Make a decadent chocolate tart

January 11, 2008 6:05:10 PM PST
A recipe with healthy ingredients that might surprise you!

Make a decadent chocolate tart with healthy ingredients that might surprise you! Joining us today is the head chef from Raven's Restaurant in Mendocino. Please welcome barry horton.

Vegan Chocolate Tart
with Barry Horton from Raven's Restaurant In Mendocino

    Chocolate Walnut Crust
    2/3 cup chopped walnuts
    1/3 cup canola oil
    1/3 cup brown or cane sugar
    ¼ tsp. salt
    ¼ tsp. baking powder
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    1 cup flour

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together, one at a time, chopped walnuts, canola oil, sugar, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour. Blend with hands until uniform in color and texture. Assemble into the bottom of a 10-inch tart pan and then add crust, pressing firmly into pan. Bake for 14 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust.

    Vegan Chocolate Ganache Filling
    1 ¼ pounds organic silken tofu (1 plus 2/3 boxes)
    1 ¼ cups of water
    2 vanilla beans scraped, or 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    ¾ cup evaporated cane juice or sugar
    Pinch of salt
    ½ pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

    Combine tofu, water, vanilla, sugar, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed pot, breaking apart tofu with a whisk. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until liquid reduces and tofu turns a light golden color, approximately 45 minutes (to be done before we start to make the crust). Chop the bittersweet chocolate and melt it over a double broiler (we're going to put it right over the pot the tofu is in). In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, blend warm tofu mixture with melted chocolate until smooth. Pour into pre-baked chocolate walnut crusts and chill thoroughly until firm.

About Barry Horton:
Barry came to Ravens' Restaurant from the Cordon Bleu Culinary program at Portland's Western Culinary Arts Institute. Barry began his career with the restaurant as an intern, and three years later he bears the title of Head Chef -- a position he has held for a year and a half -- bringing integrity, creativity and a gentle hand to the Ravens' Restaurant.

Unlike prior interns Barry was neither a vegetarian nor a vegan - in fact he was an avid meat eater. He states that he chose to intern at the Ravens' because it "just felt right". Today, Barry is vegan and committed to creating the finest vegan cuisine for friends, family, and restaurant patrons.

Barry graduated at the top of his class from culinary school and has been growing as a chef ever since. Barry grew up in the middle of Kansas and migrated east after high school, enrolling in Johnson County Community College, where he began taking culinary classes and decided that he loved to cook.

He has since learned that a chemical-free, locally grown, plant-based diet is optimal for a long, sound, healthy life, and with this philosophy has been creating delicious, attractive, and nutritious cuisine. He has adapted his classical French culinary training to create amazing, delectable dishes for every palate. He was once told by a culinary instructor, "Never trust a skinny Chef," but this has proven to be false. Barry, who is athletic and slim, feels that the instructor should have advocated, "Always trust a healthy chef."

Web site:

Ravens' Restaurant:
Ravens' Restaurant is located within the Stanford Inn by the Sea, a charming bed and breakfast located in Mendocino, CA. The mission of Ravens' is to provide healthy organic cuisine which rivals the fare of that found in the finest Northern California restaurants. The restaurant demonstrates a commitment to preparing outstanding cuisine, supporting sustainable agriculture and organic farming, minimizing waste, and recycling all manufactured items and food wastes. They use no meat or meat products, and aim to "seduce" those often suspicious of vegetarianism by continuing to build on their reputation as an outstanding restaurant within a four diamond, AAA inn.

The following are key concepts behind Ravens' philosophy:

  • Local - Dishes based on locally harvested products -- from seaweed to morels.
  • Organic - Most produce is from regional organic growers or from the Stanford Inn's own California Certified Organic Farm.
  • Conscious - Vegetarian and Vegan cuisine. Products carefully selected to support sustainability.
  • Regard for the Land - Wine list comprised primarily of wines produces from certified organic vineyards or those using sustainable, traditional farming practices, including biodynamic.
  • Recycling - All food wastes are composted and the compost dug back into garden beds. All glass papers, cardboard are sent to recycling.

    Ravens' Restaurant is independently owned and lovingly cared for by Jeff and Joan Stanford.