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Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart & A CookBook For Haiti

Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart

What I am happy and honored to announce below is closely related to the Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart above. But I need your attention for 2 paragraphs before I tell you more about the tart. It’s important. [Update: the BlogAid Cookbook is not available for sale anymore. For more info read this.]

A few days after the horrible tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti, I received an email from Julie from Dinner With Julie that made me jump in my seat and say "Heck yes I’m with you!". She had been watching the news and with every passing hour, she was as feeling as upset and hopeless as a lot of us did. She had a plan to help raise money for Haiti and she emailed for help. Julie set out to create the BlogAid Cookbook. Twenty seven of us came together and provided her with some of our favorite recipes and pictures.

Julie and her friend Cathryn worked almost around the clock to pull it all together. and I am honored and thrilled to announce that the BlogAid Cookbook is up for order!


The proceeds from the book sales will go straight to Haitian relief via the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders. It’s not all though! Both West Canadian AND Blurb are matching the dollar amount of the proceeds raised, to TRIPLE those dollars going to Haiti. And until February 12th, the Canadian government will match that.

It’s a POD (print-on-demand) system, meaning the books are printed and shipped as they’re ordered and arrive at your doorstep in about 8 days. You can purchase yours for a good cause here.

Vespa Green

While Julie was working on this project I was having interesting discussions with a good friend about buying too much, accumulating without purpose, wanting versus needing. I am the child of a homemaker and an army guy who lived on a small pension. I worked in a restaurant where every purchase-usage-spoilage was scrutinized, discussed and fixed. And it’s in everything I do now as an adult. I am not talking about being cheap but about using things to the last drop. Or the last crumb…

My friend has a small farm. She raises a few chickens. This year she got a couple of goats. She is slowly transitioning into a path that suits her to a T and she is making enormous sacrifices along the way. Her positive energy and generosity are always invigorating. So are the eggs she gives me for baking. You can bet that none of them go to waste. As a thank you I made her this Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart.

I love the meals and snacks that take place when I clean up the pantry of fridge of all the bits and pieces before it’s too late. A homemade vegetable soup with fried pieces of prosciutto, an omelette topped with the last bit of the aged gouda I like so much, a mixed up pasta dish full of different handful of herbs. I bet there’s a bit of the same going on in your kitchen at times!

Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart

Desserts are always a different story at our house. Between us, the neighbors, the friends, the family, it’s rare to have leftovers. Dough scraps seem to abound in the freezer though. Oh and little containers with only spoonfuls of ice cream. Too many. I lost track.

Bananas are always the ones that end up being frozen and forgotten or mashed and forgotten. Or simply forgotten. Except when I play my "make a dessert by association" in my head. Banana – peanut butter – chocolate – crust. I originally thought about doing just caramel and chocolate but this version ended up being much better than anticipated.

I finally nailed a gluten free chocolate shortcrust recipe that we both love and it makes perfect chocolate shortbread cookies too. The tart filling was soft and gooey without flowing all over your fork. Just don’t be walking around the house with a slice of pie. Don’t say I did not warn you…

Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart

Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart:

Serves 8-10

For the crust:
1 stick (113gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (60gr) unsifted powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 cup (160gr) white rice flour
1/4 cup (30gr) amaranth flour
1/4 cup (40gr) tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 cup (20gr) unsweetened cocoa powder

For the caramel-peanut butter-banana layer:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup peanut butter (your choice smooth or crunchy)
2 small bananas, peeled and mashed

For the chocolate ganache topping:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add the three different flours, the xantham gum and cocoa powder and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your prefered pie pan. (I went with rectangular this time) If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pan, just patch it with your fingertips. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dy beans and par bake for 15-20 minutes until completely done. Remove the weights and parchment paper.

Prepare the filling:
In a heavy bottom saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over meadium high heat and cook until you get a dark caramel. (do not walk away – it only takes minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream and butter. The mixture will bubble so be careful. Place the pot back on the stove and cook on low until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, add the peanut butter and banana and whisk until completely smooth. Pour over the crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours before topping with the ganache.

Prepare the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium size bowl. In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, bring the cream to a strong simmer. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for a couple of minutes and slowly stir in with a whisk or spoon until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes and spread all over the banana filling. Refrigerate until firm.


Le P’tit Coin Francais:

Pour la pate:

115gr beurre mou
60 gr de sucre glace
3 jaunes d’oeufs
pincee de sel
160gr farine de riz blanc
30 gr farine d’amaranthe
40gr farine de tapioca
1/2 c.c de gomme xanthan
20 gr de cacao

Pour la garniture:
For the caramel-peanut butter-banana layer:
100gr sucre
2 c.s d’eau
2 cs creme liquide entiere
2cs beurre mou
30gr de beurre de cacahuete (avec ou sans morceaux)
2 petites bananes mure, epelees et ecrasees

Pour la ganache:
240gr chocolat en morceaux
125ml de creme liquide entiere

Le reste des instructions arrive…promis.

