There seems to be a national holiday for every type of food imaginable… I’m usually the last to know until my Instagram feed is chock full of deliciousness for National Chocolate Cake Day (January 27th), National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (May 15th), and the one I’m most ashamed to have missed, National Taco Day (October 4th).
But this month, I’m covering all my bases because February is not only National Chocolate Lovers’ Month, it’s also National Cherry Month. To celebrate, we’ve partnered with the Cherry Marketing Institute to bring you these decadent (no-bake) chocolate tart cherry tartelettes.
These start with a cocoa walnut crust and are filled with coconut lemon cream… the cherry on top is a scoop of sweet-but-not-too-sweet Montmorency tart cherries (also sometimes called sour cherries). So that everyone can participate in the holiday, this dessert also just happens to be vegan and gluten-free.
Lets talk about tart cherries: were obsessed. Especially with the ones that come frozen. I put them in my morning smoothie, my mom tops them onto her yogurt, and Jack eats them plain like candy. Tart cherries have some major superfood qualities – they reduce inflammation and are a natural source of melatonin, which helps regulate sleep.
The cherry love doesn’t stop here – four other bloggers are participating in a virtual tart cherry-infused progressive dinner. Jelly Toast is making the cocktail, A Couple Cooks is making the appetizer, Cookin’ Canuck, the vegetable, and Love & Zest is making the entrée.
- 2½ cups raw walnuts
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 (14-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon lemon oil (find it in the baking aisle)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- frozen tart cherries, thawed to room temp
- In a food processor, pulse the walnuts into very fine crumbs. Add the cocoa powder, coconut oil, cane sugar, maple syrup, and sea salt and process until a dough forms. Don’t overwork it or it will be too sticky. Spray 6 mini-tart pans with cooking spray. Scoop 3 level tablespoons of crust mixture into each tart pan and press into the bottom and the sides.
- Remove the coconut milk from the fridge and carefully scoop the thick solid part off the tops into a blender or food processor. (Save the remaining coconut water for another use, i.e., tomorrow’s smoothie.) Add the maple syrup, lemon oil, and sea salt and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. If it’s too thick, you can add a tiny splash of almond milk.
- Fill each tart shell with the filling and freeze for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. The crust should be firm enough to be removed from the tart pans.
- Remove tarts from the freezer and use a knife to carefully pop them out of their pans. Let the tarts sit at room temp for about 20 minutes before serving to allow them to soften. Top with tart cherries and serve!
If you have extra filling, save it as a topping for your weekend waffles.
Very important: do not substitute more maple syrup for the cane sugar in the crust ingredients or your dough will be too sticky.
If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.