The origins of the cuisines of the world really fascinate me. Just like how different species of animals evolve in response to their habitat, cuisines develop depending on the kinds of produce available in each part of the world.
One of my favourite fruits in Indonesia is "rhino-horn plantains" or "pisang tanduk" in Indonesian. In Indonesian cuisine, plantain can be prepared in a myriad of ways: fried in batter, baked into breads/rice cakes, boiled in sweet porridges, fried into chips or simply steamed. As I dug into a plate of steamed plantains a couple of days ago, I began thinking of ways of how to turn it into a new dessert. So I saved a few segments and went on to design a rhino-horn plantain and banana tart.
In the tropical country that is Indonesia, most desserts and sweets are comprised of a combination of these three main ingredients: coconuts, bananas/plantains and palm sugar. I decided to make a coconut "crème légère" using coconut cream crème pâtissière folded through whipped cream. I included a dark chocolate ganache to balance the all the sweetness with a little bitterness. Presentation-wise, It took me a while to think of a way to present bananas in an appetizing manner on a tart. But staying true to a method I picked up in France, if in doubt.. CARAMELIZE!
So at the end this is what I came up with:
Rhino-horn plantain and banana tart with coconut and dark chocolate!
It might be a little difficult to find rhino-horn plantains in some parts of the world, but you can easily substitute the steamed plantains for normal raw bananas!
So here's the recipe if you want to give these a try at home:
Rhino-horn plantain and banana tart with coconut and dark chocolate
Sweet tart base
200 g all-purpose flour
100 g butter - cold, cubed
40 g ground almonds
100 g powdered sugar
Sift and combine all the dry ingredients
Add in cubed butter and work into the dry ingredients with fingertips to resemble small crumbs
Add in the egg and work into dry ingredients until half-incorporated.
To achieve a homogenous dough, smear the crumbs onto the counter with the palm of your hand.
Careful not to overwork the dough!
Dough will be very soft, wrap up with a sheet of baking paper, and refrigerate until firm.
When cooled, place onto a floured working surface.
Butter tart rings well
Roll out with a rolling pin and with the help of flour to a thickness of 2-3mm
Line the tart rings, pressing well onto the sides. Make sure the bases are at a right angle.
Cut off excess dough with a small knife
Rest tart shells in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking
Poke bases with fork to prevent from rising
Bake at 175 degrees C for about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely
1 rhino-horn plantain
Cut into 5 cm segments.
Steam for 15 minutes until cooked and sweet.
60 g dark chocolate
60 g cream
Partly melt dark chocolate.
Heat cream into a simmer, pour over chocolate.
Stir carefully with a whisk, use right away.
Coconut Crème Légère
200 g coconut cream
2 egg yolks
50 g sugar (or palm sugar)
15 g flour
pinch of vanilla powder/essence
140 g whipped cream - firm
Using a whisk, blanche the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and flour in a bowl.
Heat up coconut cream into a simmer, pour into the egg yolks while whisking.
Return into the pan and stir briskly with a whisk until the mixture boils.
Place into a clean bowl and cover with a cling wrap, cool completely.
3 bananas - sliced to 1 mm pieces
In a cooled tart shell, arrange slices of plantain at its base.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and caramelize with a blow torch.
Here's some more pictures to get you to bake these:
Thanks for reading! Be back soon with another sweet recipe!