ffwd: double-chocolate and banana tart

I think this recipe should have been called a double chocolate and double banana tart. This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is an unusual dessert. The double chocolate comes from a chocolate shortbread crust and a thick layer of ganache. The double banana comes from a layer of caramelized bananas and a layer of fresh banana slices.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned below, the primary other eater at my house doesn’t mix fruit and chocolate and wouldn’t have anything to do with a banana for a million dollars. So I had to get a little creative with this one. Once again, I went the mini route. The full pastry recipe made four mini tart shells. I’ve made the non-chocolate version of this crust before. With both versions, I just love the ease of the press-in dough. I also think the texture and flavor of the pastry is excellent.

The original plan was to make one banana mini tart and then figure out what to do with the others afterwards. As it turned out, my friend Karen came over for a visit, so I made two banana mini tarts for us to eat while we caught up.

The caramelized bananas didn’t actually come out the way I expected. I don’t know whether I sliced the bananas too thin, but they pretty much fell apart while they were caramelizing. I did transfer the mixture to a parchment-covered plate, but there wasn’t anything to pat off, and when it cooled, I was afraid I’d be stuck with a hard candy blob. So, I quickly divided the soft mixture to the mini tart shells to harden in place.

The ganache layer was simple to put together. Hot cream is poured over finely chopped bittersweet chocolate to melt the chocolate. Then butter is whisked in to finish the ganache. I spread the ganache over the bananas and let it cool in the fridge for about an hour. I only made half the ganache called for and used only half in these mini tarts.

To finish it off, I arranged sliced bananas over the chocolate and glazed it with melted apricot jam. They were gorgeous!

Karen and I had fun critiquing the tarts and figuring out how to perfect them. We thought the caramelized banana layer was the best part and that there wasn’t nearly enough of it. In a full tart, the layer must have been awfully thin. We thought the tart should have had at least twice as much caramelized banana in it. We also thought the double chocolate might have been overkill, and that a plain shortbread crust would have been better. We also didn’t love the apricot glaze. A simple caramel drizzle would have been nice and maybe a touch of crème anglaise.

Howard wasn’t at all disappointed to miss out on the chocolate banana tart, but he does adore chocolate. I took a cue from the bonne idée for this one and combined Dorie’s idea for a chocolate nutella tart with Karen and my ideas on improving the original and concocted chocolate caramel almond tarts with the remaining two chocolate shells.

I spread a thin layer of Trader Joe’s fleur de sel caramel sauce on the bottom, then I reheated the rest of the ganache and spread that on top. Finally, I toasted some sliced almonds and layered them on top of the ganache and let it rest in the fridge to firm up. To finish it off, I drizzled more of the caramel over the almonds just before serving. It was pretty, not as gorgeous as the banana version, but looking fine. It was rich, but Howard liked it. I could see making the full sized version sometime.

Check out how the other Doristas made out with their tarts here. We don’t share the recipes here, but you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

Going Banana-less with a Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart

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Posted on 18 May 2012, in Baking, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Totally wish there was much more of the caramelized banana. I like the “Howard approved” version :-)
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Our bananas feel apart caramelizing too. I love the addition of the salt great idea.

  3. Ooooooh I love the caramel addition! I bet that was so delicious!

  4. That’s awfully nice of you to make a special version for your husband. It is more fun when everyone in the family can participate a little and provide feedback on the recipes. I ended up doubling the amount of caramelized bananas because i too thought that it didn’t look like enough.

  5. I love salt with desserts – just a little bit of fleur de sel or himalayan pink sea salt will go a long way. this recipe looks soo good. I’ll be sure to give it a shot this weekend! Check out Beyond The Shaker (www.beyondtheshaker.com) for some salty goodness!

  6. I actually thought of adding some dulce de leche syrup to mine…but glazed it instead!
    Your tarts look heavenly! I love your version with the caramel sauce! Have a lovely weekend!

  7. thekitchenlioness

    Betsy, both your versions look utterly delicious – and I love mini tart pans, I own way too many of them but can never get over how adorable mini tarts look! Wonderful photos of such pretty tarts!

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Other than your almonds, I think we had similar culinary experiences this week, right down the the caramelized banana “mush”. Great post!

  9. I didn’t use the banana at all, just the Nutella with hazelnuts. But your description of the caramelized bananas sounds fantastic. Kind of like a bananas foster layer. Your tart looks delish!

  10. Oooh, your caramel almond tart sounds SO good! That was a great way to use the extra tart shells.

    I thought it needed more caramelized banana too. That part was definitely the star of the show.

  11. I love the variations that you made, Betsy, especially the caramel almond. I should have been more creative with this one and perhaps we would have enjoyed it more. The lemon juice on the bananas mixed with the apricot glaze I think were the killers for us. Have a great weekend!

  12. I like your mini banana tarts, but I LOVE the sound of the caramel chocolate almond version – it sounds devine.

  13. absolutely fabulous idea – I adore salted caramel – add in the bananas too, with a plain crust and the almonds and I think may have a hard time not eating them all. Sounds like I have to do some experimenting too!

  14. I was disappointed in the caramel for this tart…your idea sounds terrific…just what I was thinking for next time. And I love the individual size tarts…which are probably so decadent that they could be cut up anyway…Your ideas made great changes and I want to give them a try.

  15. susanelester

    Oh, I like your version! i could eat Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce right out of the jar!

  16. The caramel tart is amazing; salted caramel goes so well with chocolate! I bet caramel, bananas and chocolate would be the best combination…

  17. Oh my goodness – I want a piece of the Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart now! I love your suggestions to improve on this one!

  18. Chocolate caramel almond, great idea!!!

  19. Oh my – they all looked lovely but that caramel nut one was insane. I had not even gotten far enough to thinking of many creative options as I got this done right under the wire. Nana had hers done early so we knew how amazing the recipe is. Still -I adore salt with my chocolate and I have to go back and do this with caramel….my favorite. Thx for the inspiration !

  20. Your improvised tart sounds excellent! I love salted caramel. I had the same thought about double chocolate and double banana, and also the exact same problem with my caramelized bananas. Except I don’t think as quickly as you do, so before I knew it mine were hardened into one big piece. They broke apart pretty easily, but I think next time I would use several more bananas and cut the slices significantly thicker.

  21. I like your alternatives to the original recipe!

  22. The salted caramel addition sounds amazing! I will have to look for it at my Trader Joes! I skipped the bananas on the top, but agree that if I do make it again, caramel will be my glaze instead of the apricot jam.

  23. Both versions of your tarts look delicious! I love the way we can experiment a bit by making small tarts instead of the full-size.

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