Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Lemon, Ginger & Dark Chocolate Tart - No Bake (gluten free)

This Lemon, Ginger and Dark Chocolate Tart is one of those desserts that keeps you in suspense with every mouthful. It is an explosion of flavours and textures which compliment and contrast each other, whilst exciting each and every taste bud as they mingle and then separate. Be warned though.... It's rich and there is lots of it. It is definitely not for those on a diet and a little goes a long way...

It is a tart that has been on my 'to make' list for ages, inspired by one of those rare gluten free restaurant desserts of a lemon pie that was garnished with a little dark chocolate and left me musing in the depths of my culinary brain. Lemon and dark chocolate has always been one of those pairings which, when I have had it, leaves me wondering why more desserts don't celebrate it.

Then of course there is lemon and ginger or dark chocolate and ginger... more popular for sure, but still not 'up there' in dessert menus (gluten free or otherwise). So what would happen if I married all three?

This possibility jiggled through the invisible foodie cogs of my head for weeks until I found the sweet spot that said 'this is the one to make'. I knew that the lemon filling needed to be unadulterated as a single element. It had to remain the star of the show, even though it was sharing space with ingredients that should jostle for recognition as worthy co-stars.

I settled on a biscuit base made using gluten free dark chocolate and ginger cookies... the ones that have notably chewy bites of stem ginger alongside extra crunchy biscuit, smothered in thick dark chocolate. I used the ones made by Prewetts, but Sainsbury and Tesco also do suitable alternatives.

My first attempt at the base was a bit of a disaster. A traditional mixture of crushed biscuit and melted butter, I decided to pre-bake, only to find it collapsing in on itself into brown mush. Doh! Of course it would be brown mush... the chocolate would melt with the heat! It still tasted great though and scooped into a bowl, made an irresistible grab a spoon and scoop treat every time I passed it in the kitchen.

Actually, it was a good thing this 'mess' happened... I had originally planned a baked egg-based lemon filling (although wasn't sure whether I should pre-bake the base or not) and I would have been mortified if the pressed biscuit had disintegrated and mooshed with the rest in the oven.

Returning to the recipe-development table, I switched to using coconut oil instead of butter to bind the biscuit base... a process which had previously worked really well in my Blackberry-Coconut Chocolate Nobble Cheesecake and avoided further disaster, as well as adding extra crunch. I also diverted from a baked filling to a no-bake version, which made the whole thing simpler and more fail-safe.

The result is incredible. Light and dreamy, rich and decadent lemon cream, set against a rim of dark, dense chocolate ganache, encased with crisp chocolatey biscuit shot through with an extra earthy crunch from a sprinkling of chopped roasted hazelnuts. As the biscuit and creams dissolve and dissipate, the firm, warming stem ginger hits the palate... reigniting sensory interest with chewiness and a little heat.

To zing up the lemon just that little bit more, I sprinkled a fine coating of lemon sherbet crystals across the top and embellished with luxurious, tart, home-made candied lemon slices... I figure if a dessert is to be worth the calories (and to be fair, there are quite a lot in here), then it is worth doing exceptionally well.

I am sharing my Lemon, Ginger & Dark Chocolate Tart with :

Got To Be Gluten Free (#G2BGF) with Glutarama and myself
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

Baking Crumbs with Only Crumbs Remain
Cook Blog Share with Easy Peasy Foodie
Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching for Spice

We Should Cocoa with Tin and Thyme
What's For Dinner with The Lazy Gastronome
Fiesta Friday with Angie

Lemon, Ginger & Dark Chocolate Tart (makes 1 x 10 inch (25 cm) tart - Serves 12)


Biscuit Base
350g dark chocolate-coated ginger cookies (with stem ginger) : crushed - eg Prewetts/Tesco/Sainsbury
105g coconut oil - melted
35g chopped roasted hazelnuts

Lemon Filling
300 ml double (heavy) cream
1 tin (397g) sweetened condensed milk
zest 1 to 2 lemons
juice 3 lemons
a drop of yellow food colour (optional)

Dark Chocolate Ganache
120g good quality dark chocolate - chopped
60g double (heavy) cream

Candied Lemon
1 lemon (thinly sliced)
60 ml water
55g caster sugar

Optional :
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon sherbet crystals
grated dark chocolate to decorate


