Salted Dark Chocolate Candy Bar Tart and Winter on Nantucket


A low carb salted dark chocolate tart filled with luscious rich caramel and toasted hazelnuts and almonds. My healthy, gluten-free version of a delicious Nantucket dessert for #makeovermonday.

Salted Dark Chocolate Candy Bar Tart PS

Nantucket may seem like a strange place to go for a little winter getaway, but let me assure you that winter is a perfect time to see that little New England island. Granted, I have never actually been there in the summer so I have no real basis for comparison. But if you are crowd-averse and a prefer quiet locale in a quaint, picturesque setting, Nantucket is the place to go. Big bonus that you get far more individual attention from your hotel and wait staff and there are no lines or waits to get into any restaurants. Quite a few places are closed for the season but there are still enough of them open to tempt you to wander about town and poke in and out of stores. Provided that the temperamental New England weather cooperates, of course.

Nantucket from ferry

I surprised my husband with a mini-getaway for his birthday this year and Nantucket was our aim. I had to choose our destination carefully, as we only had a few days to spend and my husband is still partially hobbled by his accident in the fall. It made sense to choose somewhere relatively close to home and where the “things to do” were close together. I did have my moments of serious doubt that I could make this work, what with having drive the kids several hundred miles to stay with their cousins’ in Maine first (and drive back again…all in one day). And not knowing really how close things were on the island, I waffled about renting a car while there (in the end, I did not). There were several points at which my plans could have been foiled, such as severe winter weather, but things fell  perfectly into place and the travel was easy.

Low Carb Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Nut Tart

I booked two nights at the historic Nantucket Hotel and Resort, and made sure to let them know that it was my husband’s birthday and that he would be on crutches. Very sweetly, they upgraded us to a suite at no extra charge. They also met us at the ferry to transport us to the hotel, and the staff did everything in our power to make the stay enjoyable. Our rooms were fabulous, with a beautifully-appointed sitting room in nautical colours, a kitchenette, and a luxurious bed and bath. Given that it was their quiet season, they lavished attention on us, offering drives to and from our dinner reservations and making suggestions about where to go and what to see. They even left my husband a birthday card, chocolate-covered cranberries and some balloons.

Nantucket Hotel Collage

Typically I find when a hotel offers a complimentary continental breakfast, it’s a collection of tired-looking pastries and over-ripe fruit, with nary a crumb that a healthy eater can enjoy. But the continental at The Nantucket was a fabulous spread of cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, beautiful bakery breads and fresh berries. All manned by incredibly attentive wait staff. It was a relief not to have to scramble to find low carb and gluten-free options. Our dinners out were both delicious. We managed to unwittingly catch “Sushi Night” at Lola 41 and I had a fabulous sesame ginger seafood salad. For my husband’s birthday, we indulged in cocktails and small plates at The Proprietors. We even indulged in a little dessert and I had a few small bites because hey, it was his birthday!

Collage of Nantucket views

We kept our walking rather limited but we did have a chance to visit the Brant Point Lighthouse and catch a movie at the Starlight Theater. All in all, it was a perfect winter getaway and I’d certainly book The Nantucket Hotel again for another off-season visit. I might even consider bringing the kids next time, as they offer some complimentary children’s programs. I’d love to explore the island more when my husband has two fully-functioning feet!

Low Carb Salted Chocolate Caramel Nut Tart

This recipe is my low carb, gluten-free version of the dessert we had at The Proprietors. They called theirs Chocolate Candy Bar Tart and it was a chocolate crust with a rich caramel nut filling and a thick layer of chocolate ganache. It was truly delicious, although very hard to get a fork through as the caramel was so thick and chewy. My version is truly delicious too, and the caramel is a little thinner and easier to manage (read: easy to fork into your mouth. Maybe too easy!). Mine has the added bonus of containing no sugar. And I couldn’t help myself but add a little crushed sea salt to the top. Hence, Salted Dark Chocolate Candy Bar Tart was born.

