After yet another heat wave, we have been spending way too much time indoors. We will attempt to go out in the morning when it’s cooler but when it’s most needed, around the late afternoon, it’s just too hot. I think it wouldn’t be as bad if we had better access to trees and shade, but our backyard is mostly concrete and our local park has very little shade.
That got me to thinking about all the places I could take Dominik to play in nature. We have a few areas with trails nearby, but I’m weary to let him run too far from me because of the risk of rattlesnakes, not to mention man made risks like broken glass and cigarette butts that my local parks accumulate. Even my neighborhood parks are dangerously close to a busy street. So far, the best local place I have found for my toddler to run free is the beach.
While we have been hiding from the heat at home, we have been enjoying some late summer fruit. I try to introduce Dominik to as much seasonal produce as I can find, hoping to feed into his love of food and avoid pickiness. Figs have been a huge hit so far.
I decided to have some fun with the extra figs that I bought so I made mini tarts. Figs are such a beautiful and interesting fruit so the goal was to really showcase that while creating a tart that complimented their delicately sweet flavor. The rich and slightly spicy chocolate filling did the job perfectly. These tarts are not only gorgeous, but delicious too!
Spiced Chocolate Tart With Fresh Figs
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter or cold coconut oil
- 1/4 cold water
- 2 tsp cinnamon, split into 1 tsp portions
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- 9 oz bittersweet, dairy free chocolate chips
- 6-8 fresh figs
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the pastry dough: mix together the flour, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut the butter/oil into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the water a little at a time until the dough comes together. Chill to keep the fat from melting.
- Roll the dough out and cut into about 3 inch rounds. Press each circle into a lined or greased muffin pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. *To prevent the tarts from rising in the middle, put a muffin liner filled with rice over each tart.
- Let the tart shells cool while the filling is prepared. For the filling, heat the coconut milk in a saucepan until just simmering. Pour the chocolate chips into a large bowl and add the hot milk and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon along with the cayenne pepper. Stir well until the chocolate is melted. Pour into each tart shell and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until the filling is set.
- Slice the figs and place each slice on top of a tart. Enjoy!