I don’t really go back home to Brittany often and if I do it is in September, sometimes in May, but most likely in September. Nine years ago, we went in October, almost to the date and around my sister’s birthday. The weather was amazing and my Father drove all of us to the North Western coast of the Celtic peninsula, an area I have always been a bit less familiar with, yet with breathtaking beauty, giant boulders of granite, cute villages and lonely lighthouses…
We stopped for lunch in Plouguerneau, we didn’t really know where to go so I asked a local retailer if he would he recommend something decent and he pointed at a restaurant a few doors down that seemed to be quite busy, open kitchen, working locals, it looked pretty good, no big fuss. In the middle was a big aisle with all the starters, cheeses and desserts displayed to tantalize the punter. It worked, I set my eyes on a chocolate and banana tart for “after” and looked forward to it as part of my menu. I had crudities to start, smoked andouillette for mains and now it was time to get serious with my chocolate and banana tart… The waiter arrived, not with my coveted “pudding”, but with a chocolate and fresh fruit “fondue” instead! They had ran out and his apologies didn’t quite make up for the sense of deep injustice I was feeling… Plouguerneau, I will remember you for the dessert I never got, nice one! Ach, how could I stay mad at you? With that smile and beautiful landscape?
So after all these years, I finally got to make my own. I had a couple of bananas that needed a bit of attention and I was seriously craving chocolate last weekend so I decided to do something a little outside of my comfort zone; I wanted the chocolate part to be moist so I went almost on a custard, lemon tart kind of technique and it paid of… I shouldn’t really experiment with desserts, but hey, when it works, the feeling is amazing! Here is how it went.
For the filling
- 200 g of organic 75% dark chocolate
- 25 cl of fresh cream
- 50 g of organic sugar
- 50 g of chopped or ground almonds (optional)
- 1 leveled tbsp of honey
- 3 small egg yolks
- 2 organic bananas ( quite small)
For the dough
- 200 g of organic pasta flour
- 100 g of butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 50 g of organic sugar
- few tbsp of ice cold water
So first and in a blender, I mixed flour, butter, sugar and egg yolk for the dough to a sandy texture, then put the lot in a large bowl and added the ice cold water. Wrapped in cling film and in the fridge it went. After an hour, roll the dough in a buttered and floured tart dish, place some clay beads on a sheet of grease proof paper and par bake at 200 c for about 10 minutes or until golden. Remember to egg wash the edges for a shiny finish.
Working with chocolate can be quite difficult, and if you don’t want to get that ugly oily separation, be mindful of the heat, a bain-marie is probably the best option. First and on a low heat, mix the sugar, honey, almonds, cream and egg yolks and mix well until it starts to have a nice thick texture, a bit like a custard if you wish, but a bit thicker. Put a bowl over hot water to melt the chocolate and pour in the mix, now off the heat. Keep stirring until it is all homogenized. Cut the bananas in thick enough slices and cover ( but not too much) the bottom of the tart. Pour the chocolate mix on top and let it set at room temperature first, then in the fridge. Give it a little dusting of icing sugar before serving, and there you go, banana and chocolate tart á la Franckie. Now why did I wait 9 years to do this, I don’t know! 😉
Keep Well and Eat Happy