling
- While the crust is baking, pour the full-fat coconut milk into another container and heat through in the microwave until it is warm but not scalding hot. I used the beverage setting plus an extra 30 minutes and that was the perfect temperature.
- In a separate bowl add the 16 oz of dark chocolate, peppermint extract, vanilla extract, coffee, and salt.
- Once the coconut milk is to the desired temperature slowly add it into the bowl containing the chocolate and mix while doing so.
- Continue to mix and combine until the coconut milk has completely melted the chocolate.
- When the mixture is ready, slowly and carefully pour the filling into the tart crust.
- Place the tart in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow it to set properly. Or if you are making this for a party, you can do it up to 24 hours in advance. It keeps just fine in the fridge.
- Take the tart out of the fridge up to 10-15 minutes before serving to allow it to soften a bit.
- For an extra festive touch, add some crushed candy canes and whipped cream along the outer edge of the tart
If you have made it to my page, I appreciate you taking the time to read through all of this. Should you make this recipe, tag us @lifeatthemesa on Instagram so we can see how it came out for you. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season and eat plenty of delicious and heart-warming foods!