35 g pure cream (35% fat)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
0.5 g gellan gum
4 g lemon juice
90 g banana
233 g caster sugar
85 g milk couverture chocolate (38%), chopped
165 g unsalted butter
4 g rum
4 g sea salt
Banana Caramel Creme
500 g Banana Caramel
150 g unsalted butter room temperature
150 g balsamic vinegar
3 g xanthan gum
150 g almond meal
150 g icing sugar
110 g eggwhites
50 g water
pink food colouring
- Warm the cream and vanilla seeds, gellan gum, lemon juice and banana in a saucepan and use a hand blender to blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Put a medium saucepan over medium heat and dry caramelise the caster sugar: heat the pan, then spread a layer of the sugar over the base and, as it dissolves, add another layer of sugar until all of the sugar is used and it has caramelised to a dark amber colour. Deglaze the caramelised sugar with the warm cream mixture and stir well until smooth.
- Add the milk chocolate then the unsalted butter and use a stick blender to blend until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate and butter are well dissolved. Finally, stir through the rum and the sea salt.
- Pour the mixture into a container, cover with plastic wrap, ensuring the plastic is touching the surface to prevent a skin forming, and set aside to cool.
- Put the banana caramel into an electric mixer fitted with a beater attachment. Add the butter and beat on slow to medium speed until the butter is well incorporated.
- Beat for 1 minute, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 10 seconds: the mixture should be a dark caramel buttery colour.
- Put the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture thickens to a gel consistency.
- Place the almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor and process to a fine powder. Sift into a large bowl.
- Put half the eggwhite in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (but do not switch it on yet). Put the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the food colouring at this stage, if using, and continue cooking the sugar until it reaches 118°C.
- When the sugar syrup is the right temperature, turn the mixer onto medium–high and whisk the eggwhites until lightly frothy.
- With the mixer in motion, slowly pour the sugar syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl and keep whisking until the meringue has cooled to 50°C.
- Add the remaining eggwhite to the almond meal and icing sugar mix, then fold through the cooled whipped meringue. Continue to fold the mixture until it begins to loosen. It is the right texture when the mixture falls slowly off a spatula.
- Fit a piping (icing) bag with a 9 mm (3/8 inch) plain piping nozzle and fill with the zumbaron mixture. Line a tray with baking paper or a silicone mat. Holding the piping bag vertically about 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) above the tray, pipe straight down onto the tray to create 5 cm (2 inch) rounds, leaving a 3 cm (1¼ inch) gap between each zumbaron. As you finish piping each round, quickly move the nozzle from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock to finish the piping action. Tap the bag gently to get rid of any excess air.
- Leave the zumbarons at room temperature for about 30 minutes until a skin forms on the surface. The skin is important because it lifts while the zumbaron cooks, creating the ‘foot’ at the base. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F).
- Put the trays into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Check the zumbarons are firm to the touch, then remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on the trays.
- Put the banana caramel crème in a piping (icing) bag fitted with a 9 mm (3/8 inch) plain piping nozzle and put the balsamic gel in another piping bag fitted with a 7 mm (9/32 inch) plain piping nozzle. Pipe some banana caramel crème onto the flat side of half of the zumbaron shells, then pipe a small amount of the balsamic gel into the centre of the banana caramel crème and pipe another small amount of the banana caramel crème to cover the balsamic gel. Top with the remaining shells.
- Put the assembled zumbarons in the refrigerator for 24 hours to set before serving. Bring them to room temperature to serve and eat within 4–5 hours or keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.