I love all things chocolate orange. If you do too, then this tart is definitely for you.
This delicious chocolate orange tart is just right in so many ways... lush, creamy, velvety smooth, rich, chocolatey, and so immensely flavorful.
With swirly layers that hint of lovely orange notes, a hefty dose of rich and deep chocolate, and a hazelnutty crust that complements the chocolate orange flavors so well -- this one is sure to impress. The crunchy cacao nibs topping are the "cherry on top", for good measure :)
If you're into the orange and chocolate flavor pairing, you might also like these treats from the blog archive as well:
Before you dive in to this chocolate orange tart... here are a few recipe notes and substitution tips:
- Be sure to read the nut soaking instructions in the recipe notes for the cashews... And also please make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before getting started (otherwise you'll run into trouble!).
- The orange extract is optional. I already had it on hand and felt it amplified the orange flavor nicely here, however you can also make this without it (in that case I'd use a lot more orange zest). It might not be as "orangey" in that case, but it will still be delicious.
- Cacao butter is made from cocoa bean. I used it here in place of coconut oil (which is typically used to thicken and solidify raw treats), and it gives the tart a much richer and deeper chocolate flavor. If you can't find it, you can use unscented coconut oil as a close substitute.
- If you're intimidated by making swirls, you can just make this a 2 layer tart instead. But swirls are super easy and messy swirls are totally acceptable -- I hope you give them a try :)
- You can use other nuts in place of hazelnuts for the crust if you prefer. Almonds, walnuts, or pecans would work great.
- Cacao nibs topping is totally optional, but adds a nice crunchy chocolatey effect and provides a bit of a bitter-sweet contrast in the tart's flavors.
- If you prefer to make it without dates in the crust, just increase the amount of maple syrup and cacao butter a little.
- You can use regular cocoa powder instead of raw cacao powder if you prefer, but I think the raw cacao powder gave this a better flavor.
- If you don't have a 7" tart pan, you can make this in a 6" springform pan instead. Also, just a quick note that my tart pan has taller edges. Some of the ones I've been seeing for sale the last few years have much shorter edges, so they might fit a bit less in them as a result -- if you're fining that's the case, simply put some of the extra contents in freezer-safe ramekins and enjoy as a mini treat on the side. And lastly, if you need to size the recipe up or down, see the downloadable cake multiplication guide at the bottom of this page.
- Note that if you have a newer wide pitcher power blender you might need to double the recipe to get enough contents to blend things through properly (I use an older tall profile Vitamix and it works great for this recipe).
A deliciously lush and flavorful no-bake chocolate orange tart. Raw vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free.
*Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before getting started
- 1 ¼ cup hazelnuts
- 6 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp melted cacao butter
Orange Filling Layer
- ¾ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained*
- zest of ½ an orange
- 4 tbsp orange juice, room temp
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp melted cacao butter
- 1 tsp pure orange extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/16 tsp turmeric powder
Chocolate Filling Layer
- ⅓ of the orange filling layer
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp melted cacao butter
- a few handfuls cacao nibs
1. Process the hazelnuts into a very fine crumble in a food processor. Add all remaining crust ingredients and process to combine. Transfer this mixture into a 7" tart pan with a removable bottom, and press down into a thin even crust all along the base and edges. Set aside.
2. Blend all orange layer filling ingredients in a power blender until completely smooth. Remove ⅔ of this mixture out of the blender and set aside.
3. Add all chocolate layer filling ingredients to the remaining mixture in the blender, and blend until smooth.
4. Pour or spoon in a bit of the chocolate mixture into the center of the crust in the pan, then pour / spoon in some of the orange mixture into the center of the chocolate mixture. Repeat the process, alternating between the two mixtures until you use them both up. Tap the pan on the counter lightly to smooth out the mixture. You can use a skewer to swirl the two layers together lightly. Sprinkle with cacao nibs around the edges.
5. Freeze the pan for 5-6 hours or overnight, then thaw out very slightly, slice and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.**
*To pre-soak nuts: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Additional Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
**Storage notes: treat this tart like an ice cream dessert. Keep it frozen at all times until ready to eat, and freeze any leftovers. If left too long at room temperature it will begin to melt back into the consistency it was in the blender.