Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart

February 5, 2012

A Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart for the Annual World Nutella Day. Be still my heart! Has there ever been a happier, more delicious convergence of ingredients? I think not, though perhaps adding a little peanut butter into the mix would have made it even more enticing… if that is possible. That’s right, today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

I absolutely love Nutella. Just spreading it on toast is a joy, not to mention just eating it straight out of the jar. Yup, I might do that from time to time. I participated in World Nutella Day last year with my Nutella & Banana filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers. ( See..I got the peanut butter in there, but alas no chocolate. I will have to work on this idea for next year…)

This year I present a Nutella, Double Chocolate  Banana Tart. This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, which I was lucky enough to receive for Christmas. There are so many fantastic recipes in this book, but this tart caught my eye right away.

The tart looks pretty impressive huh? But it was really surprisingly easy to make and can be done in stages if you’re pressed for time on the day you wish to serve it.  It has a chocolate shortbread base, which can be made ahead of time. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to one month. Once you’ve baked the base, you spread a layer of Nutella over the bottom of the tart shell and then chill it for about 1 hour. While it is chilling, you caramelize a banana and let it cool to room temperature. You then layer the caramelized bananas over the Nutella. But wait, you’re not done yet. Then you pour a rich bittersweet chocolate ganache over the caramelized bananas. The ganache can be made ahead of time as well. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. You just need to pop it into the microwave to melt it a bit when you’re ready to assemble your tart.

Once you’ve added the ganache, you chill the tart once again for 30 – 60 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve it. At that point, you finish it off by topping it with freshly cut banana slices.

How does it taste? Unbelievably decadent. You should plan on eating this tart up on the day you make it. I don’t think you’ll have a problem there, it is soooo delicious! If by some bizarre set of circumstances the entire tart is not gobbled up, it will still be fine the next day, except the bananas won’t look as pretty.

Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart

recipe from : Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

Ingredients:

For Chocolate Shortbread Dough

  • 1 1/4 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 Cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 Tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Large egg yolk

For the Caramelized Bananas

  • 1 ripe but firm banana
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

For the Bittersweet Ganache

  • 1/2 lb. bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces, at room temperature

For the Banana Topping

  • 1/2 Cup Apricot jam, strained
  • 2-3 ripe but firm bananas
  • Fresh lemon juice

2/3 Cup Nutella

Directions:

For the Chocolate Shortbread Dough

Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each – until the dough which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead it just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Butter a 9 – 9 1/2 ” fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (butter the pan even if it’s nonstick)

Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but don’t use a lot of force  working lightly will preserve the crust’s shortbread-ish texture. Prick the crust all over and freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a piece of aluminum foil and press the foil snugly against the crust.

Bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.

Once the crust is completely cooled, spread 2/3 cup of Nutella over the bottom of the baked tart shell and chill the tart for 1 hour.

For the Caramelized Bananas:

Line a plate with parchment paper. Cut the banana into 1/8″ thick slices and toss the slices with lemon juice to keep them from blackening.

Put a large skillet – nonstick – over high heat and toss in the butter. When it melts and starts to bubble, add the bananas, turning them so that they’re coated with butter. Sprinkle the sugar over the bananas and cook, still over high heat, turning, until they’re golden and caramel-coated on both sides. Transfer the bananas to the parchment-lined plate and pat them gently on both sides with paper towels to remove any excess butter. Cool to room temperature. The bananas can be caramelized a couple of hours ahead and kept at room temperature.

To Make the Bittersweet Ganache:

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.Bring the cram to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 30 seconds or so, then, with a whisk or spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together. Stir gently, and when the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter, piece by piece. The ganache can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months; reheat gently in a microwave before proceeding.

Remove the chilled Nutella covered crust from the refrigerator. Arrange the caramelized bananas in an even layer over the bottom of the crust, then pour over the ganache. Hold the tart pan with both hands and rotate it lightly from side to side to encourage the ganache to even out, then slide the tart into the fridge again to set the ganache, 30 – 60 minutes. You can refrigerate the tart until serving time; just be certain to cover it once the chocolate sets.

To make the topping:

Bring the apricot jam to a boil in a small saucepan or in a microwave oven.

Peel the bananas and cut them on the bias into slices that are a scant 1/4 ” thick. Toss them lightly with just the slightest bit of lemon juice – the juice will keep them from blackening, but you don’t want them to be so wet that they dribble on the ganache. Arrange the banana slices in concentric circles over the top of the tart – start at the outer edge and slightly overlap the slices in a circle, then continue building concentric circles, having each circle slightly overlap its neighbour. Brush the bananas with a thin coating of the hot jam, glazing them evenly. Allow the glaze to cool and set.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the sides of the pan and slide the tart off the bottom of the pan and slice.

Enjoy!


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