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For Chocolate Lovers only  

Baked Banana Sundae

Tips: Neat freaks, avert your eyes! This is a gloriously messy dessert. Banana slices are baked in butter, brown sugar, a little lemon juice, and rum (see Note for a non-alcoholic version); the hot bananas are then scooped over ice cream and chocolate syrup, with garnishes of toasted pecans and whipped cream. As you can imagine, the ice cream melts pretty quickly here, so my advice is to make this for someone who doesn’t mind getting a bit “down and dirty” with their food.

I love the contrasts in this dessert---hot bananas with sauce; cold, smooth ice cream; crunchy nuts; fluffy whipped cream. If you prefer a sundae that doesn’t melt quite as swiftly, let the baked bananas cool for a few minutes after you remove them from the oven, until they’re just warm. (Don’t let them cool completely; the sauce might prove difficult to scrape out of your baking dish if you do.) Incidentally, the baked bananas will keep for about a day in the fridge, but they’re really best when freshly-baked. If you would rather use a chocolate sauce instead of a syrup, feel free, but I think a hot fudge sauce would be too goopy even for this sundae.

For each sundae, you’ll need a bowl or a heavy glass that holds 10 to 12 ounces. I have what I think are “old fashioned” glasses, meaning that they’re glasses designed to hold the drink called an “old fashioned”, and they’re perfect for this. I like to use a clear bowl or glass so it’s possible to see the layers here, but that’s certainly not a necessity. Don’t use anything terribly thin or fragile, though, as there’s a very remote possibility that the sudden temperature contrasts in this sundae could crack thin glass.

Yield: 2 sundaes


Ingredients:
    Bananas:
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large bananas, ripe but still firm
  • 2 Tbsp. dark rum


  • Ice Cream:

  • 2 large scoops good-quality vanilla OR chocolate ice cream (or use a different flavor, if you wish), slightly softened
  • Good-quality chocolate syrup


  • Garnishes:
  • Chopped, toasted, cooled pecans
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Method:
Have ready two bowls or heavy glasses, each of 10 to 12 ounce capacity. Have ready your ice cream of choice, chocolate syrup, and garnishes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Choose a tempered glass baking dish, preferably a shallow one, that will accommodate the banana slices in a single layer. While the oven heats, cut the butter into slices, place the slices into the baking dish, and place the dish into the oven just until the butter is melted. Remove dish from oven; add brown sugar and lemon juice, stirring thoroughly until all ingredients are combined.

Peel one banana. Cut off and discard about 1/2 inch from each end, as well as any bruised spots. Slice the bananas about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. As soon as you’ve sliced the banana, place the slices into the sauce in the baking dish, one flat side down. Using a large spoon, coat the top flat surface of each slice with sauce in the baking dish. Repeat procedure with second banana.

Bake bananas in preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling. Remove dish from oven. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. dark rum over top of bananas; CAREFULLY swirl baking dish briefly. Return to oven; bake about 5 minutes longer. Sauce will be bubbling, and a toothpick inserted into a banana slice will encounter no resistance.

While bananas bake, place a tablespoon or so of chocolate syrup (no need to measure) into the bottom of each bowl or glass you’ll use.

When bananas are done, remove from oven and wait just until sauce stops bubbling. Work quickly now! Place a large scoop of slightly softened ice cream on top of the pool of chocolate syrup in each bowl or glass, then drizzle a little more syrup onto the ice cream. Scoop about half of the bananas and their sauce onto the top of each scoop of ice cream. Quickly garnish with pecans and whipped cream. Serve immediately!!!

If any baked bananas are left over, cool briefly, then refrigerate for no longer than a day. Reheat gently, at 50% (medium) power in the microwave, just until warm. If sauce appears “separated”, stir briskly until smooth again.

Note: For a non-alcoholic version of the bananas, melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar and lemon juice as above. Add 3 Tbsp. hot heavy cream to this mixture (yes, 3 Tbsp. cream in place of 2 Tbsp. rum) and stir in throughly, then add the sliced bananas, coating with the sauce. Bake as above, carefully swirling baking dish once or twice about halfway through baking time.


Related Links:
  • Banana-Banana Dessert Cups from Sonia El-Nawal
  • Forum: Smoothies: Great for Any Meal

  • Great Chef de Partie Opportunity in Chicago
    StarChefs.com will soon be tasting in Hawaii, The Carolinas, New England, and New York. Want to nominate someone? Do it here!
    The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference
    by Barbara Ann Kipfer
    John Wiley & Sons
    October 2011


    ...Published: January 2005



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