Caramellised Bananas

This is another one of those things where is a way it’s soo simple that it perhaps doesn’t warrant the description “recipe”. And yet, on the flip side, it’s exactly that simplicity and the time it takes compared to the result that makes it awesome. It the perfect kind desert for unexpected guests – you’ll likely have all the ingredients and it takes about 5 mins to make. And if you have the soul of a magician (or perhaps a comedian) you can make quite the theatrical show out of the flambé-ing too.

  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50g butter
  • about 50ml of rum (or suitable liquor)
  • 4 or 5 bananas (or suitable fruit)
  • You can, within reason, use whatever fruit is on hand. Pears are lovely for example.
  • You can also use whatever alcohol you please. I like rum for this personally but, for example, calvados or brandy suit well too.
  • You absolutely need some fluid. So if you don’t have (or don’t like) liquor then use water. I would say your definitely missed out on some flavour there but at least the caramel will still come together (with no other liquid the sugar and butter don’t emulsify).
  1. Place a pan on a medium heat with the sugar.
  2. Whilst the pan is heating peel and slice the bananas.
  3. When the pan has come to temperature add the butter and stir until melted.
  4. Now you have two choices: the impressive flambé or the safe but boring method. I would suggest that you have a cover for your pan close in case the flames get out of control (the cover will starve the oxygen and quickly put out the flames) – particularly if you’ve never done this before. And don’t have anything flammable next to the pan. And don’t panic. So now that I’ve scared you off, you do this. Light a match in one hand, pour the rum into with your other and then standing back, put the match above the pan. With luck, flames will leap from the pan for 30s or so, you will keep your eyebrows (and be otherwise unharmed) and your guests will oh and ah at your gastronomic and theatrical talents.
  5. The boring method is exactly the same but without the match – it won’t catch fire in that case (though I’d be a little careful with a gas stovetop).
  6. The caramel should come together with the rum. When it’s reduced to your desired consistancy and the bananas are cooked al dente it’s ready to serve. If the caramel thickens to much and looks like burning, then add a touch of water.
  7. Spoon over some cold vanilla ice cream and regale your friends with old war stories of past flamings gone wrong.

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