This post was created in partnership with Nuts.com.
My love affair with the combination of matcha and sesame seeds started when I made these Black Sesame Matcha Rolls three years ago (has it really been that long?). They are still one of my favorite desserts out of the ones I’ve come up with. When Nuts.com, the bulk goods online one-stop shop that I love dearly, sent me their matcha to try out, I knew I wanted to revisit that magical combo. I took a glance at the dessert section in our recipe index and realized that we haven’t posted a tart recipe in a while. I love making tarts, so coming up with the recipe for this Chocolate Matcha Tart with a Sesame Crust was some of the most fun I’ve had in the kitchen in a while.
I’m one of those people who has to be really careful with caffeine, which is a shame because I love the taste and ritual of coffee and tea. Coffee is a definite no for me, as it turns me into an anxious, jittery, insomniac mess in no time. Black tea is a little better, but I can only drink it in the morning, since drinking it any later will most definitely interfere with my sleep, and I do feel a crash from it in the middle of the day. Well recently, I was so happy and very surprised to learn that good quality matcha is the best kind of caffeine for my body. I’ve always been very cautious with matcha, since it’s actual green tea leaf powder, and contains amounts of caffeine that usually have me tossing and turning all night. Miraculously, that’s not the case with the antioxidant-rich, brilliant green powder. Matcha manages to give me that euphoric feeling that most people get from coffee (which I never get from coffee), but it’s not followed by any anxiety or jitters. It also gives me a long, sustained amount of energy, puts me in a happy mood for the rest of the day, and doesn’t seem to mess with my sleep. I can still only drink it in the morning, but I’m so happy to discover that enjoying a matcha latte a few times a week is ok for my (sometimes annoyingly) sensitive system.
Besides mood-elevating morning potions, matcha works really well in desserts. It has a grassy, clean flavor, which tastes delicious when combined with a bit of sweetness. It’s also amazing when paired with chocolate – the two are seriously a match made in heaven. So, this tart: imagine a buttery, slightly chewy sesame seed crust with velvety, cacao butter and cashew-based chocolate and matcha layers on top. It’s sophisticated and feels decadent, but is made with wholesome and powerful, plant-based ingredients.
I mentioned earlier that the matcha for this recipe came from Nuts.com, but actually, all the ingredients for this recipe came from them, because they pretty much carry everything you could ever dream of. If you like to cook and haven’t visited their website yet, you are in for some serious fun. It’s a playground for anyone interested in cooking and snacking, and the quality of their ingredients is hard to beat.
I hope you’ll give this one a try!
- 1 tablespoon neutral coconut oil, plus more for oiling the tart pan
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 cup hulled or unhulled sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 tablespoons sesame tahini
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¾ cup cashews - soaked for 2-4 hours in purified water
- 1½ cups hot unsweetened almond milk or other plant milk
- 1 cup (100 g) shredded raw cacao butter (I shred it with a knife)
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons neutral coconut oil
- 1½ - 2 tablespoons matcha powder (adjust this amount according to the type of matcha you have and/or your taste)
- handful of spinach leaves (optional, for color)
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder, or more to taste
- Prepare a non-stick 10-inch tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom) by oiling it thoroughly with coconut oil.
- Place the oats, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, cocoa and salt into a food processor, and process until broken down into a meal.
- Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the food processor, along with the tahini and maple syrup, and continue to process until well mixed and the mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
- Press the crust mixture into the prepared tart pan, distributing it over the bottom and sides of the pan in an even layer. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° F(180° C).
- When chilled, prick the crust with a fork several times, place the tart pan onto a baking tray, and slide it into the oven. Bake the crust for 20 minutes and let it cool well before filling.
- Drain and rinse the cashews and add then to an upright blender (preferably a high-speed one), along with the hot almond milk, cacao butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and matcha powder. Blend until smooth. Taste for sweetness and matcha flavor, and adjust if needed. Add the spinach leaves, if using, and blend until smooth once again. Pour half of the contents of the blender into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the cacao powder to the blender with the rest of the mixture and blend until incorporated. Taste for sweetness and chocolatey-ness and adjust if desired. Reserve a couple of tablespoons of the chocolate mixture for creating chocolate swirls on top of the tart. Pour the rest of the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust. Place the tart in the freezer to set for about 10 minutes.
- Once the chocolate layer is set, pour the remaining matcha filling over the chocolate layer. Carefully drizzle the reserved chocolate mixture on top of the matcha layer and use a toothpick or chopstick to create swirls. Refrigerate the tart until completely set, for about 4 hours or overnight.
- If you used a removable bottom tart pan, remove the tart from the pan onto a cutting board, slice and serve. Keep refrigerated.