Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chocolate and Banana Pie

Pies doesn't always have to have crust on top and this amazing Chocolate and Banana Pie is the proof of that! This is my special recipe for Thanksgiving and even though I admire the classics I couldn't make a classic pie myself because my head burst with way too many ideas. Another reason why I don't make the Thanksgiving classic pumpkin pie is because I don't like pumpkins on desserts - only in my soup! ;)

This Chocolate and Banana pie has a buttery sweet crust enriched with almonds which makes this pate sucree not so original. For banana haters there is only one thing to say - forget it! Eating banana is one thing, eating pastries with bananas are another out of this world thing, you have to give it a try. Banana and chocolate make such a wonderful combination that when I eat chocolate fondue I only dip bananas in the creamy chocolate and make all the other fruits jealous.

Every step of this dessert is an independent recipe that can be adapted to be used in many other recipes: the sweet crust is made to perfection and can be made for any pie you would like to bake, with crust on top- or not! The creme anglaise poured over the chocolate is a classic vanilla sauce also used as the base for ice creams, churn it and you will have the perfect scoop. The ratio of heavy cream to chocolate make an amazing ganache and the glaze on top can be used as a mirror at any time of your day ;)

Since the chocolate filling is not baked the eggs are cooked in the creme anglaise base and it's enough to thicken all that creamy chocolaty filing, it looks and tastes like a ganache but with a more interesting flavor because of the cream infused with vanilla bean. 

Tomorrow I'll be spending this special date at my friend's parent's house that I always go to for Thanksgiving and these lovely companies are the reason (along with my dessert) for me to look forward Thanksgiving every year.

Thank you for the lovely messages
Thank you for inspiring me
Thank you for sharing this magnificent world with me brothers and sisters

pate sucree (sweet crust):
125g butter room temperature
60g confectionary sugar 
1 egg (i used jumbo)
200g cake flour (or regular flour)
50g almond flour or ground almonds
pinch of baking soda
chocolate filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 vanilla bean (if using extract add it at the end)
3 egg yolks
2  tbsp granulated sugar
200g bittersweet chocolate (at least 60%)
100g milk chocolate
1 tbsp butter
5 bananas
2 tbsp rum
chocolate glaze:
55g bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water
glaze is optional, you can dust cocoa powder on top instead

Directions: for crust: In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add sugar and butter, mix until pale then add the egg. After fully incorporated turn off the mixer and add flour, ground almonds and baking soda. Stir by hand, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1hr.
In a floured surface open the dough with the rolling pin, if it's too hard give it a couple of knocks first with the rolling pin to smooth it out a little bit. Lay it over a 9" pan, remove the excess dough and dock the base. Refrigerate for an extra 15min (the drastic temperature change makes the crust flakier). Lay a sheet a parchment paper over the pan and add the weights (could be beans, rice or ceramic cooking weights). Blind bake it (no filling) at 350F until the edges gain a little color, remove the parchment paper and keep it in the oven for an extra 30 min or until it all light looks golden brown.

Make the filling: In a pan heat the heavy cream with the vanilla seeds and bean, as soon as it comes to a boil turn off the heat and put the lid on, let it steep for 10min. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow (blanchir). Bring the cream back to a boil and as soon as it starts boiling again pour some of the hot heavy cream over the yolk and sugar mixture to temper it then pour it all back to the pan and cook at medium/low heat until thickened (aprox. 3 min) remove the vanilla bean and be careful not to cook the eggs, turn off the heat as soon as it is slightly thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon (nappant). Pour this hot mixture over the chocolate, add the butter and let it sit for 2 min to melt, stir until completely smooth  and let it cool at room temperature.

Slice the bananas about 1/2 in thick. Coat with the rum and arrange them on the bottom of the crust, add the chocolate mixture on top. Refrigerate for 2 hrs to harden then you can add the chocolate glaze on top ( you can speed this process by placing it in your freezer for 30 minutes)
The shiny glaze on top is optional, you can just sprinkle cocoa powder but I highly recommend. To make the chocolate glaze add the heavy cream with the chocolate and microwave it for 30sec. Stir until smooth, add the honey and water. Pour over the pie and tilt it to spread evenly. If you add the glaze and refrigerate it again it loses its shininess so add the glaze only before serving. 

Bon app├ętit!