Mint-infused cream tart

Because I’m so happy with the outcome of the first recipe I submitted to the SOS Kitchen Challenge, I decided to attempt another minty treat idea I had floating around in my head for the last two days.

I know for a fact that this recipe would not have worked out in my favour if it wasn’t for the teachings of Fran Costigan. Back in June, I had the opportunity to attend her Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York, and I am so grateful for all the knowledge I was able to soak up during the week I was there. Nothing beats hands-on lessons from the queen of vegan desserts herself, and in a professional kitchen!

Mint Infused Cream Tart | A Dash of Compassion

This sweet dessert recipe started with the creation of a veganized version of panna cotta,  a traditional Italian dessert usually made by simmering cream, milk and sugar, mixing in gelatin and then letting it cool until set. For the SOS challenge, I opted to create a mint-infused panna cotta as a filling for cocoa-enhanced almond tart crusts, with the addition of a pretty swirl of strawberry or chocolate cream. This recipe makes enough for 4 individual tarts, but feel free to double the recipe to make a full 9-inch tart.

You may have leftover cream filling, in which case you can pour it into individual ramekins. You can also do what I did and swirl pureed strawberries into the cream before refrigerating, or decorate with chocolate sauce and mint leaves.

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Mint-infused cream tarts

Yield: 4 individual tarts

Ingredients:

For the crust:

    • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt
    • 2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the cream filling:

  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 2 tbsp evaporated cane juice (or other natural sweetener)
  • 4 or 5 fresh peppermint leaves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp agar flakes
  • 2 tsp arrowroot + 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened soy yogourt

Directions:

For the crust:

    1. Grind the almonds in a food processor. Add the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, salt and cocoa, and pulse several times. Pour into a medium mixing bowl.
    2. Whisk the oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small bowl until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until combined. A piece squeezed between your fingers should hold together well.
    3. Press dough into the bottom and sides of well-oiled individual tart pans and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
    4. Bake at 350 on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes, or until the crust looks dry. Cool on a wire rack.

For the cream filling:

  1. Put non-dairy milk, sugar, peppermint leaves and salt into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the agar flakes on top, swirl the pan slightly but no not stir, and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Bring the mixture to a light simmer on low heat, with saucepan lid slightly ajar to let out steam. Watch carefully because it can easily boil over or burn. Let simmer on very low heat for about 15 minutes until agar is completely dissolved (occasionally examine a large spoonful for any specks of agar).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot and water and add to the agar mixture. Whisk constantly on low heat until it thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and remove the peppermint leaves. Add the soy yogourt and whisk until smooth.
  5. Spoon cream into cooled tart crusts and refrigerate until set, about an hour.

      

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8 Responses to “Mint-infused cream tart”

  1. Ricki — August 9, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    Another minty winner! I've never had "real" panna cotta, but this sounds phenomenal. And so beautiful, too! Lucky, lucky you to have attended a cooking class with Fran Costigan–something I've dreamt about ;)

  2. Ricki — August 9, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

    Hi Nicole,It's me again–is there an email address (or twitter account) at which I can reach you? Thanks!Ricki :)

  3. VeganLisa — August 10, 2010 @ 1:15 am

    Fran would be so proud. Your creations are beautiful!

  4. madebyjill — August 16, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

    Hey again Nicole,I signed in from my wrong account, so I deleted my previous comment. But I'm reposting it here. It said,"I love your blog and recipes! Keep posting! I'm adding you to my blogroll!"

  5. Noelle — August 17, 2010 @ 2:24 am

    What a beautiful recipe!It is so whole and healthy. I cannot wait to try it!

  6. Nicole — August 17, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    madebyjill: I'm glad you like my blog and thank you for reading!Noelle: This recipe is really fun, and fairly easy once you get the hang of it (agar can sometimes be tricky). Let me know your thoughts if you try the recipe!

  7. vegetalion — August 20, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    These are beautiful. I definitely want to make them!

  8. Pattycake — January 8, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

    I love your creativity Nicole! Beautiful, delicious, and healthy – the perfect dessert. :)

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