Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vichyssoise and Banana Coconut Tart

Tuesday evening I had a bit of a backwards dinner.  I made a delicious (if slightly less than firm) banana coconut tart, which I had a slice of before dinner.  And then I made some vichyssoise soup for my actual dinner ... which I ate after dessert.  Luckily it all worked out. 

I followed this recipe, which uses cashew cream for the deliciously creamy filling.  Of course I can never leave well enough alone, so I tweaked it a bit by putting the bananas under the cashew cream, where I thought they would help hold the tart together better. 

Of course I was wrong ...

The tart looked beautiful when it was still in the pan, but I could tell while I was assembling it that the crust felt way too flaky and I didn't expect it to hold together well.  Which is why I put it in the freezer for a bit in the hopes that it would firm up a bit more before I tried to cut into it. 

While the tart was in the freezer I got to work on actual dinner, which was going to be a recipe from this tiny little cookbook I've had for a while but never seem to make anything from.  I was worried that I was just keeping the book because it was small, and not because I actually liked it. 

In the hopes of proving myself wrong on that point, I decided to veganize the vichyssoise recipe, which otherwise would normally have called for butter (subbed with Earth Balance), milk (subbed with plain soy milk), and cream (subbed with cashew cream - fortunately I'd already made a bunch for the tart). 

I got all the ingredients prepared and merrily sauteed the veggies, then added milk and stock and had to sit around for at least a half hour while it cooked.  Unable to wait that long to eat, I turned back to the tart, which I'd hoped would have had enough time in the freezer to hold together when I cut a slice. 

... Nope ...

The piece I cut for myself just barely held it's "slice" shape.  Fortunately the misshapen heap was still a heap of tastiness.  Maybe after spending a little longer in the freezer it will do a little better ...
And maybe for my next attempt at this tart I will add more wet ingredients to the crust to help it hold its shape better. 
Not long after I finished my "slice" of tart it was time for the soup to be ready!  Vichyssoise can be served hot or cold, but I'm a little turned off by cold soup (plus it would require me to wait until the soup actually cooled), so I went with a hot bowl.  I topped the soup with a bit of salt and pepper, and of course the cashew cream.  Like my design?  I guess the professionals have some sort of squeeze bottle to make that come out more evenly ... (I was using a teaspoon). 
The soup was incredibly light, almost like it was heavily whipped.  It also could have used more salt and pepper than I added.  But otherwise it was really tasty.  Which is good ... because I've got about 40 more servings of it in the fridge now! 

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