Banana-Chocolate Tart with Malted Milk Ice Cream
Caramelized bananas are tucked in the bottom of tarts filled with soft ganache. The tarts are served with quenelles of malted milk ice cream, Creole sauce, elegant chocolate garnishes, and the whimsical touch of Chocolate Whoppers malted milk balls embellish the desserts.
- Malted Milk Ice Cream
- Milk or Half-and-half - 2-3/4 cups
- Sugared malt powder - 1 cup
- Milk Chocolate - 8 ounces, chopped (preferably Pur Caribe)
- Trimolene (inverted sugar), - 1/2 cup, or honey or simple syrup
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Banana Filling
- Bananas - 2
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- Fresh lemon juice - 1/2 teaspoon
- Myers’s dark rum - 1/4 cup
- Almond Sable Crust
- Unsalted Butter - 1/3 cup
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 2-2/3 cups
- Almond Flour - 1/2 cups
- Cake flour - 5-1/3 cups, sifted
- Eggs - 3
- Cake flour - 2 cups, sifted
- Ganache Filling
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 8 ounces, chopped small
- Light Corn Syrup - 1/4 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Creole Sauce
- Threads of Saffron - 4 - 5
- Water - 3/4 cup
- Cream - 2 cups
- Banana Puree - 2 cups
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- Myers’s dark rum - 1/4 cup
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- To assemble
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 4 ounces, chopped
- Confectioner’s sugar - for dusting
- Chocolate Cones - 8 (directions follow)
- Chocolate Discs - 8 (directions follow)
- Chocolate Whoppers - 24 (malted chocolate ball candy)
- Straight Chocolate Sticks - 16 (directions follow)
- Chocolate Spirals - 8 (directions follow)
- Malted Chocolate Ice Cream (above)
- Chocolate Garnishes
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 2 pounds
- White Chocolate - 4 ounces
- Heavy Plastic Sheets - 5, approximately 12-by-18 inches in size
To make the ice cream: Put the milk and malt powder in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute. Add the chopped chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds, then begin to stir the melting chocolate into the milk with a whisk or a spatula. When the chocolate has melted and blended with the milk, stir in the Trimoline or honey and sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Cool in the refrigerator, then finish in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Freeze until ready to use.
To make the banana filling: Peel the bananas and cut into thin circles. In a heavy saute pan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar. Add half the lemon juice. Cook 1 minute, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Add the banana slices and the rum. Stir gently to coat all sides of the bananas, lower the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the glaze thickens. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Cook 30 seconds. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and cool to room temperature; cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To make the crust: Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone liner or parchment paper secured with a little water. Put all ingredients except the eggs and final 2 cups of flour in the large bowl of a mixer and blend together on slow speed with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on slow speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until incorporated before adding the next. Do not overmix; you do not want to develop the gluten in the flour. Add the remaining flour and mix just until the flour is absorbed and begins to form a ball, then stop mixing immediately. You may turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and mix in the final flour by hand instead, if you wish, to avoid overmixing. When all the flour has been added, turn half the dough out onto the prepared sheet. Pat into a rectangular shape, cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. Turn one of the chilled dough rectangles out on a lightly-floured work surface and roll out to a thin sheet, just over 1/8-inch thick, lifting after each pass of the roller to keep it from sticking. Cut four 6-inch discs from the dough. Repeat with the second sheet. Put the discs back in the refrigerator on the sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
Lift the dough circles from the sheets and set aside for a moment. Place eight 4-inch ring molds on the prepared sheets. Lay a circle of dough in each ring mold and gently press to fit the bottom and sides; do not stretch the dough. Trim the tops level with the molds. With the tip of a knife, lightly prick the bottoms. Return the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake until crisp and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let cool in the molds.
When the crusts are cooled, spread a layer of chilled banana filling in the bottom of each.
To make the ganache filling: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the corn syrup. Heat the cream until it just reaches a boil; remove from heat. Pour about a fourth of the cream into the center of the chocolate and begin gently stirring from the center outwards, blending the cream and chocolate. Continue adding the cream, one fourth at a time, stirring to blend completely between each addition. The developing ganache will be shiny and somewhat elastic. Finish by stirring in the butter; the ganache should not be very hot by the time you reach this step. Use a stick blender for one final blending of the ganache, until very smooth. Pour ganache over the bananas in each tart shell. Set aside; keep at room temperature.
To make the Creole sauce: Put the saffron in the water and bring to a boil; remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to infuse. all ingredients in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and blend completely with a stick blender. Or, pulse all ingredients briefly in a food processor until smooth; let stand to let the air bubbles subside. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside.
