I’ve decided to become a street mime. I’m not sure how this will work in my rural area, though. The only ones who will see me “miming” (yes, that is actually a word; go figure) would be the 7 outside cats, some hawks and vultures and maybe a coyote or two if I mime at night. Do they carry cash to tip me with or would I need to carry a credit card machine with me everywhere? These are the things one must think about when contemplating a second job… or third in my case. Should I buy the typical black outfit or go the modern route and wear pink sequined leotards and a polka dotted blouse?
In case it isn’t readily apparent, I’m in what we at our house simply call, “a mood”. A mood can mean anything form “I’m having a crappy day. Come near me, talk to me or breathe in my direction and I’m liable to bite your head off” to “maybe that second beer wasn’t such a good idea on an empty stomach since now I’m waltzing around the house singing, “I’m Soooooo hurtttt” to “I’m in a very warped mood today due to far too much caffeine and am planning to become a mime”. I’ll let you guess where we’re at today.
I vacillated on this dessert so much that I probably came across like John McCain when it comes time to decide which political party to work for. First, I wanted to do lemon; then I wanted to do chocolate, then I thought maybe butterscotch, then lemon again. I finally settled on chocolate, if only to shut up all 14 of my inner voices. The arguing was getting on my nerves.
When I made the marshmallow meringue for this, it suddenly popped into my head to turn it into toasted marshmallows. They’re one of my favorite snacks, though I don’t actually have them often.
These bars are quite good, if I do say so myself. A crisp crust, topped with banana slices and a dark, sweet chocolate pudding, then followed up with a fluffy marshmallowy meringue. They’re also fairly easy. The most time consuming parts are when you have to stir the cooking pudding and then whisk the heating meringue. Don’t let the stovetop parts scare you away from this. If you can stir, you can make this dessert.
You know the drill….
Mrs. Cupcake, who needs to give her 6 year old a bath because he got marshmallow topping in his hair.
Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup ( a stick and a half) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate filling-
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
- 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten (hold onto the whites)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 bananas, sliced (don’t slice them until you’re ready to pour the pudding in or they will get brown)
- Marshmallow Meringue-
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with non stick foil.
- Prepare your crust- In a medium bowl, combine the softened 3/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract. Use a heavy spoon to mix them until they are smooth. Add in the flour and mix until it is a cohesive, somewhat crumbly mixture. There shouldn’t be any dry flour in the bottom of the bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 until it is golden brown around the edges, about 17 to 20 minutes.
- While the crust bakes, make your pudding- combine the milk, cream and chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir and if the chocolate isn’t fully melted and combined with the milk, microwave for another 30 seconds.
- Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepot.Â Whisk well. You don’t want any lumps of cornstarch in the mixture. Slowly add in the milk/ chocolate mix. Start slowly, then you can pour quicker once you get about 1/3 of it in there.
- Whisk a few spoonfuls of this into the beaten egg yolks, one spoon at a time. This is just to temper the yolks in case the milk is warm enough that it might scramble the eggs. Then pour the eggs into the milk mixture, whisking the whole time.
- Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the pudding bubbles and thickens. Whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover the top of it with plastic wrap, making sure it is touching the top of the pudding. Refrigerate and let chill until cold, at least an hour.
- When chilled, layer the sliced bananas over the crust. then pour the cold pudding over them. If planning to serve right away, make your marshmallow meringue. If not, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Marshmallow meringue- Start a pot of water simmering. Combine the egg whites, cream of tarter and sugar in a smaller pot. Place over, but not touching, the pot of simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the egg white up until, when you place a finger in it, it is just on the verge of uncomfortable, about 115 to 120 degrees. Stir in the vanilla extract
- Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl (you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) and beat on low speed until it is very foamy, then turn the speed up to medium and beat until it stand in peaks that droop slightly but don’t drip off of the beater
- Spread the marshmallow meringue over the chocolate pudding, making decorative whorls in it. Using a kitchen torch, holding it close to the meringue, lightly brown the top of the meringue.Â Serve immediately and refrigerate the leftovers.
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