Monday, November 22, 2010

J’adore Dorie! Chocolate Banana Tart with Homemade Nutella

I had the great pleasure of attending Dorie Greenspan’s cooking class/book signing at Central Market Cooking School for her newest masterpiece, Around My French Table. The book is beautiful and is chock full of her interpretations of French classics that can easily be prepared by a home cook. (This may sound sacrilegious but I have to point out the ease of Dorie’s recipes in contrast to those of her mentor, Julia Child.) 


The meal she demoed for the class consisted of a starter of salmon rillettes followed by a fresh tuna, mozzarella, and basil pizza and then lamb and apricot tagine, and lastly a lemon tart with berries. It was simple and yet so satisfying- just the kind of meal to cook for friends to eat around the kitchen table. Not at all like a grand dinner party meal to be served in the dining room.

In other words, these recipes are for the kind of meals I could actually make. As opposed to the lavishly beautiful yet ingredient- and skill-intensive recipes that I often linger over longingly (even though I know I’ll never be able to execute such) in those cookbooks that could double as coffee table books. 

I’m sure I’ll be dipping into the savory side of Dorie’s book very soon, but first I went strait to the desserts chapter. It didn’t take long to come across a tart recipe I needed, desperately, to try. Chocolate Banana Tart? With Nutella? Um, yes, please!

Chocolate-Banana-Nutella Tart (It’s a mouthful- both literally and figuratively)
I love any dessert that manages to incorporate bananas (except for banana bread- that one, not so much). The recipe as Dorie wrote it called for topping the chocolate banana tart with apricot glazed, fresh banana slices but I have an aversion to apricot glazes from my LCB days. I guess most people find the glistening shine it adds to baked goods pretty and beckoning. I just can’t help but think it makes a dessert look like it has been embalmed. (And if you had seen the list of foreign ingredients in the can of apricot glaze at LCB, you’d be hard pressed not to make such as association as well.) I had planned to top my tart with caramelized banana slices but perhaps my bananas were a bit too ripe because I would up with caramelized banana sludge. Nevertheless, the sludge tasted amazing so I spread it over the chocolate crust before pouring in the nutella filling. Instead, I topped my tart with toasted hazelnuts and dried banana chips. The chocolate tart shell has a similar consistency to a shortbread cookie and the crunch of the cookie crust along with the toasted nuts and banana chips paired well with the gooey nutella filling.   

Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough

1 ¼ c all purpose flour
¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ c confectioners sugar
¼ t salt
9 T very cold unsalted butter, chopped in small pieces
1 large egg yolk

1. Butter a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. Put flour, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine.
3. Scatter in the butter pieces and continue to pulse until roughly chopped into pea-sized pieces. Stir the yolk in a small bowl and then gradually add into the mixture, pulsing after each addition.
4. When all egg has been added, continue to pulse in approximately 10 seconds intervals until the dough begins to come together in clumps.
5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and lightly knead to ensure all dry ingredients are incorporated. Place into the buttered tart pan.
6. In an even fashion, lightly press the dough into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. The crust will be thick but you may find that all dough is needed. Prick the crust and then place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before baking.
7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a piece of aluminum foil. Press the foil closely against the crust and bake in the center rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and take off the foil. Press the crust back down if it has puffed up and return to the oven for another 8 minutes until golden brown.
8. Remove to a rack to cool completely before filling.

Caramelized Bananas

1 ripe, firm banana, sliced to 1/8” thickness on the bias
fresh lemon juice
1 ½ T unsalted butter
3 ½ T sugar

1. While the tart dough is chilling in the freezer, caramelize the bananas in a large non-stick skillet. First melt the butter over high heat in the skillet until it begins to bubble and then add the bananas. Turn the bananas to coat with butter and then sprinkle in sugar.
2. Continue to cook over high heat while turning until the bananas are caramelized on both sides.
3. Transfer to a plate and pat with paper towels to remove excess butter. Allow to cool to room temperature before adding to tart shell.

Topping

1/3 c chopped, toasted hazelnuts
1/3 c dried banana chips
1 c homemade nutella

Assemble the tart by placing caramelized bananas on the bottom of the tart shell and the pour approximately 1 cup of homemade nutella into the shell. Finish by sprinkling additional chopped, toasted hazelnuts and banana chips over the nutella filling.  

6 comments:

  1. I've starred this in my reader. First, must buy tart pan!

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Linda Thanks! I picked up my favorite tart pan up at Target. I've bought fancy ones from kitchen stores as well but I don't think it's neccessry to spend the extra bucks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going to have to make some nutella! The fresh, homemade stuff must be amazing. And, this tart looks fantastic. Bananas with chocolate and nuts is just a lovely thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, how cool is that?! I love Dorie Greenspan :D
    THe tart looks amazing, very decadent. Because it has bananas (hubby hates them) I'd get to eat it all on my own too :) Love it!
    *kisses* HH

    ReplyDelete
  5. Drooooooooooling. This looks amazing. Minus the bananas and nutella, the chocolate tart shell alone seems divine. May I borrow for some mini chocolate cherry tarts I'm working on for an upcoming baby shower?

    ReplyDelete
  6. @ Lisa You should! I think you'd really like homemade Nutella.

    @HH You'd be a lucky girl, albeit with an unhappy husband! A tart all to yourself- how decadent!

    @ATXGastronomist I really liked this chocolate tart dough. You should defintely use it- it's a keeper!

    ReplyDelete