I should not be invited to dinner parties, birthday parties, housewarming parties, or any other variety of soiree, really. Not because I’m a terribly awkward conversationalist, although that is also true. No, the reason you don’t want me is because I will undoubtedly arrive with a dessert that has already been cut into, has been partially eaten, or, worse, is the failed first recipe attempt.
(The same is true even if I am the one hosting the party, but it seems less rude to have sliced and photographed a cake in my own house than it is to arrive with the dilapidated remains of a once-beautiful dessert.)
The worst thing about dinner parties is that everyone has different tastes, preferences, and allergies and you are trying to accommodate all of them. I have close to zero food aversions (no tripe, please), so it is hard for me to switch gears and think, “Okay, so-and-so is vegan/gluten-free/allergic to bananas, so I can’t make [insert my preferred dessert here].”
But when I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner, I had to do just that. And on a day that I was already doing a million things, so I didn’t have time to think things through that much. And I definitely didn’t have time to go to the store, so I decided I would put something together with just the ingredients in my house at that moment… and it had to be gluten-free.
I am not a gluten-free expert. I’m sure my GF friend could have come up with a way better crust recipe. But I had macadamia nuts on hand, so that’s what I used. My friend said the crust was “intense,” which means she hated it, but I didn’t mind it. It did have a strong macadamia flavor, though, so be warned. Perhaps a milder nut, like almond, would be less offensive.
So why is this tart lazy? Because you can put it together relatively quickly in the morning, pop it in the fridge, then go to work and come home to dessert that is party-ready. And it is DIY because you can switch this recipe up with any nut and/or cookie in the crust, and make the filling any flavor with liqueurs or extracts. Customize it to your friends’ tastes/dietary needs! I used a rectangular tart pan, but this will fit into a round tart pan, too. Or even a pie pan, if you don’t have a tart pan. YOU DO YOU.
Vegans can try this version of the tart, which happens to also be no-bake and gluten-free. The recipe I made here is a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart with Macadamia Crust. It is gluten-free, but decidedly not vegan.
Here’s the basic format if you want to experiment:
1. Process 2 cups of nuts or cookies (e.g. Oreos, gingersnaps, amaretti cookies) into a fine consistency.
2. If using nuts, add ¼ to ½ cup confectioners’ sugar to sweeten things up.
3. Add 4-8 tablespoons melted butter and pulse until the crust holds together.
4. Press into a tart or pie pan and chill for 10-15 minutes.
5. Bake crust for 15 minutes at 350°F.
6. Bring 1 cup heavy cream to a simmer, then pour it over 8 ounces of chopped chocolate. Let it rest for 1 minute, then whisk it to combine.
7. Add desired liqueur/extract to ganache.
8. Pour ganache into tart shell.
9. Refrigerate tart for a few hours, until the ganache sets up.
10. Top with nuts/fruit/whatever/nothing, slice, and serve.
- 2 cups (250 grams) macadamia nuts
- ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup (60 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces (225 grams) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup (240 mL) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
- Raspberries for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add nuts to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add confectioners' sugar and pulse until combined. Drizzle in melted butter and pulse until mixture comes together.
- Press into a tart pan, poke holes in the bottom with a fork, and freeze the pan for 10-15 minutes. (You can chop your chocolate while the crust is chilling, to make the best use of your time.)
- When crust has chilled, place it on a baking sheet on the center rack of your oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust slightly golden in color and no longer shiny on the surface, then move to a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, place chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and add cream to a medium saucepan. Bring cream to a simmer over medium heat. Pour hot cream over the chocolate, let rest for 1 minute, then whisk together until combined. Whisk in liqueur.
- Pour chocolate mixture into the tart shell until it is almost to the top (the tart shell doesn't need to be cooled first). Carefully transfer the pan to the refrigerator to set up, at least 3 hours. When tart is chilled and set up, garnish with raspberries, if desired.