Today is my mom’s birthday, so I’m hosting my extended family for dinner tonight to celebrate with her. I didn’t feel like a traditional birthday cake, and in my zest to keep cleaning our my fridge and pantry, I came up with these items to use:Pastry dough from various times when I only used one of the crusts from my two-crust flaky crust recipe.A collection of various chocolates ranging from semi-sweet to bittersweet.Two small clementine oranges that have seen better days but I figured the zest would still be flavorful. I also happened to have on hand some half and half, a few eggs, and one very ripe banana. Having read a post on Zen Can Cook about a warm chocolate and banana tart, I was inspired to create one of my own – minus about 20 of the steps involved.Start by rolling a crust out and pressing it into a tart pan (with a removable bottom). Blind bake it with a piece of foil or parchment paper and then some pie weights or dry beans on top for about 10 minutes, then remove the weights and bake it another 10 minutes. It will be partially cooked at this point.Melt some butter and brown sugar together in a large skillet……and then add a sliced banana (I would have used second if I had it) to caramelize. You cannot possibly believe how good this smells or tastes without doing it yourself. And if you’re feeling indulgent, the leftover butter and sugar is yummy to snack on – just make sure you let it cool so you don’t burn the heck out of your mouth!While the bananas are cooking, heat up the half and half just until it simmers at the edges……turn off the heat and whisk in the sugar and the chocolate until it’s completely melted. Then whisk in the orange zest, salt and eggs. Set aside to cool slightly.Lay the caramelized bananas on the bottom of the crust……then pour the creamy chocolate ganache carefully over the top. Notice that I put the tart crust onto a silicone mat lined baking sheet (or use foil) before doing this so that it’s easier to transport to the oven and to catch any spills as it cooks.You need to bake the tart just long enough to make sure it’s no longer jiggly in the center, but not too long such that it explodes, like mine did. If this does happen, not to worry – as the tart cools it settles back down and those cracks become almost invisible. Let it cool on the counter then refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to cutting it.
1 Flaky Tart Crust
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 bananas, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups half and half
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of two small oranges (or one large)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
Roll out crust into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and blind bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake an additional 10 minutes. While crust is baking, heat butter and brown sugar in a large skillet until bubbly, then add banana slices and cook over medium high heat until nicely browned, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside. Heat half and half in a large saucepan over medium high heat just until it begins to bubble at the edges. Turn heat off and whisk in sugar and chocolate until completely melted. Whisk in orange zest, salt and eggs, one at a time. Set aside.
Layer banana slices across the bottom of the semi-cooked tart crust, then carefully pour the chocolate filling over the top. Bake at 325 degrees until firm, but remove before cracks occur, about 20 minutes. Let cool on the counter then refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving.
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