To assemble: Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from heat. Place each banana tart on a serving plate. Cut a 1-inch circle out of the center of each tart with a cutter and lift each core out in one piece. Set aside; dust with confectioner’s sugar. Wipe the edges of the hole in a tart with melted chocolate and place a chocolate cone, point-side down, in the hole. Hole until the chocolate sets and it is secure. Wipe a little melted chocolate on one side of the rim of the chocolate cone and secure a chocolate disc off-center on the cone; hold until the chocolate sets. Repeat with all the tarts.
Put a dot of melted chocolate on each chocolate disc and secure one of the reserved tart centers to each. Put three dots of melted chocolate on one of the plates and secure a Chocolate Whopper to each dot, holding until they are set. Repeat on all plates. Put the Creole sauce in a squeeze bottle. Put a little sauce in each cone, and a drizzle of sauce across each plate. Stand two straight striped chocolate garnishes inside each cone. Stand a chocolate spiral in each tiny tart center. At the last minute, put a quenelle of ice cream by the Whoppers on each plate.
To make the chocolate garnishes used in this dessert:
Shave about 2 tablespoons from each of the chocolates separately and reserve. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the bittersweet chocolate and heat to 110° F. Remove from heat; place the pan on a folded kitchen towel. Stir in the shaved chocolate, a spoonful at a time, until the chocolate cools to 90° F. Place the pan on a heating pad set very low to maintain the 90 F temperature.
Repeat with the white chocolate, cooling to 88° F.
Put one of the plastic sheets on a baking sheet. Pour the white chocolate on the plastic sheet and spread to 1/8-inch thick with an angled spatula. While the chocolate is still hot, pull through it in one direction with a pastry comb or new, clean wide-toothed comb. Cut all the way through to the plastic. Put the sheet in the freezer to set.
While the white chocolate is setting, cut twelve 6-inch circles of heavy plastic from the second plastic sheet. Slash each half way through to the center. Roll each plastic circle into a cone and secure the top edge with a paper clip or tape. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Dip a cone mold into the bittersweet chocolate, about 2-1/2 inches deep. Lift and let the excess chocolate run off and set, then dip again, building up a thickness just over 1/8-inch thick. Invert on the prepared baking sheet and put in the freezer. Repeat with the remaining cones, taking the sheet out of the freezer and adding a new cone each time. When finished, freeze for at least 30 minutes. You will have extras in case of breakage.
To finish the striped chocolate garnishes, remove the set white chocolate stripes from the freezer. Spread bittersweet chocolate over the stripes to cover. Put in the refrigerator to set. When the chocolate has lost its sheen and is almost set, cut into narrow strips: Dip a long knife in hot water, wipe dry, then press down through the chocolate. Trim the block to square up the edges, then cut 1/2-inch strips with the stripes running horizontally. Dip and clean the knife, then wipe dry, between each cut. When the garnishes have all been cut, place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to set hard.
Put another plastic sheet on a baking sheet. Pour bittersweet chocolate on the plastic sheet and spread to 1/8-inch thick. Let stand until the chocolate is almost set and has lost its gloss. Using a 2-inch ring mold or cutter, dip the mold in hot water, wipe dry, then press into the warm chocolate to create a disc. Make 8 discs; if you have room, cut extras in case of breakage. Peel away the excess chocolate. Place the discs in the freezer to set. The excess chocolate may be remelted and used.
Assemble a collection of 12 tall glasses or slim soda bottles, and a tape in a dispenser. Cut the remaining plastic into 12 strips, 2 inches wide by 12 to 14 inches in length. Lay the plastic strips on a work surface. Spread bittersweet chocolate in a strip, about 1 inch wide and just over 1/8-inch thick, the length of the plastic on each strip. Let stand until the chocolate is almost set and has lost its gloss. With a spatula dipped in hot water and wiped dry between each cut, cut down each side of the chocolate ribbon, leaving a 1/2-inch band down the center. Peel away the excess chocolate on the sides. Tape one end of the plastic strip to the bottom of a glass or bottle, chocolate-side out, and wrap the strip up and around the bottle, taping again near the top, creating a spiral. Set in the refrigerator to cool and set, then put in the freezer if there is room to set hard. Repeat to make 12 spirals.
When ready to use, take the chocolate garnishes out of the freezer. Let warm just slightly, then gently pull the plastic cone molds out of the chocolate cones. Gently peel the plastic away from the striped chocolate strips and chocolate discs to release them. Store the cones and discs in the refrigerator until the last minute. When ready to insert a chocolate spiral in a dessert, remove the tape from the glass or bottle and very gently peel the plastic from the chocolate spiral.