Banana Caramel Tartlets

The ultimate dilemma…  you’re in the mood for a sweet treat with creamy frosting and a crunchy pastry shell but you’re avoiding dairy, gluten or refined sugar. If you’ve been here before… read on!! This treat takes time to make but yields many happy tummies and smiling faces! Here’s how to make your own Banana Caramel Tartlets!
Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • ~1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup ( almonds)
  • 1/4 cup ( buckwheat flour)
  • 1 cup (80 g) gluten free oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil

For the caramel:

  • 8 medjool dates , soaked for 10 minutes in boiling water then drained
  • tbsp coconut butter (or other nut butter) (@artisana)
  • tbsp boiling water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping: (2 option)

  • Cashew cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) raw cashews, soaked in hot water 1 hour or cool water 6-8 hours
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 3-4 tbsp (45-60ml) unrefined maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) melted coconut oil* (adds richness and helps firm up)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (more for tangier frosting)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt                                                              -or for a nut free option-
  • Coconut cream:
  • 1 can of coconut milk (chilled overnight)
  • 1/2 tbs vanilla extract                             Other toppings:
  • 1 small banana , thinly sliced into coins 🍌 
  • to decorate: grated unsweetened chocolate 🍫 
  • bee pollen 🐝 

Instructions

Make the pastry:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
  2. Mix the chia seeds in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of water and set aside until water is absorbed (about 30 min)
  3. In a food processor, combine the almonds, buckwheat flour, oats and salt. Blend until the almonds and oats have broken down into flour.
  4. Add in the chia mixture and olive oil then pulse in until combined.
  5. Drizzle in the remaining water a tablespoon at a time while pulsing the mixture until a dough forms (you might not need all of the water). Roll the pastry out on a piece of baking paper with a rolling pin until it’s only a few mm thick. Cut into 9 cm (~3.5 inch) diameter circles using a cookie cutter or cup and push each one evenly into the well of a tartlet or muffin pan. Bake for 12 minutes until dry and golden. Leave to cool.

For the caramel:

  1. Pit the soaked dates and place into a blender with the coconut butter, boiling water, salt and vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth.

For the topping:

1. Cashew cream:

  1. Soak cashews in very hot water for 1 hour or in cool water for 6-8 hours. Drain thoroughly and add to a blender. To the blender, also add remaining ingredients, depending on which style of frosting you’re going for.
  2. Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. It’s important to get the frosting as creamy and smooth as possible, so blend on high with a high-speed blender until the texture is silky and smooth.
  3. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, vanilla for vanilla flavor, or  more apple cider vinegar or lemon zest for tang.
  4. Transfer frosting to a medium mixing bowl (with room to blend / whisk) and cover. Place in the freezer and chill for 45 minutes. Then remove from freezer and whisk. Freeze for another 45 minutes – 1 hour and whisk again. Then leave in the freezer until semi-firm to the touch (cheesecake texture // ~ 2-4 hours) and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend until creamy and smooth. Depending on how firm your frosting is, this may take a little work at the beginning as it softens. If too thick, microwave in 15-second increments until blendable (or leave out at room temperature to soften).
  5. Your frosting is ready to use! Or it can be stored in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days (or the freezer 1 month). The nature of this frosting is like most other frostings in that it will soften out of the refrigerator. Once ready to serve, it is fine staying out of the refrigerator for several hours.

             or for a nut free option

2. Coconut cream:

    1. Chill a can of coconut milk overnight, open and scoop off the top cream layer to a                bowl.

    2. Whisk the cream until fluffy with 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

To assemble:

  1. Smear some caramel into the base of each pastry cup. Top with a few slices of banana, then the cashew or coconut cream, then some grated chocolate and bee pollen (if you want). Finish with a slice of banana to decorate.

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