Sometimes I make food and it sucks. Or I make it and I think ‘this is not what I was hoping it would taste like’ or even better ‘How the hell did it end up tasting like THIS, I didn’t even add curry?’. One minor ingredient can be missing that you can’t quite put your finger on that you know would transform a dish. It can be frustrating to say the least. I’ve been known to make food and when it doesn’t come out right, put it in the fridge and muddle over what might be missing that could take it to the next level – for days. I liken food to music. You have the main chords – or food items- that you like to work with or put you in a certain mood, and then you have a huge range of options that add to those basic notes. Do you want bright and happy? How about a little basil. Thinking romantic? Add some sweetness. Feeling sad? Give me anything with carbohydrates!!
Food combinations are an opera but I don’t like singing every night. That’s what happened with this little baby, the chai coconut tart. I started by wanting to make chai coconut pudding. When I first tried it the texture bothered me and the taste was missing something. So I added more ingredients and blended it. I still thought it was missing something and though about it for another day. Eventually I realized that this pudding needed to be eaten WITH something else. Enter the tart. What kind of tart? Yes, well this cycle is the never-ending quest of the cook. Meddle, fix, eat, throw out, meddle, fix, eat tentatively, fix again, eat, and eventually voila! Suddenly the picture in your mind becomes the food on your plate and your taste buds go crazy.
And then sometimes you just throw pasta in a pot, mix with some oil and vinegar and whatever else may or may not be handy and call it a day.
Chai Coconut Tart
1 14oz can coconut milk
2 chai teabags
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup chia seeds
up to 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup gluten free oats
1 cup dates
- Gently heat the coconut milk in a saucepan.
- Once warm, add syrup, spices, and salt. Gently mix. Remove from heat and add the teabags. Let sit until desired chai-ness has been reached.
- Remove teabags and let cool. Once room temperature whisk in chia seeds. Put in fridge to set.
- Once set (around an hour or so) remove from fridge and add to a blender with almond milk and additional spices if you want more flavour. Blend until smooth. Put back in the fridge to set.
- Start the crust by adding oats and dates to a food processor and process until chunky and slightly sticky. Press the oat/date mixture into a mold of your choice. Place in freezer until serving.
- Before serving, remove the mold from the freezer and remove the shell from the mold. Add the pudding into the shells.
- Top with coconut cream and fresh mint, raspberries or whatever else you like!