You can make this salad well in advance, even the day before. Just bring it to room temperature before serving
Banana Toffee Tart
This gorgeous dessert is the lovechild of banoffee pie and cheesecake. I like to think it’s inherited the best features from both sides of the family.
Recipe and image from Eat In by Anna Gare, published by Murdoch Books $39.99. Photographer Ian Wallace.
- 125 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 300 g (10½ oz) spiced speculaas biscuits (cookies) (see Note)
- 180 g (6¼ oz) good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped and melted
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) thin (pouring) cream
- 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 5 large firm, ripe bananas
- CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING
- 50 g (1¾ oz) good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
- 2 tablespoons thin (pouring) cream
- TOFFEE PECAN TOPPING
- 165 g (5¾ oz/¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water
- 50 g (1¾ oz/½ cup) pecans
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
Grease a 25 cm (10 inch) loose-based round fluted tart (flan) tin and line the base with baking paper.
TO MAKE THE BASE
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix together until combined.
Press the biscuit mixture evenly over the base and up the side of the tin, pressing it firmly with your hands to ensure it is solid.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin to set.
Spread the melted chocolate over the base and side of the cooled tart case (still in the tin).
Refrigerate the tart case until the chocolate has completely chilled.
When ready to fill, carefully remove the case from the tart tin, peel off the baking paper and put the tart case on a serving plate.
TO MAKE THE FILLING
Beat the cream, mascarpone, honey and vanilla extract together using an electric mixer until lightly combined and the consistency of whipped cream. Do not overmix.
Spread the filling over the chocolate biscuit base.
Cut the bananas into 1.5 cm (⅝ inch) thick rounds and push them into the cream mixture to completely cover. Pop in the fridge until ready to top.
TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING
Melt the chocolate and cream together over a double boiler (or on a gentle heat in the microwave) until well combined and smooth, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
TO MAKE THE TOFFEE PECAN TOPPING
Put the sugar and water in a small heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Gently stir a few times until the sugar has dissolved.
Increase the heat to high and, once boiling, continue to cook, without stirring, for 4–5 minutes. Brush down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals. When it turns a golden toffee colour, it is ready. Do not be tempted to taste or touch the caramel at any point — it is very hot and can burn.
Remove from the heat immediately, allow the bubbles to settle, then add the pecans and pour the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper to cool and harden.
Chop the hardened praline to a chunky consistency.
TO TOP THE TART
Drizzle two-thirds of the ganache topping over the banana cream filling, top with the toffee pecans, then drizzle the remaining ganache over the top.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
NOTE: You can also use any plain sweet biscuits for this base, just as you would for a cheesecake. Just add a pinch of cinnamon to spice things up!