This recipe could more accurately be described as bananas "faux-ster" because there's no ice cream or alcohol. I call it "safe" bananas foster because there's no fire hazard and it's kid-friendly.
Traditional bananas foster is served over vanilla ice cream, but it will work with just about anything. I made a caramel-rum sauce for this dish to pair with my panettone pudding. To repeat the flavors from the bread pudding, I used coconut cream instead of heavy cream. When the caramel was nice and hot, I added sliced ripe bananas to the pan. The bananas softened, absorbed the sweetness of the caramel, and were ready to serve.
Yields: for 6 small bread puddings4 ripe bananas
1 lemon, juiced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups superfine sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 (7-ounce) package coconut cream
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
1-1/2 teaspoons imitation rum extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
In a small saucepan, heat the coconut cream. Set aside.
Peel and slice the bananas. Coat them with lemon juice to prevent them from browning, then pat them dry.
Place the sliced bananas and 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over high heat. Cook until golden on both sides. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of sugar. Transfer to a platter.
In the same saucepan, add the rest of the sugar and 2 more tablespoons of butter. It's important to watch the sugar carefully; as soon as the edges of the pan start caramelizing, immediately lower the heat. Gently jiggle the saucepan in circles. Lower the heat to the lowest setting when there are only a few remaining non-caramelized pieces. Don't let the sugar get dark brown or you'll get a burnt, bitter taste.
When all the sugar is an amber color, remove from the heat, pause for about a minute (be careful of splattering when the cream is added), then slowly add the warm coconut cream and sea salt. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Let the sauce cool down a bit. Stir until the caramel is dissolved in the milk. Add the rum and coconut extracts. Stir well and add the caramelized bananas.
Pair with warm bread pudding.
While waiting for the caramel to become golden, watch it carefully; it could burn very easily!
Using a good quality sea salt will bring so much more flavor to this dish. Fleur de sel, for example, doesn't taste as harsh as regular table salt; it has a more briny flavor. You can find it at specialty stores like Whole Foods.
You can find coconut cream in Asian stores, specialty food stores, online or even in the International Cuisine aisle of some local chain markets . It is sold in different sized packages (a 7-ounce version is available).
You could also serve the dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I didn't because it was going to be too filling.
If the sauce has cooled and becomes too thick when serving, warm it in the microwave (or over low heat on the stove).Published By: on January 5, 2010.