This gorgeous gluten-free chocolate tart is piled high with fluffy homemade meringue, syrupy cherry compote and a nutty almond crumble. If you’re looking for a decadent and allergy-friendly treat for any occasion, look no further.
Chocolate and cherries is a pairing that just doesn’t get the air time it deserves. To me, there’s nothing better than sweet, plump and juicy summer cherries swirled into a chocolate dessert. And this layered tart puts both flavors on display in the most delicious way possible. The airy toasted meringue topping is a wonderfully light addition to the otherwise rich dessert.
How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Tart
The first step in making this chocolate tart recipe is to make the gluten-free crust. The process is similar to making a regular tart or pie crust, but this one is infused with chocolate flavor. I like to do it in a food processor to keep things simple, but you could easily make the crust by hand. Use a pastry cutter or fork to work the ingredients together.
Chocolate Tart Crust
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1⅔ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup chilled unsalted butter, diced
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup almonds, toasted
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 2 pounds dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ - 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
- 4 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- For the crust, whisk together the egg yolks and cream in a small bowl.
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour, cocoa powder, butter, coconut sugar and salt until a coarse meal forms. While the food processor is running, gradually pour in the cream mixture. Blend just to combine.
- Transfer the dough to a large work surface. Knead about 4-5 turns to incorporate. Shape the dough into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.
- For the confit cherries, combine the cherries, water, bourbon, coconut sugar and salt in a small pot over low heat. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring often, until the cherries become plump and candied and the liquid is reduced by ⅔.
- For the almond crumble, place the almonds in a food processor and pulse several times into small pieces. Transfer to a small bowl.
- When the crust is done chilling, roll the dough into a ⅛-inch thick circle on a lightly floured work surface, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to an 11-inch tart pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim any excess dough so it's flush with the edge of the pan. Chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F when you’re ready to bake the crust.
- Cover the crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature.
- Make the filling by heating the coconut milk on the stovetop or in the microwave until simmering. Place the dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and pour the hot coconut milk over the top of the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then stir slowly until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and kosher salt until combined.
- Pour the chocolate filling into the baked crust and smooth the top with a spoon. Sprinkle the top generously with flaky sea salt. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
- Meanwhile, prepare the meringue. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and separate the yolks and whites, as they will separate best when they’re cold. Allow the egg whites to reach room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the egg whites into a clean bowl and whip until they are glossy and smooth. Add the cream of tartar.
- Slowly add the sugar about one tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition, until the sugar is incorporated. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- To serve, slice the tart into 10 slices, top each with a spoonful of confit cherries and sauce. Top with almond crumble and a nice dollop of meringue. Using a blow torch, blacken the meringue. Serve and enjoy. Alternatively, you can add the cherries and meringue on top of the whole tart before slicing for more of a family-style dessert.
Note: if you’d like to prepare these as bars, use a 9x9-inch baking dish instead of a tart pan.
While the chocolate tart crust bakes and cools, you can move on to making the confit cherries. You’ll need a small saucepan. I like to spike the cherry sauce with a splash of bourbon for an added complex, caramel flavor. But you can omit the bourbon for an alcohol-free dessert.
The confit is done when the cherries are juicy and candied, and the liquid is nice and syrupy. Let the cherries cool before assembling the tart; otherwise your meringue may melt.
Chocolate Filling and Meringue Topping
Next up is the creamy chocolate filling. The base of the filing is coconut milk, and I recommend using full-fat for the best flavor and texture. Choose a nice high-quality dark chocolate to flavor the filling as well.
Finally, the icing on this cake is the whipped meringue topping. All you need are egg whites, cream of tartar and a bit of sugar to make a cloud-like covering for your gluten-free pie. Make sure you use a clean bowl, as any fat or oil will prevent the yolks from expanding. The cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites so you get a beautiful foam that holds its shape.
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