Cake Chat and more…
Cake Chat and more…
Destination: Reunion Island
Although Gourmandises is entirely dedicated to French Patisserie, my blog will be a mix of sweet and savoury dishes, here I really want to share my passion for food in general, not just patisserie. Of course, I will keep you up to date with my adventures at Gourmandises.
What a better way to start with a journey through the food of my childwood, back to my roots, back to the flavours and ingredients I was brought up with.
Over the next few weeks my blog is taking you to Reunion Island with its colourful and wonderful flavours.
Reunion island is situated near Mauritius and Mayotte; they are part of the “Mascareigne archipelago” and are known in the area as the sisters islands, “Les îles soeurs”. Reunion is a French colony and therefore trades in Euro.
The food is a fusion of French, Creole, Indian and Chinese. This heritage comes from the colonisation. At the time, the island was part of the route for slaves and spices. As a result, ingredients such as curcuma, massala, ginger and chilli are common in creole cooking.
Fusion of flavours illustrates really well what creole food is all about. Farmers markets are extremely popular here. It is also a tradition for small producers to sell their produce by the roadside. So fresh ingredients are always available.
Tarte au chocolat – bananes flambées
As you can imagine all kinds of tropical fruits are available on Reunion Island. So I had to experiment with one of them, the tiny bananas that we call here “p’tit mignonnes” (which means litterally little cutties).
So, here we go with a “cliché” of French patisserie; a tarte au chocolat, creole style!!!!
For the sweet short crust pastry:
250g plain flour/ 125g light brown sugar / 125g unsalted butter/ 1 egg
For the filling:
150g dark chocolate/ 100 ml milk/ 100ml double cream/2 eggs/ 4 bananas/ 3tbs light brown sugar/ 3tbs rum
The best way to make the pastry is in a food processor. To do this add all the pastry ingredients (except the egg) to the bowl and process until the butter is incorporated in the flour and sugar, the mixture at this point should look sandy. Then add the egg until the dough is formed. Take off the food processor, don’t knead it, rap in cling film and put it in the fridge for two hours. To cook the pastry base, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 200°C. Now roll out the pastry as thinly as possible and carefully line the quiche tin, pressing the pastry around the base and sides right up to the top of the tin. Sweet short crust pastry is well known to be crumbly, don’t panic if when rolling the dough in your tin it falls apart, patch the holes with bits of dough, no one will notice once it’s cooked. Then prick the base with a fork. Put your tin in a freezer for an hour and a half, then put it straight in the oven on the middle shelf for 20 minutes until the pastry is fully cooked.
To make the filling, cut the bananas in small pieces and cook them in a non stick pan with two knobs of butter, sprinkle with the light brown sugar. When the bananas are golden brown pour three tbs of rum and flambee, when the flame has gone switch the gas off. Pour this mixture to the bottom of your tart tin, slightly crush and spread your banana mix with a fork.
Then, melt the chocolate into a bain-marie, warm the cream and milk in a pan and pour over the egg, beating all the time, then pour over the melted chocolate, mix well. Finally pour this chocolate mixture on the top of your banana topping and bake in a 100°c oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chocolate on top has a slight wobble. You can eat this tart warm or cold with a good vanilla ice cream.
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