Valentine's Day

Raspberry & White Chocolate Tart With Cocoa Crust

February  2, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by Amy Chaplin
  • Prep time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • makes One 9-inch tart
Author Notes

It’s been a challenge to keep things fresh with our loved ones over the past 11 months as the pandemic has taken over a good deal of our consciousness. But with Valentine’s day coming very soon, I was thinking that making something special might help, especially something that requires a little more attention than the weekly banana bread you’ve probably been baking. My thought was a sweet treat that’s worthy of marking an occasion—one that stops you in your tracks and makes you pause for a moment to appreciate its looks, texture, and flavor.

This tart is not only pretty, its flavors are elegant and sophisticated, and its texture is out of this world; no one would ever know that it has no dairy, eggs or gluten and consists of whole-food ingredients. You’ll also love the contrasting flavors of the rich and airy filling against the crisp, salt-kissed chocolate crust.

Often desserts made with white chocolate are cloyingly sweet thanks to the large amounts of refined white sugar that make up the creamy colored bars. Here, I’m using cacao butter, the raw plant-based fat that’s pressed out of cacao beans when making cacao powder. Cacao butter is solid at room temperature yet when warmed, it melts into a fragrant golden oil. For this recipe, I combine it with homemade almond milk, agar agar (see note), vanilla, raspberries, and a touch of maple to create a lusciously light mousse filling.

Although some of these ingredients might be new to you and require a bit of advance planning, I know the lovers in your life—even the picky ones—will adore you for it. Trust me, you’ll be rewarded greatly for any extra effort this tart requires. Happy Valentine’s day!


Agar-agar is a flavorless seaweed that is used to gel deserts. It’s often used in vegan custards and jellies in place of gelatin. It comes in the form of a bar, flakes, and powder. Here I use flakes because they are most commonly found and easy to use; they’re also not bleached like the powder often is. Agar must be simmered in liquid to dissolve first (here I use almond milk) and then chilled to set. Always check that agar flakes are completely dissolved before continuing with the recipe.

Since cacao butter comes in all shapes and sizes, it must be weighed to ensure you use the correct amount. —Amy Chaplin

Test Kitchen Notes

Whole Food Cooking is a column by our Resident Vegetarian at Large, Amy Chaplin. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Raspberry & White Chocolate Tart With Cocoa Crust
  • Gluten-Free Cocoa Crust
  • 1/4 cup (¾ oz. / 24g) gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (⅔ oz. / 20g) dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (3 ½ oz. / 100g) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 ¼ oz. / 40g) cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup (1 oz. / 30g) gluten free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz. / 30g) brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (35ml) melted extra-virgin coconut oil, plus more for oiling pan
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Raspberry & White Chocolate Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) unsweetened almond milk, preferably homemade
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons agar agar flakes
  • 225 grams (8 oz.) raw cacao butter, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (7 oz. / 200g) frozen raspberries, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (2 ½ oz. / 75g) raspberry preserves
  • 1 handful freeze-dried raspberries, for garnish
  1. Gluten-Free Cocoa Crust
  2. Heat oven to 350°F.
  3. Thoroughly oil a fluted 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom and set aside.
  4. To the bowl of a food processor, add oats and coconut and process until finely ground. Add almond flour, cocoa powder, oat flour, brown rice flour, and salt and process to combine thoroughly. Drizzle in melted coconut oil and process until the coconut oil is evenly distributed. Add maple syrup and vanilla and process until mixture forms a ball. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flours to absorb the moisture. Remove dough from food processor and squeeze together into a ball.
  5. With clean, dry hands, press crust evenly into prepared tart pan about ¼-inch thick. Prick bottom of the crust a few times with a fork and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until fragrant and edges are just starting to pull away from the sides. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  1. Raspberry & White Chocolate Filling
  2. To a small pot, add almond milk and agar flakes and whisk to combine. Bring up to a simmer over high heat, whisking constantly. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until agar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in cacao butter, cover again, and set aside for 10 minutes or until all the cacao butter has melted. Whisk well and set aside uncovered to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Spread raspberry preserves evenly over the bottom of the baked crust and set aside.
  4. Pour milk and cacao butter mixture into an upright blender. Add raspberries, maple syrup, and vanilla and blend until completely smooth, scraping sides of the blender as necessary. Pour this mixture into the baked crust and allow to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 3 hours or until completely cold and set—you can also leave it in the fridge overnight.
  5. To serve, remove the sides of the tart pan and place the tart on a plate. Add a few freeze-dried raspberries to a fine strainer. Holding the strainer over the chilled tart, rub the raspberries back and forth to create a fine dust. Repeat until the surface is covered in a light coating of raspberry dust. Slice with a clean, sharp knife and serve. Any remaining tart will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah MacDonald
    Sarah MacDonald
  • Miss_Karen
  • Katie Beeler
    Katie Beeler
  • Amy Chaplin
    Amy Chaplin
Amy Chaplin is a two-time James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and vegetarian chef. Amy's approach to cooking is inspired by nature and the healing benefits of whole food ingredients. Her recipes have been featured in T Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Vogue, among other publications. She divides her time between Brooklyn and Upstate New York.

29 Reviews

mcw88 August 22, 2021
Ooh I’m bookmarking this for future bakes, as we deal with multiple allergies in my house. This looks gorgeous and I’m excited to try!

