Monday, January 21, 2013

Spiced Bananas Flambé

 This recipe is not unlike Bananas Foster which is made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with the sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. The Café de Paris French dessert Crêpe Suzette, consisting of a crêpe with a caramelized sugar- butter sauce, was a precursor to Bananas Foster created almost 100 years later by chef  Paul Blangė at Brennan's - New Orleans. To make this more Caribbean (think Martinique where the French first grew bananas) use rum instead of Brandy and use Orange Curacao liqueur.  Have a match handy to ignite the alcohol.

2 Firm ripe bananas split length wise down the middle.
4 tablespoons of turbinado or Demerara sugar (natural brown sugar)
1/2 cup of Napoleon Brandy
3 tablespoons of sweet butter
Top each banana slice with a mixture of ground cinnamon, allspice and cloves
¼ cup Contreau or orange Curaçao or Triple Sec

Heat a frying pan on medium high. Cut bananas down their middle length-wise. When the pan is hot, add the butter, and, when melted, add the bananas cut side down on buttered surface. Sprinkle each banana with a tablespoon of sugar. When the bananas begin to clear, turn each slice over carefully so as not to break the slices. Again, sprinkle each banana with a tablespoon of sugar. Cook for several minutes then add Contreau and Napoleon brandy. Hold back your face from the pan and use a long match to ignite the fumes. If you have a microwave above your cook top, you may want ignite the fumes when the pan is away from the cook top. When the flames settle down, return the pan to the cook top. Cook to reduce liquids to a thick bubbly sauce. Use a spatula to carefully remove the bananas to the serving plates. Spoon some sauce over each banana.

Bananas and the resulting caramel sauce can be used to top a premium vanilla or pecan ice cream.

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