Friday, October 5, 2018

That's a Salty Banana!

And it literally is a twist, thanks to a pretzel crust.  Abbie Dodge, who wrote the new cookbook The Everyday Baker stopped by Tonia's Kitchen, to talk about her Banana Rum Truffle Tart.  Abbie told Tonia that it's a wonderful combination of salty and sweet, with the added treat of dark rum.  It's a real treat that will have your party guests clamoring for more!

For The Crust:

1 cup (35⁄8 oz./103 g) finely    crushed salted pretzel crumbs
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
Good pinch of table salt
5 Tbs. (21⁄2 oz./71 g) unsalted    butter, melted
For the filling
5 Tbs. (21⁄2 oz./71 g) unsalted    butter, divided
14 oz. (397 g) bittersweet chocolate,    finely chopped (see p. 380)
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
11⁄4 tsp. table salt
2 medium (5 oz./142 g each) ripe    bananas (see p. 114)
2 Tbs. firmly packed light or dark    brown sugar
2 Tbs. dark rum

For the topping
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream 
1 cup (8 oz./227 g) mascarpone
1⁄3 cup (23⁄8 oz./67 g) firmly    packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. dark rum
Pinch of table salt
Pretzel sticks, for garnish

Make the crust
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas 4). Have ready a 91⁄4-inch (23.5 cm) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. Put the pretzel crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and stir until blended. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and, using a silicone spatula, mix until well blended and the crumbs are evenly moist. Taste and add more salt if needed—the flavor should be both sweet and salty. Dump the mixture into the tart pan and lay a large piece of plastic on top of the crumbs. With your fingers directly on the plastic, press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. (A straight-sided, flat-bottomed coffee mug or a measuring cup works well at the end to ensure the crumbs are tightly packed on the bottom.) Remove the plastic and bake the crust until fragrant, 9 to 11 minutes. Move the pan to a rack and set aside to cool.
Make the filling
1. Cut 4 Tbs. (2 oz./57 g) of the butter into pieces, then add it with the chocolate and milk to a medium, heatproof bowl and melt in a microwave or in a medium bowl set over simmering water. Remove from the heat, add the salt, and whisk until well blended and smooth. Set aside.
2. Peel the bananas, slice into 1⁄2-inch (12 mm) pieces, and cut each piece in half. Put the remaining 1 Tbs. butter in a medium skillet and cook over medium heat until melted and bubbling. Add the banana pieces and sprinkle with the brown sugar and rum. Cook, using a silicone spatula to turn and gently stir, until the bananas are slightly softened and the juices are reduced and very thick, 2 to 3 minutes (see the Essential Technique on the facing page). Slide the pan off the heat.
3. Pour about one-third of the chocolate mixture into the crust and spread evenly to form a thin layer. Scatter the bananas in an even layer over the top and pour the remaining chocolate on top to cover the bananas and form an even layer. Refrigerate until the filling is chilled, about 3 hours. Cover and continue chilling until the filling is set, about another 4 hours, or up to 2 days, before proceeding with the recipe.
Make and add the topping
1. Put the heavy cream, mascarpone, brown sugar, rum, and salt in a medium bowl and beat with an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the cream is thick and holds firm peaks.
2. Scrape the topping onto the center of the filling and, using a small offset or silicone spatula, spread to cover the filling, leaving the center slightly domed along with lots of swirls and peaks. Cover loosely and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
To serve
Set the tart pan on top of a wide can and allow the outer ring to drop down (see the Essential Technique on the facing page). Move the tart to the counter and run a long, thin metal spatula between the bottom crust and the bottom of the pan. Using two long, wide spatulas, carefully lift and slide the tart onto a flat serving plate. Run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the tart into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice. Serve the slices topped with the pretzel sticks.
Flavor swap
Change the fruit: Instead of the bananas, omit the cooking, butter, sugar, and rum and use 6 oz. (170 g) raspberries or 8 oz. (227 g) cherries (Bing or Rainier), pitted and halved (see p. 322).
Finishing Touches
Just before serving, lightly dust with unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder.