oh, man. it has been a tough week already. my schedule for work was changed again (3rd time!), but this time only by a half hour…and i have been having a lot of issues with my tummy…which i am convinced is because of the musical work schedule. over the weekend i whipped up some brioche (haha, yeah right…brioche cannot be whipped up…at least not for me) to make pecan-honey sticky buns for my friend brooke’s b-day. i would have made her a cake, but she was specific and requested these, and i made these banana cream tarts that i have been thinking about for ages.
i really wanted to make a banana cream pie that incorporated chocolate, because, well, bananas and chocolate were meant for each other. i have also been wanting to make a tart crust out of my favorite korova cookie dough. i figured if i froze the pressed dough in the tart pans i wouldn’t have much trouble with a poofy tart dough. w-r-o-n-g, wrong. the dough poofed up and over…however i was able to press it down with the back of a spoon and even though it did not come out as planned, i have been thinking of other things i could fill these tart shells with. the crust was sandy and chocolatey and salty…all of the things i love about korova cookies. and when matched with bananas, vanilla bean pudding and whipped cream, these tarts were everything i had hoped for…and maybe even a little more.
hopefully, by next week i will have adjusted to this new schedule…and hopefully this will be the one i get stuck with for at least a few months…that way maybe i will be able to re-focus my baking endeavors and at the very least, maybe my stomach will stop rebelling against me.
korova cookie crust
adapted from baking:from my home to yours
as mentioned above, this adventure resulted in an ultra-poofy crust…press it down while it is still hot with the back of a spoon. next time i may try lining the frozen tart shells with parchment and filling them with pie weights.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
11 tablespoons butter, room temp (1 stick plus 3 tbsp)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter on medium until soft and creamy, making sure not to beat in any air. add both sugars, salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes.
turn off mixer and pour in dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over mixer and pulse at low about 5 times. mix for 30 seconds more, just until flour disappears into the dough. the dough will look crumbly.
press the dough into 4, buttered tart pans (mine are small, like 3 or 4 inches), or into a large tart pan (9-10 inches). wrap in plastic and freeze for at least 3 hours.
bake at 325 for 12 minutes. press poofy cookie tarts down with the back of a spoon and transfer for racks to cool completely.
vanilla bean pudding
adapted from baking…
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted, room temp butter–cut into 4 pieces
bring 2 cups of the milk to just before boiling with vanilla bean seeds and pod in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. cover and remove from heat. allow vanilla to steep in milk for 15 minutes. remove pod and bring vanilla milk to a boil with 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
while milk heats, place salt and cornstarch in a food processor and pulse to blend. turn out onto a piece of parchement or into a bowl and blend remaining sugar with egg yolks for 1 minute. scrape down sides and add remaining milk, pulsing to combine, then add dry ingredients back in.
with the machine running, slowly pour in hot milk mixture. process for a few minutes, then add everything back into the saucepan. whisk without stopping, making sure to get the edges of the pan, until everything has thickened and a few bubbles burble to the surface. scrape everything back into the processor (making sure to avoid any schorched spots) and pulse a few times. add the butter and pulse to combine. chill before assmebling tarts.
fill tart shells 3/4 of the way with pudding and top with slices of banana (about 2 bananas for 4 mini-tarts), top with freshly whipped cream* and grated chocolate.
*note, i used unsweetened whipped cream since i figured the tart shell and pudding would balance it out…and it did.