This is an example of a dessert we used to serve in Cinnamon Kitchen and shows how we gave a popular European dessert an Indian spice treatment. This can be a great dessert to prepare for your loved one on Valentine’s Day or of course for any of your other dinners. It is actually not too hard to make but it will definitely be a crowd pleaser. When I can get them, I like to use the small Indian bananas that have a nice acidity and sharpness to them; but feel free to substitute with regular bananas, or you prefer. The tart is enhanced by the delicate aromatic spice and bite of the pink peppercorns.
- 4 bananas
- ½ teaspoon pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed
- 150g puff pastry
For the caramel
- 150g granulated sugar
- 50ml water
- 15g butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
For the iced double cream (optional)
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk powder
- 175ml whole milk
- 50ml double cream
- 4 pods black cardamom, seeds removed and crushed
To make the caramel, put the granulated sugar and water in a small, heavy-based pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat and cook, without stirring, until it forms a dark golden caramel. Add the butter, standing well back in case it splutters, then simmer for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a greased 20cm cake tin to coat the base. Leave until cool and set.
Peel and slice the bananas and arrange them in overlapping circles on top of the set caramel. Sprinkle the pink peppercorns over. Now roll out the puff pastry to about 3mm thick and cut out a 23cm round. Cover the bananas with the pastry, tucking the edge down inside the tin. Bake in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 for about 15 minutes, until the pastry puffs up and turns golden. Remove the tart from the oven and invert it on to a plate so the bananas are on top. Alternatively, you could make individual tarts, as we used to do in the restaurant (see picture), using 12cm discs of pastry and smaller tins. The larger tart is an easier one to make and share at home.
To make the iced double cream, mix together the sugar and milk powder in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the whole milk and cream and bring to the boil. Pour into a blender or food processor and quickly blitz. Strain into an ice cream maker, and when it is almost frozen, fold in the black cardamom pods and finish churning. Transfer to the freezer.
Serve the banana tarte tatin hot with the Black Cardamom Iced Double Cream, or use any other ice cream you’d prefer.