I don't have many interesting banana stories to share in relation to this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Double Chocolate and Banana Tart, but here are two. Growing up in the tropics, I was always exposed to many different varieties of bananas. Some, like plantains, are the size and length of my arms, while bananas like manzanos, are short, stubby and sweet. Some bananas are red-skinned, some are only good for boiling while others are better for making fritters and baking. When I went to Europe to study, however, I was amazed to discover that there was usually only one type of banana sold in the regular supermarkets there - the Chiquita banana. It didn't take me long to get sick of eating that particular banana and I then started craving for the different ones we could have at home.
Speaking of Chiquitas, my mother grows this variety in her garden and frequently refers to them as her 'Cannabis' bananas (I'm too scared to ask about her bohemian past!). Of course, what she actually means is 'Cavendish' which is really the same type of bananas that the global company, Chiquita, grows and exports. My mother has her own special way to deter the wild monkeys from stealing her beloved bananas while they're still ripening on the tree, which is to drape an inflatable plastic snake around the bananas. To date, the monkeys have stayed away so yes, it does seem to work!
Spot the pumped-up slithery grey creature!
So why all this banana talk when this tart also contains nutella and chocolate? Shouldn't I be regaling you with sexy tales of chocolate instead? Aha, I'm trying to detract your attention away from the chocolate because mine here doesn't look very pretty. You see, by the time I had gotten round to baking and assembling the tart, it was already evening so I had to leave it the fridge overnight. Then when I took it out for the photoshoot the following day, the hot weather had made the chocolate 'sweat', making my job arranging the banana topping that bit more difficult.
Here, look at these bananas!
I toyed with the idea of adding a layer of peanut butter somewhere in between the chocolate crust, nutella, caramelized bananas and chocolate ganache layers, but I decided there might be slightly too much going on already. So I left it as a four-layered tart and it was no less delicious, very rich and decadent...I would know because at the time of writing this post, I had eaten 4 slices all by myself. Plus, there is half a tart left and I can't possibly, ahem, let the banana topping go bad now, can I?
As a rule, our online cooking group doesn't post any of Dorie's recipe but you can find this one in her award-winning cookbook, Around My French Table. I also came across a published recipe of a better version of this tart than mine that you can refer to here. I'm sure the other members of this cooking group will be rocking their own versions of this scrumptious tart and to find out how they did it, click here.
Have a fabulous weekend!