Starting with the crust
The nuts you use in the crust will be one way to customise your ganache tart and make it special. If you’re using nuts / nut butter in the ganache, keep the crust the same nut in order to be consistent. Avoid using oily nuts or over processing them as it’ll create an oily crust.
Using spices and/or essential oils in the crust is a nice touch as they will shine through the crust more easily than the ganache itself. Chocolate is a hard flavour to be paired against as it’s so strong. The crust is a great way to add flavour without having to add too much.
Try changing the setting agent in the crust from coconut oil to cacao butter, or even cacao paste. The cacao products will create a firmer crust and will also mean they stay more firm at room temp than coconut oil will. The flavour of cacao butter is a lot more mellow than coconut, which a lot of people don’t care for.
Activate the nuts – it makes all the difference. If you can’t do this yourself, then buy them activated. They’re more easily digestible this way and a lot lighter in texture too.
Customising the ganache
Change the nut butter you use in the ganache and match it to the crust. Try to go outside your comfort zone here and use a nut or seed that you don’t normally use, but that you enjoy eating. Like sesame / tahini. It goes so well with chocolate, but it’s massively underrated.
Trade out the water for any other liquid, such as fruit juice, fruit puree, alcohol or nut milks. If you’re using alcohol, maybe do 25% and then 75% of another liquid, like water or fruit juice.
Essential oils and spices are an easy and fast way to change things up.
Brewed Coffee ( as the liquid in the ganache )
Notes on essential oils and spices –
The same note applies for flavour pairing as when combining nuts and dried fruits. Do a search online or in the Flavor Bible to get some good ideas.
You can find essential oils “made for internal use” but I have used any essential oils in food for several years and I’m fine… I hope I’m fine 🙂 Brands like Doterra and Young Living are medical grade and are “prescribed” for internal use.
Get the best quality of essential oils and spices that you can afford, it makes all the difference. The bulk section in health food stores can tend to have really good stuff. In the UK Steenbergs is amazing quality. In the USA Whole Foods brand is really good stuff, from what I am tried.
The general cooking rule applies here; You can always add, you can’t take away. Add a little at a time, taste and add more as needed or wanted.
Amy Levin is the world’s leading raw chocolatier. Her expertise in raw chocolate is unparalleled as she consistently breaks boundaries in the raw food arena.
Amy will be doing a teaching tour in the USA and AUS Spring/ Summer 2017 and she currently has a hugely popular online learning course called The Raw Chocolatier with us at The Raw Chef.
Free Raw Chocolatier Mini-Course