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luxe and the lady

Collagen Dark Chocolate Peppermint Raw Tarts

*This post was created in collaboration with Great Lakes Gelatin. The recipe, images, and opinions are all my own.

In this season of cakes and cookies I thought it would be nice to create a lighter dessert that doesn’t require the oven 🙂 (of course, you can still use it for a few minutes to toast the hazelnuts if you’d like). This cool and creamy raw tart is reminiscent of the peppermint ice cream I used to eat for dessert, as a kid, minus all the sugar (and the dairy). It also has a much more grown up flavor thanks to the dark chocolate hazelnut crust (but still yummy enough for a kid to enjoy). As a raw tart is no bake, it actually gets set in the freezer, and is a piece of cake to put together – no water bath required! Once the tarts are set, you can transfer them to the refrigerator or left at room temp (right before serving) for a texture that’s almost as smooth as a regular cheesecake.

I used Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate both to amplify the velvety texture, and to add a boost of protein and amino acids. I’m a long time collagen fan – I find that it makes a significant difference in the quality of my hair and nails (especially as I’ve been growing my hair out), and when I am consistent in taking it, it helps with digestion (soothing my stomach especially after a holiday of too many indulgences). Great Lakes Collagen dissolves easily into both hot and cold dishes/beverages, and is unflavored so it’s perfect for any recipe. I like to add it to my daily cup of coffee (or smoothie in the warmer months), and even created an ube ice cream recipe with it.

If you’d like to try Great Lakes Collagen or Gelatin you can use my code luxeandthelady20OFF for 20% off of your purchase through January 31, 2020 (US citizens only, excludes 12 packs). Please let me know if you try this recipe or the collagen! I always like to see your spin on my creations.

Ingredients: (makes 3, 5inch tarts)

Chocolate Hazelnut Crust:

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted

1 cup almond flour

1/4 tsp sea salt

4 medjool dates

2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons cacao powder

Vanilla Peppermint Filling:

7 ounces coconut milk

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked

3 scoops Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (or 7-10 drops stevia for low glycemic)* sweeten to taste

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

2 candy canes crushed, plus more for garnish

Polar Bear Decorations:

1 cup cashew buttercream

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Marzipan candy dough

Beet juice (for coloring)

Red and green fondant* (optional, for hats)

Directions:

  1. You will need to soak your cashews for the filling. Stir 1/4 tablespoon Celtic or Himalayan pink salt into 3 cups filtered water in a medium sized glass bowl. Add the 1 1/2 cups of raw cashews, cover with a thin kitchen or tea towel, and allow the bowl to sit on the counter for 3 hours. Before using the cashews rinse and drain them until the water is clear.
  2. If your hazelnuts are not toasted, spread them out onto a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 5 minutes, allow to cool for a few minutes before starting the crust.
  3. To make the crust, prep your tart pans by lightly greasing them with melted coconut oil. Place the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 1 minute, or until the ingredients start to stick together. I like to add the hazelnuts at the very end and only blend until chopped so the crust is still crunchy.
  4. Evenly distribute the crust between the tart pans, and firmly press it into the bottom and up the sides using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a small drinking glass (the back of a spoon also works well). Transfer the pans to the freezer while making the fillings (I find it helps to place them all on a baking sheet first to make it easier to move them around).
  5. Place all of the filling ingredients (except for the candy canes) in a high powered blender, and blend until smooth. I like to work my way up to high and then let it blend on high for 1 minute to get it super smooth. Stir in the crushed candy canes
  6. Remove the tart pans from the freezer, and pour the filling into each. Return to the freezer for at least an hour, or overnight before decorating.
  7. When you are ready to decorate the tarts, use a grass piping tip to pipe long cashew buttercream all over the top for fur. Add marzipan for the ears and paws and cover those with buttercream as well.
  8. Melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals (at 50% power) stirring in between, until smooth. Use a toothpick dipped into the chocolate to draw the faces onto wax paper, and transfer to the top of each tart once set.
  9. Color a little marzipan with beet juice and add to the middle of each ear and under the eyes for cheeks. Garnish with more crushed candy cane, and enjoy!

The tarts will keep for a few days wrapped and stored in the refrigerator, and up to a week in the freezer.

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