These little tarts not only look gorgeous, they taste incredible too! This raw dessert has an exotic Moroccan flair, with pistachios, coconut, cranberries, and of course a splash of rosewater. Now, I’ve never used rosewater before. I don’t know why, but I’ve never really come across any recipes that require it, apart from Turkish Delight. Rosewater has such a delicately fragrant, floral flavour and it works perfectly in this dessert.
This recipe came about purely by chance. I received a like from @khamsa_sydney, on a post I put up on Instagram, so I clicked onto their profile to check out their newsfeed. One of their pictures, which immediately caught my eye, was of a beautiful looking raw tart, filled with a cashew cream. Sprinkled over the top was desiccated coconut, chopped pistachio nuts and cranberries. Right then and there, I knew I wanted to create this gorgeous dessert, but I didn’t have much to go on. The hash tags were rosewater, cranberry, raw vegan, vegan, Sydney vegan and cashew custard. But at least it was a start!
The very next day I went to the health food shop, to buy a bottle of rosewater, and I was so excited to start experimenting! It was obvious from the picture that there were pistachio nuts and cranberries in the base. I’ve been making raw desserts for a little while now, so I felt confident I could fill in the blanks and come up with my own delicious base. So after some thinking, I decided to use almond meal, desiccated coconut, and a few Medjool dates, along with the pistachio nuts and cranberries, for the main ingredients in the base. To bind it all together I used maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. The bases turned out pretty good, with only one tweak being needed for next time I made them, which was to increase the vanilla extract a little more.
I made a basic cashew cream and then carefully added the rosewater ½ a teaspoon at a time, because I didn’t know how strong the flavour would be. I eventually got to 2 teaspoons, which for my tastes was just about right. However, this can be quite an exotic flavour for most people, so please keep taste testing as you add the rosewater bit by bit. Just make sure to blend thoroughly after each addition, until the flavour is perfect for you. For a little extra wow factor, I decided to pipe the rosewater cashew cream, but you can of course spoon the cream into the bases.
Now there will be some cashew rosewater cream left over from this recipe. I used the excess as a dip for some sliced apples, as the crisp sweet apple beautifully complemented the extra cream. Consider it your chef’s treat!
All cup measurements are firmly packed.
I hope you enjoy these tarts as much as my friends and family do.
Makes 8 tarts
100g (3.5 ounces or ⅔ cup) pistachio nuts
54g (1.9 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) desiccated coconut (I use this brand)
46g (1.6 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) almond meal/flour
66g (2.3 ounces or approximately 5 medium sized) Medjool dates
44g (1.5 ounces or ⅓ cup) dried cranberries
1½ tablespoons (22.5ml) coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
4 teaspoons (20ml) pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Cashew Rosewater Cream
160g (5.6 ounces or 1 cup) raw cashews, soaked overnight then rinsed and drained
75ml (5 tablespoons) coconut cream (I use this brand)
60ml (¼ cup) pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon (15ml) coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
2 teaspoons (10ml) rosewater
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Finely chopped pistachio nuts
Finely chopped dried cranberries
The cashew rosewater cream takes the longest to set, so I make this first. In a small food processor, add all the cashew rose water cream ingredients and process until it becomes thick, smooth and creamy, which does take a couple of minutes or so to achieve.
Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring every half hour or so, to allow the cream to chill evenly. Once the cream has chilled nicely, transfer the bowl to the freezer and chill for approximately 15 minutes. Giving the cream an extra burst of chilling helps it to firm up some more, which makes it easier to pipe and hold its shape. If you’re not intending to pipe the cream, then you can skip this step and just spoon the cream into the bases instead.
Line 8, 8cm loose-bottomed tart tins with a small piece of plastic wrap.
Now that the cashew cream is made and chilling, make a start on the bases. Wash out the small food processor and add the pistachio nuts, almond meal and desiccated coconut, then process until the pistachio nuts are quite finely chopped.
Now add the dates and cranberries before processing again, until finely chopped.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined, scraping down the sides when necessary. Tip out the base mixture into a bowl and weigh it out, before dividing it by 8. That way, each tart base will have the same thickness.
Firmly press the mixture into each tart tin and place in the freezer until required.
Just before the cream is ready to be piped, line a chopping board with a piece of baking paper/parchment. Gently remove the frozen bases from the tins and peel away the plastic wrap, before placing the bases on the prepared chopping board.
Once the cream has reached a thick piping consistency, spoon it into a piping bag, fitted with a 2D piping tip, and, using an even pressure, slowly start piping in the centre of your tart working in a clockwise direction. As you fill the bottom of the tart base, using a continuous motion, slightly raise the piping nozzle and continue piping to fill the tart completely, finishing off at the top, in the middle of your tart. If you didn’t want to pipe in the cream, just divide the mixture evenly and simply spoon it into the tarts instead.
To garnish, add a sprinkling of desiccated coconut over the top of the cream, before adding a pinch or two of the finely chopped pistachio nuts and dried cranberries.
Serve immediately, otherwise store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse