Banana and Chocolate Tart
Crisp phyllo cups hold ganache, pastry cream, banana bits, and toasted Swiss meringue. Citrus-Caramel Sauce fills the plates around the cups. Chef DuBois adds golden baskets of caramelized sugar to the tops of his desserts to hold still more banana pieces, and those who are familiar with sugar lattice work can duplicate this. However, the dessert is still lovely topped with an edible flower and surrounded by banana dice in the Citrus-Caramel Sauce.
- Phyllo Cups
- Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Phyllo Dough - 3 sheets, thawed
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 4 oz, chopped
- Light Corn Syrup - 1 scant tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Swiss Meringue
- Egg White - 8
- Sugar - 2-1/2 cups (16 ounces)
- Citrus-Caramel Sauce
- Sugar - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Water - 6 tablespoons
- Fresh Orange Juice - 1/2 cup strained
- Grand Marnier - 1 tablespoon
- Orange - Segments from 1, membrane removed, roughly chopped
- Pastry Cream
- Milk - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Sugar - Scant 2/3 cup
- Cornstarch - 2 scant tablespoons
- Egg - 2
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup (1/2 stick)
- Vanilla - 1 teaspoon
- For assembly
- Banana - 2, peeled
- Banana - 1, peeled and cut into thin slices
- Caramel sugar baskets - 6 (optional)
- Raspberries - 18 to 24, fresh
- Marigolds - 6 (alt. other edible flowers)
To make the phyllo cups: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the cinnamon and sugar. Cover the thawed phyllo with plastic wrap and a damp cloth to keep it from drying out while you work. Place one sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Top with the second phyllo sheet and repeat. Top with the third sheet and again brush with butter and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Cut out six 6-by-4-inch ovals. Place an oval into a 3-inch mini-tart pan and press into place with a second mini-tart pan. Leave the second pan in place. Repeat to make six. Place the mini-tart pans on a baking sheet and bake about 5 minutes. Remove the top mini-tart pans to expose the phyllo and finish baking until light golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 more minutes. Remove and press the top tart pan into each to press down the centers again, then let cool.
To make the ganache: Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Place the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand 30 seconds. With a spatula, begin stirring the mixture together from the center outwards until smooth. Optionally, blend briefly with a stick mixer after the mixture has already melted to assure smoothness. Let stand at room temperature to cool and thicken.
To make the Swiss meringue: Place the egg whites and sugar in the large bowl of a mixer and warm over simmering water until the mixture reaches 120 F and the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir constantly with a whisk as it heats. Beat the warmed mixture on medium speed until it foams, then on high speed until firm peaks form, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
To make the sauce: Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat. Warm the orange juice in another small saucepan. Continue cooking the sugar mixture until it reaches a medium-dark caramel color; do not stir it during this time. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon and guarding against spatters, slowly stir the warmed orange juice into the caramel. Add the Grand Marnier. Let cool for at least 1 hour; the syrup will be served lukewarm. Optionally, stir in the well-drained orange pieces just before serving.
To make the pastry cream: Place the milk, cream, and half the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine the other half of the sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Bring the milk and cream mixture back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Stir a large spoonful of the hot mixture into the cornstarch-egg mixture. Quickly add about three-fourths of the cornstarch-egg mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture returns to a boil. If the mixture is not thickened, add a little more of the cornstarch-egg mixture and cook until it boils again; reserving a little of the cornstarch-egg mixture and adding if needed prevents the cream from getting too thick. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Spread plastic wrap across the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator.
To assemble: Quarter the bananas, then slice. Place the phyllo cups on a work surface. Spread some of the ganache in the bottoms of the cups. Top with diced banana. Put the pastry cream in a pastry bag fitted with no tip and pipe pastry cream on top, then add the remaining banana. Put the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip and pipe over the top of each tart with meringue. Brown the tops with a small kitchen torch, or, brown under a broiler preheated to high.
To serve: Put a dot of ganache in the center of each plate and anchor a tart in the ganache. Dot the top of each tart with a bit of left-over meringue. Anchor a caramel sugar basket on each meringue dot and fill each basket with a few raspberries and an edible flower. Spoon Citrus-Caramel Sauce around the phyllo cups. Alternatively, anchor a few raspberries and an edible flower in the dot of meringue on each tart. Sprinkle the plates with banana slices and spoon Citrus-Caramel Sauce around the phyllo cups and over the banana slices.