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Cleanse-friendly, gluten-free mini chocolate tarts

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Catherine Burns’ cleanse-friendly dessert, mini chocolate tarts

I’m pretty sure I’m writing this from my deathbed.

I’ve already Googled meningitis, man-flu and the plague — fortunately, I don’t seem to have any of those but I do have something that has totally levelled me.

I’ve dosed up on all the good stuff: olive leaf extract, colloidal silver, probiotics, vitamin C, zinc ... I’ve eaten millions of blueberries, drunk lots of green smoothies and tried to rest. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not a very patient sick person.

I would like to be better right now please. I’m not very good at doing nothing. It feels like I’m going to die. Dramatic much?! I do have one more trick up my sleeve. It’s not another potion, but a book. They say laughter is the best medicine — let’s hope it is!

A few days ago I walked into Bermuda Book Store, slightly harassed, after school. We were there to buy Belle a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I patiently (hmmmmm) read her the first five pages of all seven options and then she decided she’d much rather have a book about Fortnite characters please.

I explained that Fortnite will probably kill her brain and that she needed to choose a real book. This made me the worst mum ever. While the back and forth raged on, I looked around for a book for me. I was obviously overwhelmed so the ladies asked me if they could help.

Yes! I said something along the lines of: “I’m looking for a new book that’s not chick lit, but is easy enough to read at bedtime, that will teach me something and make me a better person — but also make me laugh.”

There was a moment of hesitation, a kind of, “Oh God, it’s one of those customers”, and then I was given an amazing guided tour of everything they thought might work.

I left with Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, a collection of stories from his childhood in South Africa. It’s awful and harrowing but it is also, somehow, completely hilarious. Thank you, ladies!

So the one benefit of being wiped out is that I have tons of time to read it. Makes a change from reading the first few pages one night and then reading them again the next because I’d forgotten what I read. The other benefit is that this all started just before we began the Simple Summer Cleanse. It’s easy to detox when you don’t want wine and chocolate anyway. I almost feel like I’m cheating!

Last week, I gave you a cleanse-friendly dessert for the holiday weekend, the Key Lime Pie. This week I’m giving you another option. These are tiny chocolate tarts made with a few simple, real-food ingredients.

You’ve had this before but I’ve adjusted the crust to make it nut-free. That’s easier on allergies and also on your food processor!

I made these last week and froze them for the holiday. Between all the vitamins and Trevor Noah, I’d better be on my feet by then. Fingers crossed!

Mini chocolate tarts

Makes at least 12 baby tarts



1 cup unsweetened organic desiccated coconut (I used the Let’s Go Organic brand from Supermart)

1 cup medjool dates (after they have been pitted and chopped)

1 tbsp unrefined extra virgin coconut oil

Large pinch sea salt


¾ cup maple syrup (you can experiment with less) at room temperature

½ cup unrefined extra virgin coconut oil, melted over a low heat

½ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (or raw cacao if you can get it)


1. Grease a mini muffin pan with a light layer of coconut oil.

2. Make the crust by placing the coconut, oil, dates and salt in a food processor. Whizz on low, and then high until the dough forms a ball around the blade. If you need to add more coconut oil, then do. The mixture should stick well together when pressed.

3. Form small walnut-sized balls with the mixture and place each one in a mini muffin spot. Press the dough down and out until it covers the inside of the mould and has formed a cup. Be sure to leave enough dough covering the base layer. You can test this using a knife. Do this for each one and then place in the fridge or freezer to set while you make the ganache.

4. Wash the processor bowl well and then add the ganache ingredients. I suggest you make sure the maple syrup is at room temperature. If it is cold it will cause the coconut oil to reharden and then you may have lumpy ganache despite the processor! Whizz on low until all the ingredients are well blended. Switch to high for 20 seconds, then pour into a jug or use a spoon to fill the cups.

5. Place back in the fridge to set — allow one hour before serving. You can use the freezer if you are in a hurry. These melt at room temperature so serve straight from the fridge with berries!

Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, on Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda

Not-so-naughty treat: Catherine Burns’ mini chocolate tarts, a suitable dessert during the Simple Summer Cleanse