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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Salted Dark Chocolate Candy Bar Tart and Winter on Nantucket
- Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (I like to use the Kelapo coconut oil spray).
- 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.
- Press into bottom and up sides of prepared tart pan.
- Bake 12 minutes, until firm. Remove and let cool completely.
- Sprinkle toasted hazelnuts and toasted almonds evenly around bottom of cooled crust.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine Swerve, xylitol and water. Stir until sweeteners dissolve and then bring to a boil.
- Cook until mixture darkens and thickens, about 9 to 11 minutes (mixture will smoke somewhat).
- Remove from heat and immediately add whipping cream and butter. Mixture will bubble vigorously. Stir in vanilla and salt.
- 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.
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
- 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.
- Add powdered sweetener and stir until smooth, then stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour over caramel filling and let set at room temperature for at least one hour. Y
- ou can also refrigerate, but let tart come to room temp before cutting.