Who doesn't love the combination of chocolate and pistachio? For me, it's a match made in heaven, just like this creamy pistachio tart.
This dark chocolate pistachio tart is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. and requires no baking. It's perfect for impressing your loved ones for the holiday season (they won't even know it's vegan!). The best thing is it can be made in advance so you don't need to worry about whipping it together on the day of your dinner party. Simply prepare it the day before or even further in advance and store it in the freezer until the day of serving.
I was originally inspired to make this tart after seeing one of Martha Stewart's milk chocolate pistachio tart. I knew I has to make a vegan version.
Why make this recipe?
Easy no-bake crust
The crust for this tart is no-bake and made using mostly wholesome ingredients; hazelnuts, cashews, cacao powder, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. The nuts in the recipe can easily be interchanged for other nuts. Almonds, walnuts, or pecans will all work in place of the hazelnuts and cashews if you are intolerant to one of them.
You can use homemade or store-bought pistachio butter
The pistachio layer of the tart is a homemade pistachio butter/paste. If you'd prefer, you could always use a layer of ready-made store-bought pistachio butter instead. However, the method of making the pistachio butter will get the best results for a bright green color. It really pops in contrast to the dark chocolate.
Easy chocolate ganache
We love a good chocolate ganache here on the blog, and this dark chocolate ganache is rich, silky, and delicious. Made using just a few ingredients; coconut milk, maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla extract, and of course, dark chocolate. A lot of dark chocolate brands are vegan-friendly by default. That being said, always be sure to check the label in case they've managed to sneak some milk fats in!
How to make a dark chocolate pistachio tart
Prepare the pistachios
For this recipe, you can use either raw or roasted pistachios, but they must be unsalted. If you're using roasted pistachios, which usually come with their shell you'll need to remove the shells first.
The next step was to let them soak in cold water overnight, or for a minimum of 4 hours. The aim of this is to soften the nuts to make them easier to blend and also to make removing the skins much more manageable. If you're in a hurry, you can quick soak the pistachios in boiled water for 1 hour instead.
In order to help them appear as bright and green as they can be, you'll need to remove the skins from the pistachios. This step takes a little bit of time and effort, but it's definitely worth it for that bright green hue. I find it almost therapeutic. Remove as much of the skins as you can by hand, and then give the pistachios a good drying with some clean paper towels. And that's it, nice bright green delicious pistachios, prepped and ready to be blended into some mouthwatering cake.
Bear in mind that although I do recommend this step for the best and most professional results, it is completely optional. If you don't have the time to spare or you simply don't mind the little bits of skin then it's absolutely fine to leave them on. I would however always recommend soaking the pistachios for a couple of hours to make mixing much easier on your blender.
Make pistachio butter
Once you've prepped the pistachios it's on to the pistachio butter. This basically means just popping the ingredients into a food processor or blender to do the hard work.
Place all the ingredients for the pistachio butter in a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth. This will take some time, 5-10 minutes usually depending on your blender or food processor. Be sure to scrape down the edges every minute or so in between blends. Set the pistachio butter aside and start preparing the crust.
Make the crust
For the crust, add the nuts to your food processor and blitz until they form a fine crumb consistency. Next, add in the remaining base ingredients and continue to blitz for another minute until the mixture begins to stick together.
Make sure your tart tin has a removable base, as this will make it much easier to remove the tart once set. Line the base of a 9" tart tin with some parchment paper.
Then press the dough mixture into the bottom of the cake tin, using a spatula or flat-bottom glass to pack it down into the base and up the side edges of the tin.
Add an even layer of the pistachio butter on top of the tart base and place the tart back in the fridge.
Chocolate ganache layer
To make the ganache filling, add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cacao powder, and salt to a saucepan and heat up to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and incorporated into the mixture.
Next, pour the chocolate mixture into the tart base and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before placing the tart back in the fridge. Allow the tart to chill and set for approx 4 hours before serving.
Decorating the chocolate tart
Carefully remove the tart from the tin and decorate the top of the tart with the ground or chopped pistachios.
Store this tart in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it in portions and defrost it an hour before serving.
More vegan tarts
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Pistachio butter *see recipe notes
- To begin you will need to prepare the pistachios by soaking them them overnight. Add them to a large bowl, cover with water and refrigerate (or a minimum of 6 hours). You can also quick soak the pistachios in boiled water for one hour instead.
- Rinse the pistachios with clean water and remove as much of the skins as possible. They should coming off easily using your fingers as the water will have loosened them.
- Next remove as much of the skin from the pistachios as possible by peeling it away with your fingers. The skin should come off quite easily as a result of pre-soaking them. This step is optional if you don’t mind leaving the skins on!
- Place all the ingredients for the pistachio butter in a high speed blender or food processor and blitz for 5-10 minutes until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the jug every minute or so in between blends. Set aside while you make the crust.
- Line the base of a 9" tart tin with parchment paper.
- Add the hazelnuts and cashews (or almond flour) to your food processor and blitz until they form a fine crumb consistency. Add the remaining base ingredients and continue to blitz for another minute until the mixture begins to stick together and form a dough.
- Press the dough mixture into the bottom of the cake tin, using a spatula to pack it down and smooth out the top.
- Add an even layer of the pistachio butter on top of the tart base and place the tart back in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate ganache.
- Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cacao powder, and salt to a saucepan and heat up to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and incorporated into the mixture.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart base and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before placing the tart back in the fridge. Allow the tart to chill and set for approx 4 hours before serving.
Serving and Storage
- Decorate the top of the tart with some ground or chopped pistachios. Carefully remove the tart from the tin and serve.
- Store this tart in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it in portions and defrost it an hour before serving.
- Chilled coconut milk: Refrigerate the cans of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the cans.
- Pistachio butter: Swap this for store-bought pistachio butter.
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