Coconut Chocolate Tart


This different coconut tart recipe has an interesting texture from a dense layer of chocolate truffle on the bottom, light coconut cream in the middle and crunchy toasted coconut on top. It’s a creation that I had originally come up with for a luncheon I was attending. I fine tuned it for the week’s holiday meal with my family, and it’s a perfect addition to your Easter Dinner table.

Thanks to my Aunt Josephine, who was the inspiration for my starting this blog, I have a wonderfully diverse family. Her second husband Ed, had three children of his own, and along with them came their Jewish heritage and traditions. None of us are particularly religious, but we certainly have made the most of the holidays. Really it’s any excuse to gather around long tables, and indulge in delicious foods.

We celebrated this year at the home of my Cousin Patty and her intended Jay. Last year we celebrated “East-over” since the two holidays were right on top of each other. This year it was “Pre-Passover” since we gathered on Sunday, the day before the official start of passover. So you can see that we don’t hold too closely to the the rules. However, it should be shared that we did all read through the Seder stories, dipped parsley into salted water, ate our share of charoset and hid the afikomen. All the “kids” are well into legal adulthood, but the chase to find the hidden matzoh caused quite the ruckus.  The whole day was filled with love and laugher and ease and family, for which I feel blessed.

Both sides of my family are chock full of foodies, both professionally and non, which makes these get togethers tremendous fun and ridiculously delicious. For instance, my “soon to be official” Cousin Scott, is presently working on a new restaurant in Hudson, NY called Fish & Game, which is opening in a few weeks. The restaurant is focused on locally sourced ingredients, and the menu incorporates a nose-to-tail approach to the animals procured. Listening to him talk about the build out of the kitchen and the research involved in finding local, organic and biodynamic wines, is what keeps us perched at the dinner table. I can tell you it all sounds (and looks) incredible. {I promise you that once they are open I’ll be taken a drive up there to dine- then I’ll be back to tell you about it.}

As an ex-baker it’s not surprising that I choose to make dessert for my contribution, but I rarely opt for a layer cake. I mean, after cracking about a gazillion eggs in my life it’s far more appealing to turn flour, butter and sugar into other sweet treats- hence this tart.

When I started to think about this dessert my criteria was to have something somewhat decadent, but not too over the top- because believe it or not, summer IS coming and the time has come to shed one’s, shall we say… winter coat(ing). Nonetheless, I wanted something tasty, not leavened, pretty and different.

The tart gets most of it’s sweetness from the crust and the chocolate. The filling and coconut topping are much lower in sugar which is a very interesting taste sensation when you eat it. So many things happen in your mouth. Gritty graham cracker crust, dense sweet chocolate, delicate soft coconut cream with a slight crunch of aromatic coconut at the end.

To be honest it’s a little time consuming to make since it’s made in stages- but there is no great pastry skill involved here- so plan ahead and give it a whirl.

coconut tart, chocolate coconut tart, light coconut tart, easter dessert

Chocolate Coconut Tart

Each layer of this tart is prepared in stages. The total time is about 2 hours. If you prefer you can make the crust and chocolate layer ahead of time and finish the cream filling later.

makes one 9″ tart that serves 8-10, or 4 4″ tartlets

12 sheets graham crackers

.75cup of sugar

6 T melted butter

pinch of salt

8oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

.75c heavy cream

2c lite coconut milk, unsweetened (not cream)about a can and a half

3T sugar

1.5 T unflavored gelatin

6 T cool water

1c shredded, unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350˚ 

In a food processor, pulse the crackers to a rough crumb, add the sugar, butter and salt and process to a damp sandy mixture.

Spoon the mixture into your preferred tart pans and press firmly and evenly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until browned. Remove and set aside.

While the shell is baking prepare the chocolate ganache. Place the chopped chocolate into a medium sized bowl. Warm the cream until it’s hot but not boiling- microwave is fine- about 45 seconds.

Combine the cream with the chocolate and stir smooth. This is thinner than a traditional ganache so that it won’t be too stiff in the chilled tart.

When the shell is cooled, pour the chocolate into the bottom and spread evenly. Important* place the chocolate laced shell into the freezer and chill well. About 15 minutes, the colder the better.

To prepare the coconut filling, reserve .5 cup of coconut milk in a heatproof bowl. In a separate small bowl combine the water and the gelatin and combine well. Let the gel sit for 3 minutes to bloom. Meanwhile warm the remaining coconut milk and stir in the sugar until dissolved. 

Scoop the gelatin into the reserved coconut milk and warm until the gelatin is melted but not boiling. Then stir into the warm milk/sugar mixture.

Carefully pour the milky mixture into the tart shell. It will be very soupy and may soak the crust. Don’t worry about that, it will be fine, I promise.

Carefully place into the fridge until the filling is set, about an hour, maybe more, depending on how cool your fridge is.

To finish, toast the coconut in a dry skillet, then spoon over the tart.

Keep the tart cold until ready to serve.


  1. It was so much fun to see our holi-day written up in your fabulous blog. I’m gonna send links to the other foodies in the fam. So great catching up with you and the kids. I look forward to hanging with you again and blogging when that’s all we have. (You’ll be so far away) We really have to vacation with our “others” in New Orleans as a side trip after you move. And the flan (my all time fave) and the gorgeous Chocolate Coconut Tart satisfied my sweet tooth in every way. Thanks for coming and for the culinary delights. Love Patty