This no-bake, easy-to-make vegan Valentine’s Day cream tart comes together quickly, so it’s a terrific last minute dessert for you and your sweetie – or just for you!
Making Valentine’s Day food for those who celebrate, whether for a loved one, children, friends, or for some of us—for ourselves, is too often a stressor. Restaurateur friends tell me it is the hardest day of the year for them because of the expectation of perfection, and home cooks are often too tired by dinnertime to enjoy the celebration. Honestly, it seems ridiculous to me. Sure, you can have a memorable special dessert for the holiday that celebrates love, but you don’t need to spend a whole day or be left with a sink filled with dirty pots and pans. Plan ahead, with reasonable expectations of your time and energy.
So, yesterday I set out yesterday test drive a new Valentine’s Day Cream Tart with the following criteria:
- Easy and delicious
- Suitable for a couple or a singleton
- Make ahead!
- No-bake crust made without oil, salt, or granulated sweeteners to balance the sweet cream
- Easy cream that can be frozen. I remembered the Twinkie Cream I made years ago to win against traditional Twinkies!
- Components easy to vary
I came up with a crust to meet my criteria, and I used it 3 different way:
- Pressed into a 3 ½-inch heart-shaped tart pan with removable bottom
- Pressed into silicon heart shaped cupcake baking molds
- The extra crust was easy to form into balls for truffle-like confections
- The Twinkie cream freezes nicely so this Valentine’s Day Cream Tart can be made ahead and frozen. Frozen, the cream tastes like ice cream.
- The extra crust balls, when dipped into melted chocolate and sprinkled with gold luster dust looked AMAZEBALLS! And they are WFPBNO.
Vegan Valentine's Day Cream Tart
I chose walnuts to offset the sweet dates in the crust, and they are very healthy nuts, too. The pinch of ancho chili powder can be omitted or upped. The crust recipe makes 2/3 cup. Double or triple it for larger pans. You will need a food processor to make the cream filling. Remember this tip: Tofu based creams must be pureed until absolutely smooth and creamy. If properly made, there will be absolutely no taste of tofu.
Date Walnut Crust
- 3 1/2 ounces pitted dates, I used Medjool
- 4 ounces walnuts
- 1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder, optional
- 1 tablespoon date syrup, I use Soom
Twinkie Cream Filling
- 7 ounces firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- 4 teaspoons neutral vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons agave syrup
- 6 tablespoons organic cane sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon very finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 ounces vegan white chocolate melted
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot dissolved in 6 tablespoons soy creamer
Make the Crust
- Process the dates, nuts and ancho in the bowl of a food processor until finely chopped. Squeeze a bit in your fingers. It should stick together. If not, process a bit more.
- Add the date and process until the mixture is shiny.
- Spoon into a bowl and press into tart pans or silicone baking cups
- I used about 1/3 cup crust for the 4-inch tart pan and 1/4 cup for the silicon cup.
- Press into an even layer with the help of a piece of cling wrap or parchment paper.
- Freeze the crusts for 30 minutes before filling, or up to a month or two, in a covered container.
Make the Cream Filling
- Crumble the tofu into a food processor and process for 1 minute. Add the oil and process 1 minute.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the arrowroot, and process 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth and creamy. Stop the processor a few times and clean the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Taste and add more sugar for a sweeter whip. Stir the dissolved arrowroot to release any starch that has settled to the bottom.
- Pour into a small saucepan and cook, whisking frequently over medium heat until the mixture reaches a full boil. It will be very thick and gummy. Immediately remove the saucepan from the stove. Add to the cream and pulse to incorporate.
- Process until the cream is smooth. Spoon the cream into a container. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer to allow the flavors to blend. The cream will thicken slightly as it chills but it is not a stiff cream.
- To the blast from the past Twinkie Cream, I added powdered freeze-dried strawberries, enough to give me the color I wanted. Refrigerate up to 2 days.
Assemble the Tarts
- I spread some melted chocolate on the bottom of the tart crusts. As the crusts were ice cold, the chocolate set fast.
- Spread the cream into the crust.
- Freeze until you are ready to serve.
What I would do differently next time:
- Add more cream to the larger tart
- Freeze the smaller ones longer before unmolding
- Eat fewer bites of the leftovers plate.
The desserts in the silicon cups were harder to unmold but doable.
- Freeze for an hour before turning them out of the mold.
- Run an offset around the sides. Turn the mold upside down and remove the mold.
- Slip an offset under the cream, which is on the bottom and turn it right side up. Smooth the cream.
Happy Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day, and to those with February 14th birthdays, very happy birthday to you!
More Valentine’s inspiration:
- 10 Easy Chococolate Recipes for a Vegan Valentine’s Day
- 20 Vegan Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes
- 8 Vegan Chocolate Recipes for Valentine’s Day
Here’s a special Valentine’s Day gift! Learn to cook and make desserts with the AFC certified Rouxbe self paced online courses. Rouxbe is having a 72 hour flash sale 20% off courses starting Thursday, February 14th. Use the code EARLY2 at checkout to save 20% on Essential Vegan Desserts. Use the code EARLY1 to save 20% off the Plant-Based Professional course.