I feel green is the new pink.
My no-bake vegan matcha tart may not have the colors of love, but the feeling it evokes is undeniably the same. With one velvety, luscious bite, the smile threatens to meet the ears, and a warm, tingly fills the pit of the stomach.
And oh, the tart is as euphoric as love. So, while it may not seem like the dessert for Valentine’s Day, it definitely is – particularly if your palate prefers no-bake, refined-sugar-free, dairy-free treats.
But if you’re a stickler for rules, go ahead and chop some strawberries on top of the tart to bring in hues of red.
What is matcha?
I’ve made plenty of baked and no-bake tarts. But this was my maiden voyage with matcha, which is a Chinese green tea that is processed into a fine powder.
The name roughly means ground or rubbed tea because the leaves are stone-ground. Its nutritional benefits are potent as it’s packed with antioxidants. It also has more theanine than other tea varieties. It’s the amino acid that keeps you stimulated without making you hyper.
How to make vegan matcha tart?
The recipe is simple and asks for no effort on your part, except for a tad bit of pre-planning when it comes to the filling. You can make one big tart in a 6-inch pan or follow my path and make four small ones in 3-inch pans.
Step 1: Make the tart base.
- Pulse rolled oats, dates, walnuts, coconut oil, and cocoa powder till you have a sticky mixture.
- I also added a touch of cinnamon powder because I adore the natural sweetness of the spice.
- Taste the mixture and add more dates if you feel it isn’t sufficiently sweet.
- Pat the mixture evenly on your pan and refrigerate for an hour for the crust to set.
To make the dates soft, please soak them in warm water beforehand for 5-10 minutes.
If the mixture is too dry, add more coconut oil to it. I always preserve the water the dates were soaked in and use it instead of oil. Pour a teaspoon at a time to get the right consistency.
Take your time when patting the crust on the pan. I didn’t and suffered for my impatience with an uneven pie crust.
Prepare the filling
While the tart base is setting in the refrigerator, get on to the filling. Here’s where the pre-planning comes into play. You need to soak cashews overnight. Why? Because it makes them super soft and ultra-creamy.
Everything soaked cashews touch turns luxurious. I’ve experienced it before with my Cherry Lemon Cheesecake, and nothing else compares. That’s why I recommend an overnight soak.
If you’re short on time, soak them in hot water for at least an hour. Then drain and rinse them thoroughly.
- Blend the cashews with matcha powder, maple syrup, homemade vanilla extract, and coconut milk till it’s smooth.
- Add in agar-agar, the vegan substitute of gelatin, and then pulse again until the mixture is utterly silken.
- Do a taste test. Stir in more matcha if you want that deep earthy kick or more sweetener to balance out the grassiness.
- Spoon the filling on the tart base and refrigerate.
You’ll have to soak the agar-agar in warm water prior to mixing. 2 teaspoons of agar-agar in 1.5 tablespoon water will do. Let it sit and dissolve.
Use full-fat coconut milk because that’s what makes the filling rich.
How long should you keep the matcha tart in the fridge?
My first thought was to refrigerate the tarts overnight, which I did. But the filling didn’t reach that taut, sliced clean texture.
I could have added more agar-agar, but the soft consistency was precisely what I wanted. So, I counsel freezing the tart for 3 to 4 hours if you want a very firm filling with a crunchy base.
In case you are leaning towards a pudding-like texture with more chewiness in a base that still holds its shape, refrigerate the tarts for four to five hours.
Variations of vegan matcha tart recipe
For a gluten-free matcha tart, stick to gluten-free oats. For the sweetener, honey or maple syrup are excellent options if dates are not your cup of tea.
A good floral honey in the filling will work wonders for the flavor profile. Walnuts are my go-to choice, but almonds or even no nuts in the base are fine.
In the mood for a tart but not matcha? Try my chocolate orange tart recipe. Looking for matcha recipes?
Serving the vegan matcha tart
The tarts need minimal dressing up.
The nuttiness of the pie crust tangos with the grassy note of matcha in perfect rhythm. The thread that ties together the chewy and robust crust with the rich, creamy filling is indulgent yet light.
When there is such harmony, anything you add to the dish takes away from it. So, I drizzled the vegan matcha tart with melted dark chocolate. Finished it off with a dusting of matcha powder and dug into some very, very tasty tarts.
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Vegan Matcha Tart
- 4 3" loose-bottomed tart pans or 1 6" tart pan
- 1 1/4 cup Rolled oats
- 1/2 cup Walnuts
- 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 8-10 Dates, pitted and soaked in warm water Use just enough water to cover the dates.
- 2.5 tbsp Coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1.5 cup Cashewnuts, soaked overnight
- 1/3 cup Coconut milk, full fat
- 1.5 tbsp Matcha powder
- 1/4 cup Maple syrup
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 tsp Agar-agar, soaked in 1.5 tbsp warm water
- Keep 4 3" loose-bottom tart cases handy.
- Combine oats, walnuts, cocoa powder in a food processor. Pulse till the mixture looks like semi-fine crumbs.
- Add the dates and melted coconut oil. Pulse again till combined. You should get a sticky dough. Taste and adjust for sweetness.
- Press evenly into the tart pans. Refrigerate.
- Rinse and drain the soaked cashewnuts.
- Combine the cashews, coconut milk, matcha powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add in the soaked agar agar. Blend again until silken smooth.
- Taste and adjust for sweetness and matcha flavor.
- Spoon the filling onto the tart cases. Smoothen the tops and refrigerate for 5-6 hours if you want a softer, pudding-like consistency.For a firmer consistency, freeze the tarts for 3-4 hours.
- Drizzle the top with dark chocolate and a light dusting of matcha powder before serving and enjoy!