This is the ultimate salty-sweet dessert of your dreams. Salted caramel and crunchy popcorn harmonize beautifully with silky, rich chocolate ... this tart is perfect for sharing at any festive occasion, but it's also totally acceptable if you just attack it with a fork right away.

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Popcorn Tart [Vegan]

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Ingredients

Crust:
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3.5 ounces, or 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan buttery spread
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons water
Chocolate Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coconut cream
Caramel and Popcorn Topping:
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 heaping cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup popping corn
  • A drizzle of olive or coconut oil
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Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a pie tin (9.5 inches diameter).
  2. Mix the chia seeds and water in a small cup. Set aside.
  3. Rub the flour, sugar and spread together between your fingers until they begin to form a mixture like wet sand. Add the chia seed mix (the chia "egg") and mix again until homogenous.
  4. Roll the dough into a ball, then flatten to a disk using a rolling pin. It's alright if the edges crack a little bit, you can patch this up as you go along. The flattened dough should be about half an inch thick and circular.
  5. Drape the dough over the greased pie tin, then tuck it in along the edges and bottom. Tidy up the presentation now: trim the dough along the rim of the pie and discard any excess.
  6. Prick the base of the pie dough with a fork. Cover the base with a sheet of parchment paper, cut into a circle the size of the pie, and fill the bottom of the pie with baking beans. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Place both ingredients for the chocolate filling in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. When the cream starts to melt and the chocolate oozes into it, stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine. After a few minutes the chocolate and coconut cream should have melted into a silky, thick cream. Set aside to cool while you prepare the caramel and popcorn.
  8. Now prepare the caramel and popcorn topping. Add the sugar and coconut milk to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Pay close attention, as you do not want this to boil over. As soon as the cream starts to bubble up fiercely, turn down the heat to moderate and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the salt in the last five minutes. While it's hot, the salted caramel will look quite liquid still, but as soon as it cools down it will thicken up substantially.
  9. Place a pan over high heat, drizzle in some oil and add the popping corn. Cover with a lid and wait a few minutes until the corn starts to pop. When the popping noise has stopped, all the corn is ready; take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. If you remove the lid immediately, you may get some popcorn firing at you.
  10. While the caramel and popcorn cool, release the pie crust from the tin and pour in the chocolate filling.
  11. Mix a third of the salted caramel into the popcorn, coating it all evenly. Drizzle another third over the chocolate filling, then top the pie with the popcorn, creating a little pyramid, and finally drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over the whole thing.
  12. Place in the fridge to set, for about an hour or two.
  13. Enjoy within two days. If you have made sure to cover the popcorn with plenty of caramel, it should remain fairly crunchy.
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