Quick Sunday Treat: chocolate, banana and caramel tarts

The problem with baking is that it often leads to more baking. Yesterday I blogged about delicious triple nut cupcakes. As a result of these little morsels of loveliness, I ended up with a load of unused chocolate ganache. Not wanting to waste, and not wanting to resort to eating it with a spoon in the middle of the night (experience tells me this could happen), I decided to make some quick little treats that Mr. Bandit and his work colleagues could enjoy to cheer up the inevitability that is Monday.

I didn’t want to do too much work though, so I came up with these little, quick tarts. Who doesn’t like a tart after all?

INGREDIENTS: A quantity of sweet shortcrust pastry, leftover chocolate ganache, a banana, a can/jar of caramel. THAT’S IT!

I would buy sweet shortcrust pastry in the supermarket, rather than bother to make it, because the supermarket ones are really good these days and, frankly, who wants to make pastry on a Sunday? Sadly for me, I couldn’t find any, so was forced to make my own. So if you do want to make it yourself I use the following recipe:

  • Put 100g of cubed butter (straight from the fridge – cold is important!) and 200g of sifted plain flour into a food processor and whizz until you get a breadcrumb consistency. It should only take a second.
  • Whisk an egg, and pour half of it into the food processor and whizz again. This may be enough, but if the pastry doesn’t start to come together, add a bit more. Its not an exact science and depends on your eggs. The mixture will start to come together but will be quite dry.
  • Use your hands to form it into a ball and cover in cling-film. Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once you’ve got your pastry, and its cold, you need to choose a tart tin. I don’t have proper tart tins, so I used a muffin tin. You want them to be deep enough to keep the filling in, so don’t go for something too shallow. In the end, I went for a muffin tin and an 8cm pastry cutter to make the tart bases.

  • Roll out your pastry as thin as you can without it breaking, and use a pastry cutter to make big enough circles to give at least 1.5cm in height once you pop the pastry into the tin. Fill as many holes in the tin as you need and prick the bases of each tart.
  • Cover each hole in pre-scrunched baking parchment (makes it pliable) and then fill with baking beans or rice.
  • Pop in an oven set to 180c for 15 minutes, then remove the paper/beans and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes. The tart cases should be crisp on the bottom with some colour. (if you wanted to make one big tart, blind bake for at least 20-25 minutes with the beans in before you remove them for 5-10).

Before and After: The empty tart cases should be deep enough so that the filling stays in. You know they are done when the underside is a little brown.

That is the hardest bit!

  • Get a teaspoon full of caramel, and plop it into each tart, spreading it all around the inside. The add a slice or two of banana. If you fancy, add a little more caramel over the bananas, but make sure you leave enough room to cover the lot with chocolate.

The cases on the left are much flatter but the ones on the right turned out much better for this recipe. You want a good ratio of filling to pastry.

  • Then just pour the chocolate mix over the top until the tarts are full! If you had the ganache in the fridge, pop it in the microwave for 50 seconds to melt it down.

The finished product!

Just pop them in the fridge until the tops set. They’ll keep for a few days, but I suggest eating quickly to preserve the crispness of the pastry. Take out the fridge about 20 minutes before eating so they’re not too cold.

If you fancy some variations, maybe use a cherry mixture instead of the banana and caramel (cherries and chocolate mmmmm), or add some sea salt to the caramel and leave out the banana – that is delish!

 

So there you have it, a quick treat to enjoy on a Sunday. Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.

Happy Baking!

BBx

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