Midnight Black Sesame Tarts
We’ve arrived! 13 hours later and we’ve touched down in beautiful sunny Vancouver. I’m still adjusting to the time change (2am wake-ups are not my status quo), but already can see why Vancouver is rated as one of the most liveable cities in the world.
Meanwhile, this week I’ve got an absolute stunner of a recipe to share with you. I have a bit of an internal rating scale for every recipe I create, and am my own harshest critic (as you might imagine). But these devilishly dark and mysterious tarts are an actual 10/10. Really. Truly. Amazing. Ridiculous. Life changing. Insane. All the over-the-top superlatives you can think of. This is one dessert I actually had to hide in the back caverns of our freezer, as Tony was devouring them so fast I was almost missing out.
Yes these magically moody Midnight Black Sesame Tarts are…
- Only 25 minutes of active make time (then into the freezer to set),
- A fabulous source of calcium, protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin E, antioxidants and healthy plant-based fats,
- Low in total sugar as well as added free sugars,
- A gorgeously unique and show-stopping dessert that will wow your guests, or bed mate, and
- Actually, my favourite dessert of 2017.
So grab yourself some tart tins (or muffins tins will do), and make these fabulous tarts. I’m craving one right now just writing this (might have to head into Vancouver now to try find myself some sort of substitute). I cannot wait for you to try them back home!
Black/white, hulled/unhulled – what’s in a jar of tahini?
If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know I love tahini. Why so popular you say? Well, tahini has this magical ability to add creaminess to a dish, both sweet and sour, which is something that most people crave after having consumed dairy by the decilitre for their whole life. When I first went plant-based, it was certainly the area I was most nervous about losing. Ice cream, cheese, yoghurt… these were some of my favourite foods! I was a feta on everything girl for sure.
There are, however, a few things you can do to recreate that creamy experience, and once you do, I think you’ll love it even more than the cow’s-boob version. These ingredients are things you’ll notice I call upon a lot in my cooking, and have very much become staples in our house – I hope they will in yours too. Cashews, coconut and almonds are all great for creating a creamy texture.
But so is tahini. The reason I love tahini over these others is (a) it’s cheap (cashews/almonds can put a dent in your wallet at times). And (b) it’s a fantabulous source of calcium, far more than you could every hope to receive in a glass of cow’s milk or pottle of yoghurt (not that the dairy producers would want us to know that). If you’d like to read more about the benefits of tahini, you can read my previous posts on it here and here. You can also see what a calcium superstar tahini is and where it ranks against other foods, in my Top 75 Sources of Plant-Based Calcium resource here.
But now we’re going advanced. Hulled/unhulled, black/white – what’s the difference? Here it is in a nutshell (or seed shell, as it were)…
- Unhulled – natural sesames in their original form, no hull removed. This means they have more calcium than other varieties, as a lot of the calcium is in the hull. You might also find this labelled as whole tahini.
- Hulled – made from sesame seeds that have had their outer hull removed. This means (a) the phytates have been removed making the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients inside more digestible by the body, and (b) the bitterness inherent in the hull (that’s the phytates again) are gone. But, the calcium score does go down- slightly.
- White – this can be hulled or unhulled, although the unhulled version does look slightly browner. Smooth, slightly sweet and often used in Middle Eastern and Japanese cooking (in hummus, that delicious Japanese sesame dressing and more). This is the type you’ll usually see in stores, and the one I usually use in recipes on the blog.
- Black – has a richer and nuttier taste than white (which in these tarts is just incredible). Black sesames are also popular in Chinese medicine, and they have a water drop shape with one round end and one pointy (noticeably different to white ones, if you look closely). Quite difficult to find, although Chantal Organics does make an amazing one and we now stock it here!