Re: the almond flour & almond milk, is it possible to substitute regular GF flour (eg King Arthur) and an unsweetened or homemade oat milk?
Amy C. August 22, 2021
I'm not sure about gluten free flour as it has a very different consistency. If you're looking for nut free I would try tiger nut flour (not a nut but a vegetable) and I think a homemade milk of any kind would work in place of the almond milk. Hope you enjoy it!
jemimaca April 3, 2021
This is visually beautiful but the filling was not nice at all, the texture was rubbery and quite dense not a pleasant texture for the mouth. It's also quite bland. I didn't have any issues making it and am a little annoyed as I went out my way to buy the ingredients.
hannahjones March 28, 2021
Dessert is the best part of the meal, Though I'm on a diet right now, I would love to try this Tart recipe and serve it to my family after dinner thanks! I'll update you with the outcome.
Sarah M. February 14, 2021
The crust is delicious and definitely a recipe worth keeping. The filling, sadly, was terrible. The mixture seized in the blender, it came out grainy and not fluffy, and it wasn’t sweet enough. We ended up scraping out the filling (a sad waste of expensive ingredients) and repurposing the crust by filling it with gf vegan toasted coconut ice cream.
Amy C. February 16, 2021
Hi Sarah,

I'm sorry to hear that! I think it must have been a reaction with the contrasting temperatures of the cacao butter mix and the raspberries. I never had this problem when testing the recipe but someone else wrote to me saying their filling had seized...anyway if you kept the filling it can be saved by rewarming.
Janet February 13, 2021
My filling seized up after a brief time in blender. Put filling back into saucepan and reheated until smooth. I'm wondering if recipe should be corrected to avoid this problem in the future. I see from comments that I am not alone with the problem.
I successfullly subbed sorgham flour for the oat flour. Its chilling now, can't wait to taste tomorrow! With a number of celiacs in my family, I am grateful for the GF recipe.
Amy C. February 14, 2021
Please see following answer.
Janet February 13, 2021
My filling seized up after a brief time in blender. Put filling back into saucepan and reheated until smooth. I'm wondering if recipe should be corrected to avoid this problem in the future. I see from comments that I am not alone with the problem.
I successfullly subbed sorgham flour for the oat flour. Its chilling now, can't wait to taste tomorrow! With a number of celiacs in my family, I am grateful for the GF recipe.
Amy C. February 14, 2021
Yes a few people have mentioned that the mixture seized. I've never had this issue but I think it the raspberries are defrosted it should be fine. I changed the recipe to include this.
I hope the crust was good with the flour change.
azuresure February 12, 2021
i just made this - in the fridge now. i like to bake by weighing, so thank you for including that info! question - is it correct that the oat flour and rice flour are both 30g when their cup sizes are different? when making the crust and after letting it sit it was still super oily (didn't stick to my hands, but they were heavily coated in oil), i worked in a bit more flour to try + compensate a bit. I also added another TBS of maple syrup in the filling, was a little too tart for me.
Amy C. February 14, 2021
Yes the weights are correct as brown rice is heavier than oats. The crust shouldn't feel super oily but it will leave a slight film on your hands.
Hope you enjoyed it!
Miss_Karen February 11, 2021
There seems to be a LOT of requests to sub for 'normal' ingredients (not gluten free etc...)
Anastaciabrunelle February 11, 2021
I'm really looking forward to this! I only have agar powder. How much should I use? Thank you!
Amy C. February 12, 2021
It’s usually 1 tsp agar powder for evert tbs flakes. Be sure to measure carefully because the powder is strong!
[email protected] February 11, 2021
This was so satisfying to make and the finished tart is stunning! The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I left my filling out too long and it turned solid while blending, however, it was easily fixed by warming again to a pourable consistency and then blending. I also added more sweet in the base and filling, as I felt the cacao butter was too bitter for my taste buds. I like my desserts sweet! There is an error; the recipe says 100g frozen raspberries which is meant to be 200g to equal 2 cups. Thank you for the recipe. I will definitely be making this again.
Amy C. February 12, 2021
Delighted to hear! Yes the measure was corrected

Janet February 13, 2021
Thanks for the rewarming hint. Mine froze up as well, but a quick reheat in a saucepan did the trick. Wonder if others have experienced the same.
Amy C. February 14, 2021
Yes some people hd issues with the mix seizing although I've not experienced that. I changed the recipe to include defrosted raspberries.
Katie B. February 10, 2021
Would it be possible to make this with regular gelatin? I'm not worried about it being vegan or gluten free.
Amy C. February 10, 2021
You probably could but I developed the recipe using agar, I didn't substitute gelatin so not sure how you would convert or how much you'd need to set the liquid. If you do get agar it lasts years :)
smithk February 8, 2021
For the crust, do you blind bake using pie weights?
Amy C. February 9, 2021
No need to blind bake as it doesn't collapse in the oven.
It's very easy!
Claudia C. February 8, 2021
delicious to see a healthy dessert here - i want to try to make this today but dont have brown rice flour--does Amy recommend substituting that with Teff? Sorgum? Millet? Buckwheat? These are the flours in my pantry - but since i dont bake with rice flour, I am not so sure what will replicate the crisp she got!
Amy C. February 9, 2021
You could try Sorghum flour or perhaps a blend of millet and sorghum.
Let us know how it turns out!
Catherine G. February 5, 2021
Isn’t oat flour just finely ground oats?
alicia D. February 6, 2021
Amy C. February 6, 2021
Yes but it is much finer than when ground in a food processor. If you want to make your own I recommend grinding rolled oats in a electric spice grinder and then sifting it to get a true flour consistency. Some people also use high powered blenders.
Anusha J. February 2, 2021
Looks so good!