French Fridays with Dorie – Double Chocolate and Banana Tart

Can we all just take a minute to appreciate how EXACTLY like the picture this thing looks! I mean before I start whining about how slippery the bananas were and how much of a bitch it was to place them this way I just want to bask in the glow of this visual accomplishment.

The in-laws were coming over on Sunday because Tristan’s birthday was on Monday so I just decided it would be the best time to make this bad boy. Tristan is not huge on bananas so I thought having more people to eat it would lessen the chance of it sitting in the fridge taunting me and forcing me to eat it all week. Not that it hasn’t been doing that. His parents ate very modest pieces so I have had one with a little vanilla ice cream for the last few nights after dinner. Good thing I haven’t given up on the whole running thing yet – sheesh!

I made this over two days – the crust on Saturday night and then the filling on Sunday morning and the topping on Sunday afternoon when I got home from work. I’d say this worked out very well and if you need a dessert that can be broken up into steps like this to fit your busy schedule then this tart is for you. I took a ton of pictures of it when I was finished because of how amazing it looks but I took no pics of the process except for this one:

Kind of inexplicable. I guess maybe I just liked the look of all that butter sizzling away or something. I’m a weirdo and I’ve come to terms with it. Here’s another pic of the beautiful finished product just to get the taste of the last one out of your mouth.

I like this tart – like all great French desserts it’s not super sweet. It has the overwhelmingly rich and dense chocolate flavor without drowning you in sugary sweetness. I loved the crust. I would definitely make that into little slice and bake cookies and then eat the entire batch – yum! I do think this is for a very specific crowd though – either people you want to impress (like say, your in-laws) or someone like the person this was created for who desperately loves bananas and chocolate. I’m really glad I made it, but I probably don’t need to make it again unless someone specifically requests it. It was yummy, but I’m ready for the next thing. I made the other half of the fougasse dough for dinner on Sunday too (clearly I am looking for someone’s approval – god, I’m so transparent) and even though it sat in the fridge for longer than 3 days, it still tasted amazing. I love fougasse – that is all.

French Fridays with Dorie – Provencal Chive & Thyme Fougasse

Clearly I changed this recipe an eensy bit. I know I’ve mentioned some of my dislikes previously, but I know this one is going to incur some seriously eye-rolling and incredulity: I pretty much hate all things brined. Pickles and olives are serious no-nos for me. They are just waaaaaay too salty for me to handle. I can’t drink Bloody Marys for the same reason which is basically sacreligious around here on a Sunday. So I knew I was going to omit the olives, but what to add? I had some chives and thyme in the fridge, so in they went along with a little lemon extract since I didn’t have a lemon to zest. But I made sure to use a light hand since I have learned about the strength of lemon extract from previous experience!

I actually mixed up this dough on Tuesday but I didn’t have time to make it until tonight (Thursday) and this is what it looked like when I pulled it out of the fridge:

I stirred it down as directed and split it in half. I’m hoping the other half will last until Sunday since the in-laws are unexpectedly coming over. The rolling out process proved a little difficult. I ended up doing it more like pizza dough with my hands than using the rolling pin. I chose to make a simple leaf pattern and got it set up to hang out on the Silpat for a spell while I ran to the store to get the rest of the dinner ingredients.

My sister-in-law is visiting and tonight is the last night of her stay so I promised to make her favorite – pasta carbonara. I use a Rachel Ray recipe as a base and then I kind of doctor it up a bit. I’d wager to say that it’s my specialty. If you’ve never made it before, definitely give it a try. It’s amazingly delicious and simple and everyone always loves it. How can you go wrong with bacon and eggs and pasta and cheese. All my favorites! I didn’t get the timing exactly right so we actually kind of ate the fougasse as a dessert but it was so tasty, that was fine by us!

All night Hannah and Tristan were laughing about how I was pronouncing fougasse (I believe I mentioned that I have absolutely no French language skills at all) so Tristan looked up the real pronunciation online and guess what! I WAS saying it right! But then Tristan was reading all about fougasse and it said that it was the French version of focaccia which he pronounced “fo-cachacha.” Bwhahahahahaha! It was pretty much the funniest thing I’ve heard in ages. Then we started talking about the cooking class we’d had the night before at the store and how we made this thing called Quatre Quart Marbre which when pronounced the French way kind of sounds like “cat bulb.” French is hilarious! Anywho, we really had a good time eating the ENTIRE fougasse and laughing at our terrible French skills. I will definitely make this bad boy again. I hope everyone else liked it as much as we did!