So there you have it! I don’t recommend any of these types over the other, and rather suggest a good balance of all is best in a nutrient dense diet. You might think you’re getting more calcium by choosing solely unhulled, but the presence of phytates means that, depending on your bio-individual metabolism, you may not be absorbing as much of it as you would from the phytate-free, hulled variety. So, as before, a balanced blend is best.
If you make these incredibly delicious Midnight Black Sesame Tarts, send one to me! Really, please do – I would love one right now. Tag your photos on Insta @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, and @begoodorganics in the image, so I can drool from afar. You can also share your pics over on my Facebook page under my latest post here, or leave me a comment below. If you follow me regularly, you’ll know I pick a special pic of yours to share on my pages each week, and I’d love for next week’s feature to be YOU!
Enjoy these, I know you will. We’re off to Granville Island in the morn (apparently a foodie/market mecca). I’ll report back next week!
Til then, stay happy and well.
PS If you like this recipe, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or post your recreation on Instagram. As you know, I publish all my recipes here on the blog for free, so if you could share them with your loved ones, I would be forever grateful! Also, if you’re not already subscribed to my weekly recipe emails, be sure to do that here, and don’t miss my next video by subscribing to my YouTube channel here.
Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 c almonds
- 1 c dates
- 1/2 c sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp black tahini
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 c cashews soaked 1-2 hours
- 1/2 c water
- 1/2 c coconut oil melted
- 1/4 c black tahini
- 3 tbsp sweetener brown rice syrup/coconut nectar/maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Base: Blitz the almonds, half of the sesame seeds (1/4c) and dates in a food processor until finely ground and starting to form a paste.
- Add black tahini, coconut oil, vanilla powder and sea salt and blend again until the mixture sticks together between your fingers. Add remaining sesame seeds and blend on low until combined.
- Press evenly into 6x10cm tart tins lined with biodegradable clear wrap, on the base and up the sides until they are about 5mm thick on each side. Place in the freezer to chill while making the filling.
- Filling: Blend all ingredients except the coconut oil in a high speed blender (I use this Vitamix here) until super smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Then, pour in coconut oil slowly while blending, allowing it to emulsify into the mixture.
- Remove the bases from the tins and place on a flat tray, then pour the filling evenly into each. Place in the freezer for a few hours to set, or in the fridge overnight.
- Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds and serve.
- If you don't have any black tahini handy, I also love making these tarts with the Chantal Hulled Tahini (check it out here). However, I do really recommend getting some sometime (you can order some from our online store right here), it has a lovely and unique taste that adds a beautiful depth-of-flavour to these tarts.
- To make this nut free, simply replace the almonds in the base and the cashews in the filling with sunflower seeds or watermelon seeds.
- I've use dried and activated nuts in the base here - to read more about how and why you might like to activate your own nuts and seeds, check out my blog post here. We also stock a range of activated nuts and seeds on our online store here.
- I’ve used a combo of almonds and sesame seeds in the base, for an added sesame texture and flavour. You could just use 100% almonds here if that’s easier.
- You don’t have to soak your cashews, if you don’t want to. If you have a strong blender like a Vitamix (you can get the same one I have here) they’ll blend just fine from dry. Soaking is good to remove the phytates, but there are less on cashews - and I often run out of time to do this in advance!
- As with all my recipes, this tart is only modestly sweet. If you prefer it slightly sweeter you can increase the liquid sweetener in the filling to 4 Tbsp (1/4 c).
- If your food processor isn’t that strong, you may want to blend the almonds and sesame seeds into a flour first before adding the dates.
- You can also use silicon tart tins here if you have them – super easy to remove at the end, but hard to find in the french fluted style (I just have the stainless steel ones).
- To line your tins, sprinkle a little water on the tins before putting the clear wrap on top – this helps the wrap to stick to the tin before you press in the crumbly base.
- You can actually get away with making these with a single mini tart tin – you just have to make each base and let it set for 10-15 minutes before removing and making the next. This is what I did as only had one, although having a few more to rotate them around would make it quicker!
Click below to pin!