Chocolate Caramel Banana Tart

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Lilly Higgins February 4, 2010 um 9:26 am

That's so great, well done! Can't wait to see the book. The chocolate tart looks amazing. There's nothing like 'homemade eggs'! Our ducks have just started laying and I'm baking lots with the gorgeous eggs. x

La cuisine des 3 soeurs February 4, 2010 um 9:29 am

Et moi, qui filait directement au coin français, il va falloir que je traduise ! Cela ne peut me faire que du bien. Ton cheese-cake orangé a fait bien des heureux ici.

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ February 4, 2010 um 9:43 am

Delicious…jus what i should be baking this month and am on a lookout for things tart …..

Fantastic pis and it touches me to see Haiti being helped….
Care and Love makes our worlds go round .specially when we need ot most….

Quinn February 4, 2010 um 9:48 am

Very nice Helen. The combination of peanut butter, chocolate and banana is perfect! Caramel adds a sticky touch and completes it all. Just wondering if there is a substitute for amaranth flour and can I omit xantham gum. Thanks!

Rosa's Yummy Yums February 4, 2010 um 10:11 am

A perfect tart and delightful pictures!



quickies on the dinner table February 4, 2010 um 10:51 am

What a marvellous idea the BlogAid Cookbook is! It's heartwarming to see talent put to such good use. And that tart!!! Oh my, I feel faint, just looking at it. As usual, the photography is breathtaking.

Jessica @ How Sweet February 4, 2010 um 11:18 am

Chocolate and banana are 2 of my most favorite combos. This tart makes me heart happy!

cathy February 4, 2010 um 11:59 am

what a wonderful thing to be a part of, congratulations! i just bought a copy (although i won't be able to see it until may since i'm traveling…) but i'm happy to be able to support both haiti and the blogging community 🙂

linda February 4, 2010 um 12:07 pm

dear helen,
the chefs that contributed to the foodaid cookbook for haiti have enormous generosity of spirit & heart.
i am sure that positive energy will translate into many purchases for this cause (mine among them).

i so enjoy your blog, your insight on "life," your visits to & with fellow bloggers & your most incredible photography. i have re-created many of your recipes & i am going to try my hand @ this lovely tart.

Zsofi Anna February 4, 2010 um 12:37 pm

I can't wait to get my copy of the cookbook! What a fantastic plan.

Also: this tart looks absolutely divine. Leftovers? I don't think so!

Helene February 4, 2010 um 1:32 pm

La Cuisine Des 3 Soeurs: comme je l'ai mentionne c'est un peu beaucoup l'avalanche de boulot donc y'a un peu de delai. Ca vient!

Quinn: you can use any other gf flour like brown rice, millet, quinoa, sorghum, even nut flours, etc.. The xantham gum is not mandatory but is is without taste and really helps rolling the dough without too much tear. Since I have seen its powers in bread – I am hooked.

linda February 4, 2010 um 1:46 pm

do you use the xantham gum in all your doughs?

Chaitali February 4, 2010 um 2:06 pm

I really wish I could be frugal. I waste way too much food. Although I do make a LOT of banana bread with all my 'forgotten' bananas!
Could you please do a post on how to use up the odds and ends left over in the refrigerator?

Anonymous February 4, 2010 um 3:14 pm

Helen!! I want that cookbook!!
Muchos besos!

laura February 4, 2010 um 3:17 pm

Your photography and recipes are beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your talent.

tru spork February 4, 2010 um 3:23 pm

chocolate and banana… really?? caramel and banana yes!!!

Oytun February 4, 2010 um 3:30 pm


This is not the first time for me to visit your delicious blog, but this is my first comment:)
I always come here and love your photos:) They look so nice…

Thank you for sharing…

Emily February 4, 2010 um 3:38 pm

Your tart sounds like a slice of heaven – all my favorite flavors combined into one dessert!

What a creative way to help Haiti – I can't wait to check out the recipe collection!

Sean February 4, 2010 um 3:41 pm

Wow, congratulations on doing that cookbook for a good cause.

Thao Phan February 4, 2010 um 4:09 pm

Beautiful tart and beautiful cook book. What a wonderful cause!

