Monday, May 14, 2012

Banana Nutella Tart

I can't even being to describe how much I loved this tart.   I started dreaming of this several weeks ago. My kids are on another banana strike and I just wasn't in the mood to make banana muffins.  I was thinking of things that go well with bananas and my mind went straight to nutella and banana crepes. I didn't really want that either.  I've been itching to use my tart pan again.  So I thought if I filled a tart shell with nutella and bananas it would be almost like the ultimate crepe.   (Not really)

At that time, I had about 3 bananas on my counter that were about to turn.   Just as I had the thought - as if they are psychic - Evie, Liam and their friend Ella strolled into my kitchen and declared they wanted bananas.    It wasn't until this week that I found myself with another surplus of bananas.  Once again, I wanted a tart. 

I did a google search and of course a nutella and bananas in a tart has been done before.  This one from Lea and Jay really caught my eye.  It's originally by Dorie Greenspan.   I'm not much of a baker so I've never made anything from the famed Dorie Greenspan.  So I am very glad to have something of hers now under my belt.  It is a bit of an under taking, but the good thing is that in between steps, there's plenty of time to clean up each stage of the tart making, AND play with the kids.  
Which is great, because I made this on Mother's Day.  Nico said, "It's Mother's Day, you are not supposed to be working."  I said to him, "No, it's Mother's Day so I get to do whatever I want.  And I want to make a banana nutella tart." 

As much as I love shortcuts, I didn't take many on this.   The first step was to bake the chocolate shortbread shell.  Once cooled, I added the nutella and caramelized bananas.   I allowed that to cool and then finished it off with the chocolate ganache and the final layer of bananas.  The original recipe called for the bananas on top to be brushed with apricot glaze, but for some reason that didn't appeal to me.  So I just caramelized the bananas on top as well.  I was very tempted to flambe them, but our flat top cook top doesn't seem to be too receptive to flambe-ing.
Nico did some grilling for dinner and we enjoyed this for dessert.  It's insanely rich.  I have no idea how we will be able to finish this because small slices are necessary.  I think it's going to be something to share with friends.   Maybe next time, mini tart versions will be necessary.
 This is a first class dessert.  I would order this in a restaurant.
Banana Nutella Tart
recipe adapted from Lea and Jay, originally from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table

For the shortbread shell
1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks

For the caramelized bananas
6 ripe but firm bananas
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

For the chocolate ganache
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

2/3 cup of Nutella

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined.   Add the butter and pulse until the butter is cut in, but course.  Add the egg yolks a bit a time, pulsing after each addition.  When the yolk is all added, pulse about 10 seconds until the dough is combined.   Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead to combine any dry ingredients that may not have mixed.

Butter a 9 or 9 1/2" fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.  Press the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of the tart pan.  Prick the crust with a fork, then freeze for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the center.   Butter a piece of foil and press firmly against the shell.  Bake the shell for 25 minutes then carefully remove the foil.   Allow the shell to cool completely before filling the shell.

In the meantime, you can prepare the caramelized bananas.   Cut 2 bananas into 1/8" thick slices.   Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter.  When the butter is melted and begins to bubble, add the bananas.  Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the bananas and allow the bananas to cook for 1-2 minutes.  Turn them over and caramelize the other side.  Transfer to a parchment lined plate and pat with paper towels to remove any excess butter.  Cool to room temperature.

Once the tart shell is cool, spread the Nutella over the bottom of the baked shell.   Add the caramelized bananas and refrigerate the shell for 30 minutes.

Prepare the chocolate ganache while the tart chills.   Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heat proof bowl.   In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil then pour over the chocolate pieces.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes then whisk the chocolate until the cream and chocolate are combined.  Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until the ganache is smooth and shiny.  (I only used half of this ganache.  I refrigerated the rest and if I can't decide what to do with it in the next day or two, I will freeze it for up to two months.)

Pour the ganache over the caramelized bananas and level with an offset spatula.  Return the tart to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.  If you chill it any longer, be sure to cover the chocolate with plastic wrap to retain the shine.

Finish the tart by caramelizing the remaining 4 bananas.  Cut into 1/4" slices on a bias.  (You can do this in advance while you are caramelizing the first batch of bananas, then set aside until its time to top the tart.)  Arrange the bananas on top of the tart however you like.  I had imagined my bananas on top would be much more artfully arranged.  They didn't look as pretty as I had imagined, but it did not affect the taste at all.
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1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Looks yummy. Might give this a try the next time I need a fancy dessert!