The One with the Anniversary

Vegan Chocolate Heart-shaped tarts

Passion, patience, and presentation.

These are the secret principles required to whip up the perfect heart-shaped tarts.  These tasty treats are filled with nutritious goodness and capture the essence of my journey from a microwave-meal enthusiast to a home cook.

The 3Ps were an unspoken rule in my mother’s kitchen. She had a knack for transforming essential ingredients into gourmet-style meals. Each bite was a flavorsome journey wrapped in heaps of love.

Life has come to a full circle as I do my best to emulate her whenever I tie my apron.

That said, my cooking venture did not begin in the comfort of my mother’s kitchen. Instead, it was a reckless misadventure of trials and errors right here in the scorching heat of Dubai.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to keep a record of my food stories.

That is when joyfulhome-cooking was born.

Today marks the third anniversary of my humble home cooking venture. Even with 237 recipes down the road, I consider my skills a ‘work in progress.’

Like every self-taught cook, I have been on a rollercoaster ride with many highs, lows, and messy twists in the kitchen. A quick scroll down my page will show you how much Ichanged over the years.

Behind every mouthwatering click has been hours of meal prepping, weeks of trial runs, and frustrating food styling sessions. Yet, all those sweat and tears have led to countless victories and enlightening lessons.

Amidst it all, I have connected with thousands of budding bakers and home cooks. Each of you has brightened my day with your encouraging words. You motivate me to take risks and experiment with new flavors and ingredients.  I feel honored to see my innovative ideas come to lifeat your table.

My journey would be incomplete without your unconditional support. I thank you with all my heart and appreciate all the love you shower upon me. Life wouldn’t be as sweet if I did not have all of you to share my creations with.

Here’s to more years of swapping family recipes, sharing traditions, and exploring world cuisine from the comfort of our homes. I hope you come along on my next food-focused adventure.

Vegan Chocolate Heart-shaped tarts

The One with the Anniversary

These heart-shaped tarts are filled with nutritious goodness and capture the essence of my journey from a microwave-meal enthusiast to a home cook.


  • Prep Time: 2 HOURS 20 MINUTES
  • Cook Time: 20 MINUTES + 1 HOUR (CHILL TIME)
  • Total Time: 2 HOURS 40 MINUTES
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Author:
  • Joyce Mrad




  • 200 g pastry flour
  • 30 g almond flour
  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 110 g unsalted butter very cold
  • 34 tbsp almond milk


  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water



  • 1 cup chopped vegan chocolate
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk or cream


  • 180 g raw cashews
  • 1530 ml lemon juice (plus more to taste)
  • 60 ml melted coconut oil
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 200 g dairy-free dark chocolate (chopped and melted)
  • 60 ml maple syrup or agave nectar


  • 100g of condensed coconut milk
  • 180 g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tsp agar powder



  1. Sift all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the chilled butter cubes and mix them with the dry ingredients till you have a crumbly, sand-like texture.
  3. Add the egg and mix till it starts becoming doughy.
  4. Once the dough is ready, roll it out between two silicone baking mats to about 2mm of thickness. Place the dough along with the mats in the freezer for 15 minutes. Don’t remove the mats just yet.
  5. Take the dough out from the freezer and remove one of the silicone mats. Using the heart tart rings, carefully cut out 8 slices, which will be the base of the tart. Place the cuts into the tart rings using an offset spatula and making sure they retain their perfect shape.
  6. From the rest of the dough, cut out long slices, which will be the walls of the tart. Carefully place these on the tart rings and lightly press it at the bottom so that it sticks with the tart base.
  7. Place the tart rings in the freezer for an hour.
  8. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  9. After an hour, take the tart rings out and trim any excess pastry dough using a sharp knife.
  10. Bake the tart shells for 20 minutes. Then carefully remove them from the perforated tart rings. Bake them for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
  11. Let them cool on the perforated baking mat before adding the filling.


  1. Add the blackberries, maple syrup, lemon juice and water to a pot, stir and bring to the boil.
  2. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes, stirring often to stop it from scorching.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer and bubble for 10 minutes. It will thicken further as it cools.**


  1. Cover the blackberry compote layer with dchopped hazlenuts.


  1. Heat your coconut cream in a small saucepan over medium low heat.*
  2. Pour the heated coconut cream over the finely chopped chocolate and let it sit for two minutes.
  3. Stir the chocolate and coconut cream, folding them together.
  4. Keep stirring until the chocolate is melted.
  5. Pour the filling onto the crust . Use the back of an offset spatula to create a smooth surface. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.


  1. Blend all the ingredients for about two to three minutes to create the mousse filling.
  2. Don’t forget to scrape the sides occasionally, if required, to ensure a smooth consistency. Continue blending until you get a silky smooth texture. If you prefer your mousse a little sweeter, you can increase the maple syrup or add more lemon zest for more of a tangy taste. You can taste and adjust as you go.
  3. Pipe the mousse filling into a heart shaped mold.
  4. Place the molds in the freezer for one hour.
  5. Once the mouse has set, carefully remove them from the molds and turn them out over the chocolate ganache layer.



*You don’t want it to come to a boil, but get hot enough that it’s just about to simmer. If it gets too hot, it will burn your chocolate, but if it’s not hot enough it won’t melt it properly. You should be able to put your finger in the coconut cream without it hurting.

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