Katrina February 4, 2010 um 5:15 pm

What a great way to help a cause 🙂 That chocolate tart looks like heaven…

Anonymous February 4, 2010 um 5:24 pm

This sounds delicious! I'm guessing there should be 1/4 cup of tapioca starch? The gram measurement is there, but the standard is missing the unit of measurement.

matt February 4, 2010 um 6:33 pm

fantastic cause. just as fantastic recipe. LOVE that it is GF. And the styling and photography – impeccable. Love the light. Love the perfectly composed spillages.

Jenny Tan February 4, 2010 um 7:29 pm

Just placed the order on the book…can't wait for it to arrive…thanks for sharing.

Simones Kitchen February 4, 2010 um 9:54 pm

I love the idea of the book and will place my order as soon as I finish this comment! Love the dessert too ofcourse… 🙂

Georgia.Pellegrini February 4, 2010 um 10:43 pm

The next egg my chicken lays will be used to make this tart.

Claudia February 5, 2010 um 12:27 am

I have a question regarding using gluten free flours. I was at Whole Foods and saw an All Purpose Gluten Free Flour from Bob’s Red Mill, have you ever used it? If so what was you’re your opinion on it? Would it give me the same results that you get from all the different flours you use together for your recipes? I’ve never made any pastry/desserts gluten free.


Helene February 5, 2010 um 12:34 am

Linda: yes, now I do. The difference is amazing. It's not cheap but I only use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cake or pastry so it lasts a long time.

Claudia: I don't care for it. It's primarily composed of bean/legume flours and the taste was very "bean-y" to us.

Shornrapunzel: thanks for noticing – all fixed now!

Thanks everyone! Thank you for ordering the book if you do!

linda February 5, 2010 um 2:22 am

helen, hope i am not annoying you but, would you only use xanthan gum in guten free doughs?

Helene February 5, 2010 um 3:40 am

Linda: no, not necessarily. For certain doughs, the addition of guar gum works hand in hand with xanthan gum. It all depends on the recipe.

Zoë February 5, 2010 um 4:09 am

Thank you so much for this recipe! It looks amazing.

Is there a pan dimension you listed? I don't have the pan shape you have in the photo, would it work in a standard spring-form pan? The edges wouldn't be as beautiful, but it might be my only option!

Helene February 5, 2010 um 4:19 am

Zoe: any standard 9-10inch would work fine.

my spatula February 5, 2010 um 4:56 am

the book is such a fantastic idea and so wonderful to hear about it amongst the many participants. kudos to you all!! of course, your contribution is simply sublime!

Freda February 5, 2010 um 5:23 am

Delicious recipe! I'll be making this tomorrow.

How long will the cookbook be available?

Rachael Hutchings February 5, 2010 um 5:30 am

2 words: YOU ROCK. The cookbook is such a good idea, I can't wait to click over and take a look and order! The tart? Triple yum.

Helene February 5, 2010 um 5:55 am

Freda: no time limit.

showfoodchef February 5, 2010 um 7:25 am

Helen, tried the tart tonight and it was amazing! Thank you for being such an inspiration in talent and spirit. I'm also looking forward to taking your class in LA.

Philo aux fourneaux – Blog culinaire February 5, 2010 um 11:11 am

Oh la coquine, il va falloir revenir et être à nouveau torturé devant tes photos …

Audrey February 5, 2010 um 11:28 am

Beautiful tart and fantastic idea for Haiti. We should all do whatever we can to help, thanks for the added inspiration.

♥peachkins♥ February 5, 2010 um 2:00 pm


Megan February 5, 2010 um 3:14 pm

Oh my, such a thing of beauty!

Megan February 5, 2010 um 3:14 pm

Oh my, such a thing of beauty!

Nicolette February 5, 2010 um 3:38 pm

This is a great idea- Thanks so much for being a part of this project!

Beth February 5, 2010 um 3:57 pm

What a beautiful looking recipe and such a wonderful way to contribute!

Patricia Scarpin February 5, 2010 um 4:43 pm

What a beautiful dessert – I absolutely love banana and chocolate together.

As for the book, a beautiful initiative as well, Helen!

pastry studio February 5, 2010 um 5:54 pm

Really beautiful and thanks for your good work.

Anonymous February 5, 2010 um 6:14 pm

I just ordered the book – what a deal! I pay $25 and Haiti gets $100. Your blog is always wonderful and warm.

The Short (dis)Order Cook February 5, 2010 um 7:45 pm

What a wonderful project. Certainly any dessert recipe you contribute would be well worth the cost. I'm salivating at one of my most favorite flavor combinations -bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter.

zebulon February 5, 2010 um 9:16 pm

How tempting… I hear this tart calling my name, I swear I do! For sure it's a caloric bomb, but I'll be damned if I let that stop me 😉
Gorgeous photos too, as always.

