Salted caramel chocolate tarts are possibly the easiest make-ahead dessert to serve during the busy holiday season. A good glug of vegan Bailey’s makes these tarts extra special!
This past week, I finally reached freedom. After a week and a half gap between exams, I finally went to write my last one on Tuesday. Christmas kinda crept up on me as I dragged my unmotivated body through exam season. I was super excited about Christmas in November, then it kinda subsided when my mind was like “pay attention to what you’re studying!” I kid you not, I walk out of my last final and BAM! The entire campus is covered in a blanket of white snow. It’s like Mother Nature is saying “CONGRATS! CHRISTMAS IS HERE!”
Someone please explain how it is already December 23rd. Meanwhile I’ll be over here eating salted caramel chocolate tarts because yes, it’s time we celebrate.
Tuesday was actually the weirdest. When I got to campus at 8am, it was just raining. Plain ol’ Vancouver rain. During the one hour and fifteen minutes I was in a lecture hall bubbling in scantron sheets and scribbling down gibberish about primates and their preference for red faces, the temperature decided to dip below zero and transform the city into a winter wonderland. I walked out of the room and literally muttered “what the heck?!”. Okay, maybe it wasn’t all that wonderful for everyone because the roads were absolute chaos since bus after bus got stuck and blocked one, and sometimes two, lanes of traffic. I laugh every year when the city and the transportation companies make statements like “we are fully prepared for the snow” and then 2 inches of snow causes mass traffic jams and exams to be cancelled (so glad mine was in the morning). Oh Vancouver, you are so dramatic.
Usually, the story would go along the lines of me complaining about how the transit sucks and how it took me forever to get home. It did take me much longer than usual to get home but since I got a vegan donut for lunch and exams were finally over, I was in an excellent mood. The soaked sneakers, frozen toes, and crawling bus ride was worth every bite of that stuffed eggnog donut; I engulfed it in under three minutes on the bus. I had a Chew moment and wanted a second one the moment I swallowed the last bite. (Side story for context: We have a favourite local sushi restaurant and Chew loves it because it’s one of the few places that have natto. Every time she starts wishing for more natto rolls before she even finishes the ones in front of her.)
Later that evening, I took my dad to the theater to watch The Last Jedi. It’s become our tradition to watch it together during the holidays, as the past three films have been conveniently released in December. As the snow continued to fall like feathers from the sky, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to go. Luckily road conditions cleared up as the snow turned into slush and boy was I glad we made it. I nearly fell asleep during the string of commercials but the entire movie was so engaging. I could feel myself forgetting to swallow because I was so enthralled. I grew up with an older brother so in some ways I’m kinda geeky; I played with Lego more than Barbies, loved all things Mario, and watched all the Star Wars episodes on repeat growing up. I won’t spoil the ending for those that have yet to see The Last Jedi, but I’d say the ending is fairly satisfactory. Not all conflicts are resolved but they’re going to continue milking it and there are already two more upcoming films. I do like how they pick up exactly where they end off. It’s the worst when you wonder “what next?!” and never get an answer. I also appreciate how they made the movie a bit more lighthearted with some jokes here and there.
So that kind of brings you up to speed about the happenings of my life. Now about these luscious salted caramel chocolate tarts. That are vegan, make-ahead, and have a generous dose of Bailey’s. I don’t usually drink alcohol but I do love it in desserts!
With the help of store-bought tart shells, these tarts can be prepared in 3 steps! First, bake the shells until their golden brown and cooked through. While that’s baking, make the ganache in a saucepan on the stove and blend the caramel in a small food processor. Fill your tart shells and refrigerate overnight so the ganache can set. I was naughty and didn’t wait long enough before cutting one open for a photo. But if you’re a fan of molten chocolate desserts, eating them chilled for an hour or two is, without doubt, still delicious.
Any leftover ganache can be turned into a decadent hot chocolate! Heat it up with some non-dairy milk and viola, gourmet homemade hot chocolate! Perfect for dipping cookies into 😉
This is our last Christmas recipe of the year and we hope ya’ll have a very merry Christmas with lots of laughter and hearty foods. If you make any of our recipes, please tag us @radiantrachels on Instagram and Facebook! We will be back in a week for one more party recipe before we jump into some awesome vegan meal prep plans in January.
- ¾ cup pitted dates
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 3 tbsp Bailey's Almande
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- Almond milk, as needed
- ¾ cup full fat coconut milk
- 6 oz. chopped vegan chocolate (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
- 6 tbsp Bailey's Almande
- 12 vegan tart shells, baked according to package directions
- CARAMEL: In a food processor, blend all caramel ingredients until smooth, adding almond milk as needed to assist blending.
- GANACHE: In a small saucepan, heat all ganache ingredients until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth.
- ASSEMBLY: Spoon about 1 tbsp of caramel into each pre-baked tart shell and pour chocolate ganache over the caramel until it reaches the rim. Chill tarts in the refrigerator for a few hours until ganache has set. Serve chilled from the fridge.