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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Banana Hazelnut Tart

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Tell me I’m not the only one who gets satisfaction out of the words “I told you so”. Granted, these four little words have the power to jumpstart an argument or hurt feelings, so I try to use them sparingly. But seriously, doesn’t it feel so good sometimes to say “I told you so”, if only in your head?!

I made this Banana Hazelnut Caramel Tart in a chocolate crust for New Years Eve. Unfortunately, we had an overwhelming amount of food and sweets that night and I was left with the majority of a tart heading into January. Wanting it as far away from my sweet tooth as possible, I packed it up for Ryan to take to work. He tried to resist. Rolled his eyes. Mumbled something about his coworkers not wanting any and it being January—the season of resolutions and healthy eating. Not to be deterred, I grabbed the plate on the way out the door, once again reminding him to take it in to work as he dropped me off at my office building.
Shortly after lunch I received an instant message from him. I believe the exact phrase was, “People are going crazy for this tart.”

I told you so. (Couldn’t resist)

Why wouldn’t they? It’s a chocolate crust filled with a mixture of homemade caramel, Nutella, and banana then topped with ganache. A variety of intense flavors, but too good to stay away from-even in early January! I’ll admit, this dessert gave me a few problems. My caramel seized up and it wasn’t until I brought out the secret weapon (my KitchenAid mixer) and mixed on high with the Nutella and mashed bananas that I got it all into a smooth, pourable texture.
Not a fan of banana? Omit. No Nutella on hand? Swap it out for peanut butter. I left mine plain, but it’d also be pretty sprinkled with hazelnuts, as Bria did.

One Year Ago: Mini Turtle Cheesecakes
Two Years Ago: Popovers

Chocolate Caramel Banana Hazelnut Tart
from These Peas are Hollow

for the crust-
-1 stick unsalted butter, softened
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-3 egg yolks
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup cocoa powder

for the filling-
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-2 tbsp water
-2 tbsp heavy cream
-2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-1/4 cup nutella
-2 bananas, peeled and mashed

for the ganache topping-
-1 cup dark chocolate chips
-1/2 cup heavy cream

1. To make the crust, beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix just until combined. On a floured surface, shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
2. To bake the crust, preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Carefully transfer to a tart pan (sprayed with cooking spray) and press to fit, cutting off excess if needed. Top the crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, remove the parchment and weights, and allow to cool completely.
3. To make the filling, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat. Once it turns a deep caramel color (it may first just be piles of dried sugar that will then start to melt and change color), remove from the heat. Add the butter and cream and stir to combine (it will bubble). Return to the stovetop and stir over low heat until smooth. Allow to cool slightly before stirring in the nutella and bananas. Pour into the cooled crust. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
4. To make the ganache, place chocolate in a glass bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 30 seconds. Stir with a wooden spatula until smooth. Allow to cool for a few minutes before pour and spreading over the chilled tart. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Refrigerate until firm.