Lightly grease the bottom of a 9½ x 1-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom with a parchment round; this will make the tart easier to slide off the pan bottom when unmolding.
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the shredded coconut and whole almonds until it resembles flour.
In a mortar and pestle, crush cardamom pods. Remove and discard the green husks. Finely crush the cardamom seeds. Add to the bowl of the food processor, along with the ground cinnamon and salt. Pulse to combine. Add in the chopped dates and coconut oil. Pulse several times until the mixture is uniform in texture and forms a slightly sticky “dough”.
Press the crust mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan as evenly as possible. Use a flat-bottomed drinking glass or the bottom of a dry measuring cup to help flatten out the bottom.
Place into the fridge to chill and firm up; at least 30 minutes.
Place the finely chopped dark chocolate (see Chef’s Tips) into a medium heatproof bowl. Place a fine-meshed sieve over the bowl.
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the water, black tea leaves (or tea bags, if using), and ginger. Place onto medium heat and bring mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer; 1 minute. This will deactivate the enzyme in raw ginger that may curdle coconut milk. Transfer the ginger tea to a small bowl; cover and leave to steep (see Chef’s Tips).
Place the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and star anise into the mortar. With the pestle, gently pound the spices until coarsely crushed; do not make into a powder.
Place the broken spices into the bottom of the small heavy-bottomed saucepan that was used for the ginger; no need to wash. Place over medium heat while constantly swirling to gently toast the spices until fragrant, being careful not to burn the spices; about 30 seconds to a minute.
Add in the coconut milk (see Chef’s Tips), the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, and salt. Stir constantly until milk just begins to simmer. Mix in the ginger tea and vanilla extract until well combined; do not boil as this may cause the coconut milk to split. Remove from heat and pour the hot coconut milk through the sieve into the chopped chocolate. Discard solids. Let sit for about a minute. With a heatproof spatula, slowly stir the coconut milk mixture into the chocolate, starting in the centre and slowly moving the spatula outwards until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and glossy.
Pour the chocolate ganache into the chilled crust. Evenly smooth out with an offset spatula. Place back into the fridge to chill and set; at least 2 hours or until firm.
Slowly and carefully push the base of the tart shell upwards. Remove outer ring. Slide an offset spatula (or the tip of a butter knife) around the base of the tart, between the crust and parchment paper. Gently slide the tart off the base and onto a serving dish or cake stand.
Garnish with desired toppings or serve simply as is. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice (see Chef’s Tips).
*If whole cardamom pods are not readily available, use about ½ to ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom for the 3 cardamom pods in the crust. Use about 1½ teaspoons of ground cardamom for the filling.
*Use soft dates; however, if dates have dried out and hardened, place into a heatproof bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften. Strain the water from the dates. Proceed with recipe
*Most dark chocolate is vegan-friendly; however, read the label and list of ingredients before purchasing to ensure that the chocolate does not contain any dairy products.
*Try not to steep the black tea for longer than 5 minutes as this may impart some bitter notes to the final dessert.
*Shake and/or stir the canned coconut milk before using the contents to ensure that the fat is evenly distributed throughout.
*Almonds can be substituted with any raw nut (pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts).
*Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar can be successfully substituted for the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar. The final product will have a more subtle caramel undertone. Redpath® Demerara Style Sugar can also be substituted; the final result will have a more complex and earthy undertone.
*Dip the chef’s knife into a container filled with hot water and wipe the blade dry with a kitchen towel before every slice.