And congrats to all for making such a great and generous job on this book.

(Thanks for answering me about the "magic spoons" in your previous post ^^).

Anna February 6, 2010 um 3:04 am

I love the game of making something delicious from what is left over here and there. This tart is gorgeous!

Unknown February 6, 2010 um 5:10 pm

Helen, the recipe looks great – can't wait to try it!

Thank you for your generous giving to Haiti relief.


Eléonora February 7, 2010 um 7:02 am

Une belle recette qui donne du tonus.Je n'ai toujours pas fait ce style de gâteau, mais pourquoi pas…Je te souhaite un bon dimanche de notre Alsace ou on attend le soleil. On a vu Washington hier à la télé maison blanche était vraiment blanche. Une belle image !

ChichaJo February 7, 2010 um 11:24 am

Banana and chocolate are a favorite combination of mine…I love this tart! Oooh…I can almost taste it…

I know what you mean about leftovers and avoiding food waste…I strive to do the same myself. And yes, we have a lot of meals that consist of combining and reviving these odd bits together 🙂

Great job to all of you who worked on the Blogaid cookbook!

Bianca February 7, 2010 um 6:15 pm

Just ordered the hardcover. Thank you so much for doing this :). Ordered the hardcover, even though the price was double :). Can't wait for it to get here!

Claire February 7, 2010 um 8:27 pm

The book is a great idea, I just bought two and am spreading the word 🙂

Anonymous February 8, 2010 um 1:35 am

excuseme,white rice flour mean wheat flour,right?

Helene February 8, 2010 um 1:59 am

Anonymous: Hi, no white rice flour means ground white rice to a flour.

Maria Alejandra Mendoza February 8, 2010 um 2:15 am

I trully love your blog and the great pictures. I live in Venezuela and was inspired by you to take photography lessons. I am doing some research about cameras for beginners, can you help me out and recommend a good one?
Your follower

Heide Mc.™ February 8, 2010 um 4:44 am

I'm getting hungry from reading this recipe. Bless you for helping Haiti.

Brittany Marie February 8, 2010 um 7:56 am

Your photography is stunning and the recipe is making me drool. Thanks so much for the post.

Anonymous February 8, 2010 um 7:07 pm

what a great book! do you mind telling me the font that is used on the front page of the cookbook??

Daily Kitchen February 9, 2010 um 6:08 pm

Your photographs are works of art in themselves. I'm sure your food must taste as good!

Lynne February 9, 2010 um 7:06 pm

thanks for the beautiful entry… and for the blogaid… I posted it on my blog too. I have 3 Haitian siblings – and had the opportunity to spend time in Port-au-Prince two summers ago… any little bit helps – and I hope that we are able to encourage as many people to offer their aid as possible.

Anonymous February 9, 2010 um 11:14 pm

Your blog is beautiful, you inspired me to get a new camera – thanks for sharing! Stefanie,
[email protected]

Cindy February 11, 2010 um 12:06 am

This is such a great idea. I just ordered a copy and can't wait to get it.

Chrissy Farnan Hoot Designs February 11, 2010 um 12:08 am

I so enjoy your blog! Such creativity that you share with all of us!! ~Chrissy (I'm going to re-post your blog on my FB page too!!)

Aurelisse February 14, 2010 um 11:18 pm

Congratulations for make a difference. Such idea has to become from people who give inspiration, as you do with this blog. Thanks for share

MG February 20, 2010 um 3:05 pm

This looks FABU!! I feel like such an idiot though, I cannot find the directions to put the tart together?

Also, the book is really gone? No more ordering possibilities?

You have a grogeous site!!

sarah @ syrupandhoney February 23, 2010 um 2:40 am

I made this tonight and it was divine – thank you so much for the recipe! I used some tart dough from the freezer and the only other change I made was to add some fleur de sel to the caramel. I also found my caramel hardened up too much at room temperature to at that time whisk in the banana/peanut butter mixture, so I placed it over medium low heat to combine.

Kari March 7, 2010 um 5:16 pm

Hi Helen,

I made this for my brother and sister in law who came in town to visit. It was wonderful, every one loved it!
I used regular flour because I can't find all those types of flour where I live and I had to bake the crust about 40 min. because it kept feeling very soft on the bottom and I was worried it would not be done. I took it out until it was closer to a cookie and it turned out good but I was wondering if I baked it too long? Is it supposed to be very soft?


Lidia October 1, 2010 um 9:56 am

I was just around internet searching a good banana tart recipe…….and I find your one!!!
It's fantastic!! I will try it soon!!
Do you have any special suggestione for it?

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