The cayenne pepper adds ‘warmth’ and intensifies the flavour of the filling, rather than adding spiciness to this rich chocolate tart.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (84 votes)


  • edible gold leaf and edible gold dust (optional), to serve

Choc-coconut and almond crust

  • 200 g (2 cups) almond meal
  • 50 g (½ cup) raw cacao powder (see Notes)
  • 1½ tbsp cacao nibs
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) melted coconut oil
  • 90 ml pure maple syrup (or any natural nectar such as rice malt syrup or coconut nectar)
  • 50 g high-quality dark vegan chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), melted

Dark chocolate and coconut fudge filling

  • 400 g high-quality dark vegan chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 400 ml coconut cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ tsp cayenne or chilli powder
  • pinch sea salt flakes
  • 100 ml pure maple syrup or any natural nectar, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 1 hour

Chilling time: 2 hours

  1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 25-cm round fluted tart tin with removable base. Place the almond meal, cacao powder, cacao nibs, coconut oil and maple syrup into a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together - the dough should clump together when squeezed with your fingers.
  2. Transfer the pastry to the greased tin. Using your fingers or the back of a metal soup spoon, press the dough evenly into the base and up sides of the tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust has firmed. Transfer to a wire rack and stand for 1 hour or completely cooled. 
  3. Using a pastry brush, apply a coat of melted chocolate evenly over the inside of your tart shell. Once set, the chocolate will act as a shield against any moisture, keeping your tart shell nice and crisp!
  4. For the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut cream, vanilla extract and cayenne powder to a gentle boil. Carefully pour the hot coconut cream mixture over the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute or until melted. Using a hand-held whisk, beat until smooth and creamy. Whisk in a pinch of sea salt and the maple syrup to taste. Stand to cool until thickened and no longer hot to touch.
  5. Pour the fudge filling into cooled tart shell until it comes almost level to the top of the crust. Gently spin the tart tin or tap on the outer rim of the tin to level the top of your filling. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set. Decorate with gold leaf sheet and dust if desired.



Raw cacao powder is deeper in taste than cocoa powder but for this recipe you could use either.

Store any left-over filling in the refrigerator and serve warm poured over ice-cream.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.


Photography by Adam Liaw.