Bananas Foster is a version of Cherries Jubilee using Bananas instead. It’s actually a very easy dessert to make, requiring little in the way of expertise or special ingredients, and it doesn’t take too much time either. In this recipe I’ve added French Toast to the line up; the two are a great together if you don’t like your desserts too sweet.
- Bananas (500g)
- Bread (Half a Loaf)
- Eggs (2)
- Butter (100g)
- Dark Rum (1/4 cup)
- Sugar (3T)
- Golden Syrup
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Powdered Cinnamon
- Beat 2 eggs in a shallow dish.
- Cut two 1.5 inch thick slices of bread from a whole loaf and further cut each slice into three equal portions. Soak the bread, on both sides, in the dish until all the egg is gone. This will take several minutes.
- Melt 1T of butter in a pan. Pan fry the soaked bread on very low heat, flipping occasionally until the egg is fully cooked. Leave the resulting French Toast on a wire rack to cool.
- Place 100g of butter, 3T white sugar and 1/2 t of salt in the same pan. Dissolve the sugar in the butter under low heat.
- In the meanwhile quickly slice your bananas. Cut diagonally across the banana to get oval shaped slices. The slices should be 1/2 inch thick.
- When the sugar has fully dissolved, add the banana slices and turn up the heat.
- Stir fry gingerly. When the butter and bananas begin to darken, drizzle on 1T of golden syrup followed by a sprinkle of 1t of powdered cinnamon. Finally pour in 1/4 cup of dark rum.
- Continue to stir fry. Stop and turn off the fire when the sauce thickens sufficiently.
- Arrange the French Toast on one big plate or many small plates. Pour the banana caramel mixture over the French Toast and top off with small scoops of vanilla ice cream.
- There are many varieties of banana, and the one that you choose is important as it will determine the texture of the dessert you end up making. In my opinion small is better than big.The standard Cavendish (i.e. the big ones on the left in the photo below) get mushy more easily when cooked. I find smaller varieties like the Emperor Banana tend to retain their structural integrity better under heat. You’ll have a better chance of finding them at a fruit store as opposed to a supermarket. In all cases, the bananas should be at the threshold of getting ripe and definitely not over ripe with black spots. 500g is 3 large or 8 small bananas.
- To add some flair you can serve your Bananas Foster as a flambé. The best way to do this is to preheat the rum in a metal ladle directly over the fire at the stove. Tip the ladle such that the rum is about to spill onto the fire to ignite it. Pour the burning rum over the rest of the dish at the dining table. While this is entertaining, it does impair your ability to control the viscosity of the resulting sauce, so be aware of this.
- Banana liqueur is one of the traditional ingredients of Bananas Foster but I find it is superfluous, and besides you’ll end up with a bottle lying the house for years with little other use. It’s infinitely more important to add the pinch of salt which is left out in many recipes. If you do decide to add it, just add 2T to the rum.
- Most recipes specify brown sugar. I don’t because it burns more easily and I find caramelizing white sugar actually works better in exchanging flavour between the bananas and the sauce. I believe that’s why I haven’t a need for banana liqueur.
- To my knowledge, Bananas Fosters was first created in New Orleans, which makes sense since there are plenty of banana plantations in the Caribbean.