Lusciously creamy Lemon Tart with a dark chocolate ganache and a chocolate-ginger biscuit base. Show-stoppingly beautiful and delicious, with flavours that dance on the tongue. Easy to make.
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Lemon Tart which is also no bake and gluten free
This is not just a lemon tart. This is a Lemon, Ginger and Dark Chocolate Tart. It is also no bake and gluten free. AND it is easy to make. Quadruple win!
Being no bake, it is perfect for summer eating when the oven needs to be off as much as possible. But it is also show-stoppingly beautiful as a dinner party centrepiece. But wait…! This dessert is amazing when it’s cold as well. Make ahead of time so that you get to be with your guests and family as much as possible. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a crisp, refreshing lemon tart whatever the weather?
Why have just lemon tart, when you can have lemon, dark chocolate and ginger?
This lemon tart goes way beyond ‘good’. It is a dessert that keeps you in suspense with every mouthful… An explosion of flavours and textures that compliment and contrast, while exciting each and every taste bud as they mingle. It is also a tart that has been on my ‘to make’ list for ages…
Lemon, dark chocolate and ginger tart was inspired by an unusually delicious gluten free pudding that I had at a restaurant a couple of years back. I can’t even remember where now. But it was a lemon tart garnished with a little dark chocolate which left me musing in the depths of my culinary brain. Lemon and dark chocolate has always been one of those flavour combinations that needs more celebration.
Then of course there are the more popular pairings of lemon and ginger or dark chocolate and ginger. More common perhaps, but still not frequent listings on dessert menus (gluten free or otherwise). But what would happen if I married all three?
This possibility nudged the invisible foodie cogs of my head for weeks until I found the sweet spot that said ‘this is the lemon tart to make’. But I also knew 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.
Finding the key to the right biscuit base
To get the perfect flavour balance for my lemon, dark chocolate and ginger tart,I settled on a biscuit base using dark chocolate and ginger cookies… The ones that have notably chewy bites of stem ginger alongside extra crunchy biscuit and smothered in thick dark chocolate. I used the gluten free version made by Prewetts, but Sainsburys and Tesco also do suitable alternatives.
Although made with a gluten free base however, this is a dessert for everyone. If you can eat gluten, feel free to use ‘normal’ biscuits as close to those listed in flavour as possible.
Recipe Development : Getting it wrong before getting it right
My first attempt at making the base was a disaster. Using a traditional mixture of crushed biscuit and melted butter, I decided to pre-bake, only to find it collapsed into brown mush. In hindsight, it was a bad idea, although it still tasted great. Discarded in a bowl, it was an irresistible grab and scoop treat every time I passed the kitchen.
Returning to the recipe-development table, I switched to using coconut oil instead of butter to bind the biscuit base… This process had previously worked well in my Blackberry-Coconut Chocolate Nobble Cheesecake and avoided further disaster, as well as adding extra crunch.
How good is this lemon tart with dark chocolate and ginger?
This lemon tart is incredible. At its core is a dreamy, rich and decadent lemon cream. This is set against a rim of dark, dense piped chocolate ganache. And encased within a crisp chocolatey biscuit which is shot through with the earthy crunch 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… There is an optional sprinkle of fine lemon sherbet crystals across the top, all embellished with luxurious, sharp-sweet, home-made candied lemon slices… 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.
Can I make this Lemon Tart dairy free and vegan?
Technically yes, although I have never tried it myself. With a few small tweaks, it should be possible to make an equally luscious dairy-free vegan lemon tart… If you want to try it, my substitution suggestions would be as follows :
Use vegan chocolate biscuits and if you can’t get any with ginger as well, simply add a little finely chopped stem ginger to the crushed base mix.
Substitute the double cream for a thick coconut cream. Follow the instructions from this post to extract the thicker coconut cream (the bit you want). And use vegan condensed coconut milk instead of dairy condensed milk.
Dark chocolate ganache
Make sure the chocolate used is dairy free and substitute the dairy cream for a vegan or coconut cream alternative. The substitute will need to be a similar consistency to double cream.
Looking for other luscious gluten free desserts?
You’re in the right place. We don’t just do lemon tart at Gluten Free Alchemist.
I can particularly recommend the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berry Coulis, the Pink Pavlova or the Flourless Orange Cake if you need a fruity option. Alternatively, for something chocolatey, one of my favourites is the Squidgy Chocolate Roulade. But the Flourless Chocolate Torte is equally divine, as is the Gluten Free Chocolate Tart, Mocha Roulade and Chocolate, Pear and Walnut Torte. There’s so much more though… Check out the dedicated Desserts and Trifles Index for inspiration! Or check out our post on 60 gluten free puddings and flourless desserts.
For everything else (sweet and savoury), head over to the Gluten Free Recipe Book Index, grab a coffee and browse the afternoon away.
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Lemon Tart with Dark Chocolate & Ginger (no bake)
- 9 to 10 inch loose-bottomed non-stick tart tin
- microwave or hob
- serving plate
- tongs (optional)
- 350 g dark chocolate-coated ginger biscuits (cookies) (with stem ginger): crushed – eg GF Prewetts/Tesco/Sainsbury – See NOTES
- 105 g coconut oil melted
- 35 g chopped roasted hazelnuts
- 300 ml double (heavy) cream
- 397 g sweetened condensed milk = 1 tin
- 1 to 2 lemons fine zest
- 3 lemons juice
- drop yellow food colour optional
Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 120 g dark chocolate good quality – chopped
- 60 g double (heavy) cream
- 1 lemon lemon thinly sliced
- 60 ml water
- 55 g white caster sugar
- 1 to 2 tbsp lemon sherbet crystals
- ½ tbsp grated dark chocolate
- Prepare a 9 to 10 inch loose-bottomed non-stick tart tin, by base-lining with baking paper.
- Coarse-crush the biscuits by placing in a plastic food bag and bash with a rolling pin.
- 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 to the pan and stir until evenly coated with the oil.
- 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 there is an even layer which forms a tart-case.
- Place in the fridge for about an hour to chill and set.
- In a large bowl, beat the double (heavy) cream with a whisk until it holds its shape in peaks.
- Add the condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and a small drop of lemon food colour (if using). Beat until thick.
- Pour into the chilled tart case and place in the fridge for about 3 hours to set.
- When set, carefully remove the tart from the baking tin and place on a serving plate. If the sides have stuck, gently apply pressure to the outside of the tin by squeezing a little and the stuck bits should release. Carefully remove the baking paper from the base before placing on the plate.
Dark Chocolate 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.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 15 seconds, before gently stirring to melt the chocolate and combine. You should end up with a smooth ganache. If there are any remaining chocolate chunks which don't melt, microwave on medium setting for 30 seconds and re-stir.
- Allow to cool completely at room temperature, stirring frequently as it cools and thickens.
- Keep a close eye to avoid the ganache becoming too set.
- Once the ganache has reached piping consistency, use a piping bag and with your chosen tip, pipe around the edge of the tart.
- Place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Now bring to a boil and add the sliced lemon.
- Coat the lemon with the sugar liquid and continue to boil, turning frequently using tongs or a fork, cooking for about 10 minutes (until the lemons become more translucent).
- Using Tongs or a fork , transfer the lemon pieces to non-stick baking paper to cool completely (separated) before using them to decorate the tart.
- Sprinkle the tart with lemon sherbet and grated chocolate (optional).
- Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist