Mascarpone Banana Tartlets
I apologize for the current lack of posts but my parents are leaving in a week and I want to spend as much time as possible with them, even if it’s just relaxing on the patio with a glass of lemonade and some macarons, or spending the whole evening playing cards like when I was a kid. It’s going to be a little hectic here at Mr. and Mrs. Tartelette B&B as we have other friends dropping by for the next couple of weeks and then I am off to my favorite spa….
Back to our regular programming…
Leaving for a weekend getaway is fun and relaxing, especially with my parents (the “in-laws” for B.) They are really fun to hang out with, always ready for the next thing whether it is an exhibition or a hike. I am really happy that they adore B. and we all get along watching rugby (go France) or playing cards. I am not saying it is always rosy but when the logistics of packing for a trip and unpacking when we are back are easier when everybody gets along. I had to work last evening so I left the house in the hands of mom…unpacking the goods and knickknacks bought along the way, separating the laundry, taking care of my poor husband suffering from a terrible lumbago, etc… When I got home there was a post it on the counter top next to a plate of overripe bananas, “we are at the dock, catching shrimp for dinner. These bananas need to be used. We want dessert!” Now, this is a command I am most happy to execute! Especially if they took the time to fish dinner and all I have to do is fix the salad…There is nothing that screams more vacation to me than having boiled shrimp and salad for dinner. You can make a mess right there on the table and get silly on cocktail sauce and beer.
Back to the bananas…Right before my parents got in town, I had started to prepare a tart dough for one of my husband’s favorite pies but never got around to use it much less go beyond that part of the prep work. Hopefully I’ll get around it soon but in the meantime I had a whole delicious chocolate dough parked in the fridge about to give me a hissing fit if it did not get used (remember that my ingredients speak to me). Not wanting to make a dozen little tarts (too easy to eat!), I divided the dough in half and froze the rest for later use. Coming back home is always nice but the bananas had a most definite sad look about them. Not it was not cake or crumble, but tarts this time, how surprising eh?! The mascarpone filling is pretty straightforward. I used it a lot in catering and can’t tell you where I got it from, we all seem to have passed it down to one another over the years at the restaurant. You can use cream cheese if you prefer, but I like the smooth texture and sharper taste of mascarpone, especially with a touch of almond extract. Perfect balance to chocolate and bananas, and perfect bite size dessert after a big crab and shrimp boil!
Chocolate Crust (inspired from Chocolate Passion, by Tish Boyle and Tim Moriarty)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick butter, softened, cut into small pieces
Sift flour with cocoa powder and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks, sugars and vanilla to the well. Combine with your hands or a mixer and add the butter pieces. Knead with your hands 2-3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Divide in 2 and wrap in plastic. Note that you only need one half for the recipe. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes prior to using.
When ready to use, roll the dough in between sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Cut out 4 inch circles with a cookie cutter or other template. Fit into the 3 inch tartlets or other desired molds. Prick with a fork and blind bake for 10 minutes at 350F
Let cool completely before feeling them with the mascarpone cream.
Mascarpone Banana Filling:
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on your taste)
1 tsp. pure almond extract
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
2 bananas, thinly sliced
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mascarpone, sugar and egg. Whisk until well blended. Add the lemon juice, zest and almond extract.
Divide evenly among the tart shells. Arrange the bananas slices over, pushing them in the cream a little. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.