Recently, I’ve been working on developing very light, very mildly sweetened, mousse-like dessert recipes for the new cookbook, and this White Chocolate Blood Orange Mousse Tart is an example of my experiments. I have a weakness for anything soufflé or custard-like, and I’ve grown quite sensitive to the overly sweet treats that monopolize our world, so this tart turned out to be the dessert of my dreams.
It’s blood orange season and I can never miss the opportunity to take advantage of the fruit’s photogenic nature. In addition, I just got my hands on a fresh batch of the most fragrant raw cacao butter. Being that orange and cacao is one of the most heavenly pairings known to man, I had to combine the two.
Irish moss will always be my number one thickener of choice, but because it’s so difficult to find for so many readers, I’ve decided to familiarize myself with the more widely available option – agar-agar. Agar is another sea vegetable based thickener, available in most health food stores, and I use it in this recipe to achieve a mousse-like consistency.
The texture of the mousse is very light and airy, accompanied by the intoxicating aroma of cocoa and subtle notes of citrus. Blood orange juice contributes the most gentle pale pink color, one that makes me stop and stare for a little too long. You’ll love the crust as well – it’s tender, buttery (with no addition of butter), and thin – all to go along with the delicate nature of the filling. Enjoy!
White Chocolate Blood Orange Mousse Tart
makes 1 9-inch tart
1) I highly recommend using homemade almond milk here, as it is one of the few and main ingredients. Homemade almond milk is much creamier than its store-bought counterparts, and the creaminess is important to the texture of the mousse.
2) You can choose to omit the crust and serve the filling on its own, distributed between ramekins, as shown in the photo above.
for the crust
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
3-4 tablespoons ice cold water, divided
1/2 cup coconut oil – cold and solid, plus more for oiling the springform – at room temperature
3/4 cup oat flour (I use ground rolled oats)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
pinch sea salt
for the filling
3 cups homemade almond milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons agar-agar flakes (I like these)
2 1/2 oz raw cocoa butter – shredded
zest of 2 blood oranges
1 cup blood orange juice
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract – optional
to make the crust
1. Combine chia and 1 tablespoon cold water into a paste in a small bowl, keep refrigerated. Prepare a 9-inch springform by covering the bottom with parchment paper and generously oiling the parchment and the sides of the form with coconut oil.
2. Combine all the flours, coconut sugar and salt in a food processor, pulse to mix. Add refrigerated chia paste, pulse to incorporate. Cut coconut oil into cubes, add to the flours and keep pulsing until the mixture resembles sand.
3. Add 2 tablespoons cold water and process until the mixture comes together when pressed with fingers. Add 1 more tablespoon of water if necessary. Take care to not overproces.
4. Press the crust mixture against the bottom and sides of the form evenly, leaving about 1/2 inch of the sides uncovered at the top. The crust will be very thin to be to compliment the airy and delicate blood orange mousse. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. After 30 minutes in the fridge, cover the crust with parchment paper, weight it down with baking beans and blind bake crust for 20 minutes. Remove beans and paper and bake for another 15 minutes, until golden. Let cool.
to make the filling
1. Combine almond milk, maple syrup, salt and agar-agar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Lower heat to a slow simmer and cook partially covered for 5 minutes, whisking periodically, until agar flakes dissolve.
2. Remove from heat and add shredded cacao butter. Cover and let melt for about 5 minutes.
3. Add milk and cacao mixture to a blender, together with blood orange juice and vanilla. Blend to combine, for about 20 seconds. Taste and add more maple syrup, if needed. Add orange zest and pulse a few times.
4. Pour the mixture into a large heat proof bowl and let cool for about 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. When cool, pour mixture into the baked crust and refrigerate until completely set.
5. Carefully remove the spring form. Decorate tart with orange slices and/or zest. Slice one piece of the tart at a a time and serve immediately.