Banoffee tartlets

Banoffee tartlets

By
From
B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
Makes
6

I often think banoffee gets a bit of a raw deal in the dessert world. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the daft name; just not sophisticated enough to take seriously…? One thing is certain: it can taste delicious. I like baking these as individual tarts, then leaving them in the fridge and forgetting about them until dinner is ready. The way the cream, banana and caramel complement each other always cheers me up and anything that gives me the chance to make and eat a bucket-load of caramel is a winner.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the caramel filling

Quantity Ingredient
200g caster sugar
80g unsalted butter, chopped
120ml double cream

For the sweet chocolate pastry

Quantity Ingredient
175g plain flour, plus more to dust
50g cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
100g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
100g caster sugar
3 large eggs

To top

Quantity Ingredient
2 ripe bananas
250ml double cream
dark chocolate, grated, to sprinkle

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
rolling pin
6 10 cm loose-bottomed tartlet tins
baking beans, (or use about 300 g of dried beans or raw rice)
pastry brush
wire cooling rack
electric whisk
small offset palette knife

Method

  1. Start by making the caramel. Put the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and melt it down. Try not to stir it but, as it begins to melt, swirl the saucepan around to keep it moving; this will avoid any parts getting burnt.
  2. Once the sugar has melted and turned a light brown colour, reduce the heat to low and add the butter. This will boil and froth up, so mix with a spoon (it’s OK to mix it now) until it settles down and is well combined. Still mixing, slowly add the cream until the mixture forms a rich brown caramel. It will still be quite liquid, but don’t worry: it thickens as it cools. Set aside.
  3. Now make the pastry. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then break in 2 of the eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms.
  4. Turn out on to a floured work surface and knead for 1–2 minutes until well mixed, but don’t knead any further as you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour (that will toughen the pastry). Flatten the dough out into a disc about 15 cm wide, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 45 minutes to firm up.
  5. Remove it from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to about 45 x 30 cm. Cut it into 6 squares and lay them in 6 x 10 cm loose-bottomed tartlet tins. Use your fingers to work the pastry well into the corners and let the excess flop over the sides. Prick the bottoms of the pastry cases with a fork and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C and cut out 6 circles of baking parchment, each about 15 cm in diameter. Fold them across their centre point a few times (as if you were making a cut-out snow flake), then scrunch the paper up and open out flat again. Take the tartlet cases out of the fridge and place the circles of baking parchment in them. Fill these with baking beans, put them on a baking tray and ‘blind bake’ in the oven for 8 minutes. Beat the remaining egg. Take the tartlet cases out of the oven and remove the papers and baking beans. Brush them with a little beaten egg and return to the oven for another 8 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and cut the excess pastry from the edges of the tins with a serrated knife (be careful: the tins are hot!). Take the cases out of the tins and set on a wire rack to cool.
  8. Once the cases are cool, divide the cooled caramel between them; filling to just below the top of the case (it doesn’t matter if the caramel isn’t cold; you just don’t want it to be hot). Put in the fridge to cool and firm up the caramel.
  9. Peel and slice the bananas (discs 5 mm thick will do) and whip the cream in a bowl with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks.
  10. Once the caramel has cooled down enough to set, lay 6 discs of banana on each tart in a flower shape and spread the whipped cream on top with a small offset palette knife, sprinkling with grated chocolate to finish. Leave in the fridge until you want to serve them.

Note

  • This recipe has a level 3 (advanced) difficulty.

Extras

  • I really like the unashamed sweetness of these; they’re simple and they don’t muck about. I reckon that sweetening or flavouring the cream would be a step too far, but feel free to beat 25 g icing sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract into it if you have a super-sweet tooth.

    One thing I do think adds an extra bit of fun is a smidgen of salt in the caramel. I love salty caramel! Make it in exactly the same way, but stir in ½ teaspoon of sea salt flakes: the flakes will stay whole, so every now and again you’ll get a brilliant salty bite.

    This caramel also keeps for at least two months in the fridge, so make some just to have around the house. You’ll end up pouring it on everything (or just eating it off of a spoon in front of the fridge).

    If I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I like to top these tartlets with a mass of spun sugar. A bit messy, but lots of fun! To make spun sugar, combine 125 g caster sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Don’t stir it! Cook until it reaches 155°C on a confectionery thermometer, then remove from the heat. Using two forks, flick the sugar on to a sheet of baking parchment to make spun sugar, or twist around an oiled cylindrical metal utensil, or a ladle, to make sugar spirals or nests.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Baking
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