  1. Base : Prepare a 10 inch loose-bottomed non-stick baking tin, by base-lining with baking paper.
  2. Coarse-crush the biscuits by placing in a plastic food bag and bash with a rolling pin. 
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan over a very gentle heat. Add the crushed biscuits and chopped nuts and stir until evenly coated with the oil.
  4. Pour the biscuit mix into the base of the tin and spread across the bottom, gently pushing up the sides of the tin with the back of a spoon until you have an even layer which forms a tart-case. Place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours to chill and set. 
  5.  Lemon Filling : In a large bowl, beat the double (heavy) cream until it holds its shape in peaks. 
  6. Add the condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and a small drop of lemon food colour (if using) and beat until thick.
  7. Pour into the chilled tart case and place in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours to firm up. 
  8. Once ready, carefully remove the tart from the baking tin and place on a serving dish. If the sides have stuck, gently apply pressure to the outside of the tin by squeezing a little and the stuck bits should release. Remove the baking paper from the base before placing on the plate.
  9. Ganache : When the filling has been chilled, make the ganache - Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and in a small saucepan, gently heat the cream until it just reaches simmer-point.
  10. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 10 seconds, before gently stirring to melt the chocolate and combine. You should end up with a smooth ganache.
  11. Allow to cool completely at room temperature, stirring frequently as it cools and thickens.
  12. Once the ganache has reached piping consistency, grab a piping bag and with your chosen tip, pipe around the edge. 
  13. Candied Lemon : Place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. 
  14. Now bring to a boil and add the sliced lemon. Coat in the sugar liquid and continue to boil, turning frequently, cooking for about 10 minutes (until the lemons become more translucent).
  15. Transfer the lemon pieces to non-stick baking paper to cool completely (separated) before using them to decorate the tart.
  16. Sprinkle the tart with lemon sherbet and grated chocolate (optional).
  17. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-18 unless otherwise indicated


  1. Goodness me Kate, that looks YUMMY! Will give that a go.

  2. This tart sounds incredible and my mouth is watering at the thought of it. I just love how creamy that filling looks - It's definitely a flavour combination I'd love! Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

    1. Aww thanks Corina. The filling was so creamy. To be honest, I would happily have a bowl of that on its own! x

  3. What an explosion of flavours Kate, this looks and sounds utterly delicious, I will be making this as soon as I have the energy to get back into the kitchen (too hot, I'm flakey!)

    1. Thank you lovely. The weather looks like it's cooling... must be the school holidays!! x

  4. Oh my word! Seriously...this looks incredible!

  5. You got me with lemon and ginger - then you went and added dark chocolate! Pinned to try later - it sounds incredible! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner Party.

    1. Ahhh... yes... I aim to tantalise if I can. The dark chocolate took the tart to a whole new level x

  6. YUM! This looks so good and such fab flavours. My mouth is watering. Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare :-)

  7. Ooh my words Kate, the thought of this is making my mouth water - it sounds absolutely incredible! I love lemon-y desserts but you've definitely taken this to new heights with the addition of dark chocolate and stem ginger. Love it. Thankyou for sharing with #BakingCrumbs
    Angela x

    1. You're welcome Angela. It was a particularly decadent treat! x

  8. Wow this looks stunning Kate! I love the flavour combination, zesty singy and sweet!

    1. Thank you Kat. It was rather an explosion of flavours... but fortunately all well-matched x

  9. That is stunning as always!! Do you do delivery?? #bakingcrumbs

    1. Thanks Midge..... Not sure this one would survive the journey... xxxx

  10. Oh my goodness, my husband will love this lemon ginger dark chocolate tart !!!

  11. Even if I hadn't seen your gorgeous pictures I'd be desperate to try this tart. Your description is just phenomenal. And I do agree that lemon and dark chocolate is much underrated. I really do feel that I must invite myself around to yours next time you're feeling creative.

    Thanks for sharing with #WeShouldCocoa. The 1st September will be the 8th anniversary and I'm making this month the final link-up. I do hope you'll join in and help make it an end to remember.

    1. Awww... thanks Choclette. It's a shame that you live so far away.... you would be most welcome.
      I hope I can join for the final link-up.... holiday permitting xxx


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