Dessert is the part of a meal that stays in people’s minds. Let’s give them something to remember! This is what I served to 100 people at a big “come and try plant-based food” dinner last year and the feedback was great. The base includes orange zest which gives a deep citrus foundation for the more delicate mandarin toppings. There’s crystallised ginger in the chocolate filling and, to help it shine, I also add a layer of very thinly sliced ginger between the base and filling. Canned mandarin segments are easy to find at the supermarket and look pretty on top. I’ve also used freeze-dried mandarin, which is quite special if you can find it, but another option is to save the syrup from the canned mandarin and boil it down in a saucepan until it thickens, then chill and drizzle around the plate just before serving. It does the same job of giving an intense mandarin taste.
For a dinner party, you can make this a day in advance so it only takes a few minutes to serve when the time is right. Any spare portions keep well in the fridge for a few days or freeze them to enjoy later.
For the crust
|¾ cup||Raw almonds, 100g (Main)|
|½ cup||Walnuts, 50g|
|¼ cup||Unsweetened cocoa powder, 30g|
|½ ||Oranges, use the zest only|
|1 cup||Chopped dates, 125g (Main)|
|2 Tbsp||Orange juice, if needed|
|¼ cup||Crystallised ginger, thinly sliced (Main)|
For the chocolate ginger filling
|250 g||Dark chocolate, dairy free, 50-62% cacao (Main)|
|1 packet||Silken tofu, 300g, drained (Morinaga brand is ideal) (Main)|
|¾ cup||Coconut cream, I use Kara brand|
|1 tsp||Vanilla essence|
|¼ cup||Crystallised ginger (Main)|
For the toppings
|1 tub||Coconut yoghurt|
|1 can||Mandarin segments, in syrup, chilled (Main)|
|1 packet||Freeze-dried mandarin|
- To make the crust, place the almonds, walnuts, cocoa, orange zest and salt in a food processor and process to a coarse meal.
- Warm dates so they soften (20 seconds in microwave works well), then cut into thirds to find any stones. Add to processor and run until the mixture starts to clump together. If too dry, add orange juice to help it clump up.
- Press into a shallow tray approx 20 x 25cm, lined with baking paper. Cover base with baking paper then use a tin to smooth and press evenly to around 6mm thick. Lay the very thinly sliced ginger on top of the base, spreading it evenly around.
- For the filling, melt the chocolate in a small bowl resting over a saucepan of boiling water. Don't let the base of the bowl touch the water and be careful not to let any drips of water enter the bowl of chocolate.
- While the chocolate is melting, blend the silken tofu, coconut cream, vanilla essence, salt and crystallised ginger until smooth. When the chocolate is melted add it to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour on the base, spread evenly and chill for several hours until set.
- Slice into wedges and serve on a plate with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and a couple of segments of tinned mandarin. Freeze-dried mandarin is great crushed and in chunks on top if you have it.