Liz’s banana-chocolate tarte tatin

So this dessert goes out to a very special lady, Ms. Elizabeth Linn. She blew us all away during the tarte tatin challenge(the same one I’m probably never going to fully live down), when she made a banana tarte tatin with chocolate crème anglaise. I remember when we were planning our tarte tatins out, she was asking me if anyone had ever done one before and I remembered suggesting to her not to do it because it sounded really difficult. But she, against all odds and expectations, actually pulled it off and it went over really well with the judges! So hats off to Liz for proving herself to be a real mad hatter in the kitchen, because she really does go for it when she takes risks!

For my rendition of Liz’s tarte tatin, we have caramelized bananas, a chocolate chip shortbread, garnished with chocolate chip cookies, and a walnut-chocolate crème anglaise. I already ran the recipe/concept by Liz and it got her thumbs up, so it’s really all about the execution of it at this point! For this tarte tatin, it does serve 8 people, and it does use a ton of bananas, so you’ll need to buy 2-3 bunches of almost unripe bananas for this (it’s okay if they’re a little green, because unripe ones will hold their shape better to being caramelized anyways). Another thing that is important is how you cut the fruit. Cutting it into 1/4ths widthwise is the way to go, as it will yield the most controllable and consistent shape and size. I originally tried just using halves, but those kept falling over. For the crème anglaise, it is definitely nontraditional. I literally pureed toasted walnuts into water to make my own walnut milk, and thickened that with chocolate chips and cocoa powder, so that portion is actually vegan, albeit unintentionally and the tarte tatin not being vegan renders the entire desserts not vegan as a whole. So whoops. If you sub out the butter with coconut oil, you do have a vegan tarte tatin, though, so just do that if you want this to be a vegan dessert!

For the shortbread crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 cups mini chocolate chips, chopped up

Blitz ingredients together, sans chocolate chips. Mix in the chocolate chips afterwards, then roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8th of an inch thickness. Cut out a 12 inch diameter of the dough and transfer to the refrigerator to cool down. Cut the rest of the dough into 1/2 to 1 inch rounds. Bake the small rounds at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.

For the caramel:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch of white pepper
2 vanilla beans, split
2 cinnamon sticks
6 slices of ginger
12 bananas, cut in half widthwise

In a 10-inch cast iron, combine all of the ingredients except the bananas in a pan and heat up until the sugar turns the color of cinnamon. Place in your bananas and allow those to caramelize quickly for 2-3 minutes. Take off heat, and allow the pan to cool for 3-4 minutes before draping over your 12-inch round of dough. Tuck the edges inside of the pan. Bake at 345 degrees F for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 1 minute before flipping onto a plate. Optionally, you can deglaze the cast iron and flambe with some bourbon and pour that onto your tarte tatin. Garnish with your cookies.

For the crème anglaise:
1 cup water
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
a pinch of salt

Simmer the walnuts with the water for 20 minutes. Puree and strain, pressing to release as much of the liquid from the braised walnuts as possible. Whisk in the cocoa powder first, then the chocolate chips.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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