Nantucket in Winter

Salted Dark Chocolate Candy Bar Tart and Winter on Nantucket

Yield: 12 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp Kelapo coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup toasted, husked hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/4 cup xylitol
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (use good quality like Ghirardelli, as it is less likely to seize).
  • 6 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (I like to use the Kelapo coconut oil spray).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, sweetener, and salt. Stir in egg, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract until dough comes together.
  3. Press into bottom and up sides of prepared tart pan.
  4. Bake 12 minutes, until firm. Remove and let cool completely.
  5. Filling:
  6. Sprinkle toasted hazelnuts and toasted almonds evenly around bottom of cooled crust.
  7. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine Swerve, xylitol and water. Stir until sweeteners dissolve and then bring to a boil.
  8. Cook until mixture darkens and thickens, about 9 to 11 minutes (mixture will smoke somewhat).
  9. Remove from heat and immediately add whipping cream and butter. Mixture will bubble vigorously. Stir in vanilla and salt.
  10. When caramel has stopped foaming, sprinkle with xanthan gum and whisk in vigorously to combine. Let cool 10 minutes and then pour over nuts in tart crust. Let set 15 minutes.
  11. Chocolate Ganache Topping:
  12. Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate together in a metal or glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (do not let bottom of bowl touch water), stirring until smooth.
  13. Add powdered sweetener and stir until smooth, then stir in vanilla extract.
  14. Pour over caramel filling and let set at room temperature for at least one hour. Y
  15. ou can also refrigerate, but let tart come to room temp before cutting.


Serves 12. Each serving has 9 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS equals 4 g.

306 Calories; 30g Fat (81.9% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 57mg Cholesterol; 193mg Sodium.

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  1. Linda says

    Does powdered Swerve have any grittiness? I’ve never purchased Swerve but rather use a combo of erythritol and stevia. It works great when cooked in recipes but when I powder it in a coffee grinder and use it uncooked as in ganache or icing there is always a bit of a gritty texture to it. I cannot seem to powder it fine enough; perhaps I need a different coffee grinder. Just wondering if powdered Swerve has a gritty texture to it as well. Any thoughts?

    • Carolyn says

      Powdered Swerve isn’t gritty in the chocolate ganache. Granted, the ganache will never be as smooth as you might be able to make with sugar, but hey…at least it doesn’t have sugar! 😉

  2. says

    Beautiful pictures!! Sounds like you both had a lovely weekend getaway. It’s about time hubby and I had another one. 😉 It’s been since my birthday in Sept. I’d love to visit Nantucket sometime…..looks wonderful!

  3. Stacy says

    Would the Swerve be the granulated or the powdered? I have been buying Swerve and like the flavor in baked goods. If you use the powdered Swerve are the measurements the same as with the granulated? Thanks so much.

    • Carolyn says

      When it simply says Swerve, it’s granulated. When it says powdered, it’s the confectioners. I only used powdered in the ganache in this recipe.

  4. P.J. Stietz says

    This looks devine! My hubby will be getting out of the hospital soon and I was looking for an awesome dessert for a welcome home dinner. This is the one.

  5. Gretchen RS says

    This dessert looks awesome, and I have most of the ingredients on hand. Can’t wait to try this! I’m wondering why you use both Swerve and xylitol in the filling? Is the xylitol necessary, or is there something else that could be substituted? I have Stevia packets which contain erythritol, could I use a couple of packets of that instead? Also, I only have the regular Swerve [too expensive for me to order both types], do you think I could powder my Swerve in a coffee grinder or Bullet?
    Hazelnuts are not so easy to come by here, even though I have hazelnut trees in my yard, the squirrels nab them all :) So I figure on using pecans — so I guess my version would be more like a turtle tart :)

    • Carolyn says

      Swerve (which is mostly erythritol) tends to harden quickly and recrystallize after being caramelized. Xylitol does it less so it helps to cut the Swerve with some xylitol. YOu can use all Swerve but your filling will likely be grittier.

      You can powder it as much as you can and then use it. Your ganache may be a little grittier but it will still taste great!

