I hope you are enjoying this holiday weekend. For us, it has been a weekend of potty training, sourdough bread baking, grilling and torrential rains. I have not seen it rain so hard in a long time, but it was needed as our grass was starting to look a bit brown and lifeless.
I will leave the potty training stories for another time, as I know those of you who have done it, have your share of funny ones as well. I will have to tell you about our new sourdough culture soon. It has become our new family project now and are completely obsessed with it.
I made these chocolate tarts for our annual Memorial Day weekend block party. Surprisingly, the sun came out for us and we were able to set up a large tent right outside so everyone could come in and go. Lots of neighbors joined and the kids had a blast in the pool and the sprinklers we set up outside.
Everyone loved when I brought these tarts out. They are chocolate tart shells filled with a layer of banana caramel with peanuts, another layer of a triple chocolate salted caramel ganache and topped with chocolate mousse. Rich to say the least, but oh so good.
Chocolate Tart Dough
adapted from Johnny Iuzzini’s “Dessert Fourplay”
Note: you will only need part of the dough. Freeze the rest.
140 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
150 grams sugar
1 egg white
310 grams flour
50 grams cocoa powder
4 grams baking powder
Cream the butter, sugar and salt until light.
Mix the egg white and egg together and add it to the butter. Mix and scrape bowl well.
Add the sifted flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix until combined.
Divide the dough into two balls, flatten them into disks, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours before rolling.
Roll the dough into 1/8″ thickness and fill 3″ ring molds with it. Refrigerate the filled molds for at least an hour before blind baking.
Salted Peanut and Banana Caramel
100 grams sugar
40 grams glucose
50 grams butter
200 grams ripe bananas, mashed
50 grams salted peanuts, chopped
Make a dry caramel with the glucose and the sugar. Add the softened butter and whisk until it melts. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mashed bananas. Transfer to a clean bowl and let this caramel cool.
We will add the salted peanuts when the banana caramel has cooled and right when we assemble the tarts.
Salted Caramel Ganache
25 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
50 grams unsweetened chocolate, chopped
75 grams milk chocolate, chopped
200 grams heavy cream
50 grams butter
10 grams glucose
105 grams sugar
large pinch of sea salt
Place the three types of chocolate in a large bowl. Place a large strainer over the bowl and reserve.
In a small pan, heat the heavy cream and butter and keep it warm.
In a separate tall pan, make a dry caramel with the glucose and sugar. Add the warm heavy cream and butter mixture slowly and whisk. The caramel will bubble up so stand away from the pan slightly and add it in stages if necessary. Whisk until all incorporated.
Pour this caramel over the chopped chocolate through the fine sieve. Add the sea salt and whisk until ganache is formed.
Be careful not to over whisk this ganache because it has a tendency to “break” if handled too much.
2 egg yolks
55 grams simple syrup
100 grams bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
205 grams heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Place the egg yolks and the simple syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk them together. Place this bowl over a double boiler and whisk the ingredients until light and foamy and thick. About 3-4 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the double boiler and place it in the machine. Whip the eggs until the bottom of the bowl feels cool to the touch.
Add the melted and cooled chocolate to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well.
Fold in the soft peak whipped cream and mix gently until all incorporated.
Assembling the Tarts
Blind bake the tart shells at 350F.
When tart shells are cooled, spoon a bit of the banana caramel into them. Top with the chopped peanuts.
Pour a thin layer of the salted caramel ganache into the tarts to cover the bottom layer. Refrigerate for a few minutes to set.
Place the chocolate mousse in a pastry bag fitted with a number 5 tip and pipe it on top of the set ganache.
Dust the tarts with a bit of cocoa powder, sprinkle with chopped peanuts and decorate with chocolate shavings.
They are best served slightly at room temperature so the ganache has a chance to soften a bit, so pull them out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving.