POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 01:40 p.m. HST, Dec 19, 2013
I'm one of those people who turns on the oven on a summery afternoon because I have a whim to make pizza from scratch. By the time friends are crammed into the house and eating, my kitchen feels like it's 550 degrees. Occasionally I come to my senses and try to think of how I can eat simple, no-heat-required food during the summer, like salad, Popsicles, fresh fruit and cold cuts with cheese.
My undoing of such commitments is my itch for baking. I find baking to be calming and thrilling all at once while I measure, sift and stir. How does one bake without turning on an oven?
After a streak of baking and sweat-wiping, I remembered the ease of a nut crust. These are a relief from tart crusts, which are somewhat temperamental, requiring pie weights and cooling times. From there I reinvented the island classic chocolate haupia pie to a vegan, gluten-free tart, all with my stove off. I suspect this could be easily made into a raw dessert with a cocoa powder substitution.
A few notes: Coconut butter includes the meat of the coconut, so don't try to substitute with coconut oil. For the coconut whipped cream, you'll need to refrigerate the can for 24 hours first, so it does take some thinking ahead, or you could just always keep a can in the fridge, because who doesn't need instant access to coconut whipped cream?
CHOCOLATE HAUPIA TART
» Nut crust:
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup and 2 tablespoons macadamia nuts, unsalted
2 dates, pitted
2 teaspoons coconut butter
2 pinches sea salt
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (vegan and gluten-free, if desired)
1/4 cup coconut butter
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
» Coconut whipped cream:
Solid coconut cream from 1 can coconut milk, chilled
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
To make crust: Rub tart pan with a little coconut oil.
In food processor, add mac nuts, dates, coconut butter and sea salt. Process using 1-second pulses until pieces are fine and starting to clump together, about 20 pulses. Avoid overprocessing, which will turn crust into butter; it should just hold together briefly.
Press crust into 8-inch tart pan or pie pan. It will just barely come up the bottom edges of pan. Refrigerate about 1 hour (or freeze it 30 minutes).
For filling, soak dates in hot water for about 10 minutes to help aid in removal of the skin. (This is optional, but skin sometimes creates an unpleasant texture in an otherwise smooth filling.) Peel off date skin and remove pits; discard.
Open can of coconut milk carefully, trying not to mix cream and liquid. Scoop out hardened cream from top of the can. Reserve in refrigerator for coconut whipped cream.
Pour rest of can into food processor; add chocolate chips, coconut butter, dates and sea salt. Process until chips are processed well and smooth. This will take a few minutes; sound will change as it processes. Stop a few times and scrape down inside of bowl. Texture should be smooth, creamy and somewhat thickened.
Pour filling into crust and freeze 20 minutes to set, then store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Make coconut whipped cream right before serving: With mixer, whip coconut cream and powdered sugar until billowy. Serve on the side or spread on top of tart. Cut with sharp knife. Serves 10 to 12.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving (based on 10 servings and 14-ounce cans of coconut milk and coconut cream): 450 calories, 34 g fat, 21 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 32 g sugar, 3 g protein
Mariko Jackson blogs about family and food at www.thelittlefoodie.com.