  6. says

    This tart DEFINITELY looks too easy to fork into my mouth – like ALL OF IT! Yum! Also, what a nice getaway for you two! It made me miss living in New England so much to hear about it and see your lovely photos. Have you ever been to Portsmouth, New Hampshire? It’s super cute and looks very similar to some of the scenery in your pictures – and sounds like it would be easy to get to depending on how far out you are. We were up there in the fall visiting my uncle and really enjoyed it! Also as a side note, that sperm whale pillow on the bed is so adorable – I’m totally in love with it and want to redecorate my guest room around that pillow alone! Which would make no sense here in rural South Carolina. But I don’t care, I’d do it anyway if I could get my hands on one! :)

  7. DIANE says

    Will the recipe work if I use real sugar instead of artificial sweeteners? If so, does it substitute in the same quantities?

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Diane,

      Yes, it will work with sugar in the same amounts. Let me point out, however, that neither erythritol (Swerve) nor xylitol are “artificial sweeteners”. They are naturally occurring and are no more processed than white sugar.

    • Carolyn says

      “regular cocoa powder” is unsweetened. I never ever use any sweetened cocoa. I don’t even know where you’d buy it, unless you are talking about hot cocoa mixes?

    • Carolyn says

      Yes there is a huge difference. Splenda is sucralose. It has no bulk and it doesn’t caramelise. Swerve is mostly made with erythritol. It has bulk and it caramelizes. You could not make caramel sauce with Splenda.

  8. Deborah says

    Carolyn, this looks amazing. I just bought a tart pan with removable bottom specifically with this recipe in mind, but it’s 11.5 inches, not 9 inches. Do you think I need to adjust the ingredient amounts, or will it stretch?


    • Carolyn says

      I think the filling is going to be okay, but the crust might need a little more. If you can add just a little more of everything and maybe a tbsp of egg whites to help stretch it out?

  9. Gretchen RS says

    I had been saving this recipe for a special occassion, and made it tonight for my oldest daughter’s birthday.
    Not having a torte pan, I made it in an 8″ x 11″ glass baking dish, and that worked fine. Also I had run out of Swerve, so I used Splenda in the crust and caramel and 8 Stevia packets in the glaze. Also I used pecans in place of the hazelnuts. The toasted pecans and almonds added a nice crunch to the filling.
    This recipe is fabulous, and apparently very flexible. We loved it! Very rich though, rather decadent — yummm. Too rich for my grandson though :)

    Once I get some more Swerve I am going to try your Pecan Pie Bars. Your recipes make living low carb, sugar free and gluten free a lot easier to do as a lifestyle change. Thank you Carolyn!

  10. Nina says

    Oh my word, I just made this for my 5th wedding anniversary as a special treat and it is to die for. It’s so rich and decadent, and a little goes a long way! I wonder, have you tried freezing this? I’m not much used to sweets anymore, even low-carb sweets, so one serving of low-carb sweets once a week or less is enough for me… would like to try freezing this for later on but don’t want to ruin this delicious piece of art! Thanks for your input :)

    • Carolyn says

      I think freezing it might make the chocolate “bloom: (i.e. get that funny greyish tone to it). But if you wrapped it really tightly, it might be okay.

  11. Common Sense says

    I’ve been wanting to try these Super Seed Bars,, but needed an alternative for the rice, syrup and the dates. I just used some of all the seeds and nuts I had (about 3-4 cups worth, I didn’t measure), unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted coconut flakes, cacao nibs, plus whey protein and Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder. To bind it all together, I thought of using the filling from this recipe and it worked perfectly! I increased all the filling ingredients by a bit to make sure I had enough and mixed it with the dry ingredients immediately instead of letting it cool a little. They firmed up nicely once refrigerated. Dumped in a 9×9 pan, it made 36 squares at net 2.7g carbs each. Just noticed that I forgot the almond butter. I’ll have to try that the next time!

    Thanks for all the great recipes Carolyn and the ideas!

    • Carolyn says

      Sounds wonderful! I’ve often thought you could use my caramel sauce as the binder for bars like that.

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