Okay, okay, we know - bananas aren't technically a seasonal summer fruit - but we've just had such a craving lately! Maybe it's the warm breezes and lazy summer days reminding us of vacations to tropical places where bananas actually are seasonal. But either way, this recipe is amazing! We did some experimenting with a new cooking method and have some lessons learned to share. Because hey, not every experiment goes 100% accordingly to plan, are we right?
This week we attempted to flambe to create a version of bananas foster. Bananas foster is a dessert created in the mid 1900's in New Orleans containing caramelized banana in a sugary butter sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream. To develop flavor, and for some extra flair, the flambe technique is used. Flambe is French for "flaming" or "flamed" and is essentially the process of lighting alcohol on fire during the cooking process. This technique imparts the flavor of the liquor to the food and allows the alcohol to burn off quickly. And of course it looks super impressive. We unfortunately did not achieve a true flambe and got the alcohol to ignite only very briefly. The alcohol from the rum still simmered off after a few minutes and the bananas tasted great, though we just had to search ways to troubleshoot the flambe method for next time. Here's what we found:
-Use a hard alcohol higher than 80 proof (no beer, wine, etc.)
-Liquor should be warmed slowly but not boiling prior to adding to the pan to flambe
-Cooking pan and contents should be very hot
-Pour warmed liquor slowly into the hot pan and attempt to light immediately
-Attempt to light the fumes at the edge of the pan and not the liquid itself
-Use a long match or barbecue lighter and have a pan lid handy to extinguish the flame if needed
As we attempt again and learn more we will update these flambe tips and tricks but hopefully this is enough to get you started. Though flambe or not, this recipe still works - time to get to it!
Coconut Bananas Foster Coffee Popsicles
PREP TIME: 15 minutes + 4-6 hour chill time
TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes + 4-6 hours chill time
Servings: 6 popsicles
2 very ripe bananas
1 Tbsp salted butter
1 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/4 cup canned full fat coconut milk
Coffee Simple Syrup
4 Tbsp strong brewed coffee
4 Tbsp cane sugar
In a medium sauté pan set to medium/low heat melt the butter then mix in the maple syrup and cinnamon and stir to combine. Peel and cut the bananas in half lengthwise and place flat side down in the pan with the melted butter mixture. Cook bananas for 2-3 minutes on each side then add the dark rum to the pan. Use a long match or lighter to carefully light the fumes of the alcohol at the edge of the pan, not the liquor itself, to flambe. Be prepared for a whoosh and a bright flame to appear in the pan. If you do not see a flame, this could be due to the food/pan not being hot enough but don't worry! Instead allow the mixture to simmer for 2-3 more minutes until the alcohol (and most of the liquid) evaporates off. Remove the pan from heat and allow bananas to cool slightly before adding to a blender. Pour any remaining liquid and scrape any caramelized pieces from the bottom of the pan into the blender. Add coconut milk and puree on high speed for 1-2 minutes.
To make the coffee simple syrup, add brewed coffee and cane sugar to a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the mixture is simmering and the sugar has dissolved. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens (about 2-3 minutes) and will stick to the back of a spoon. Remove pan from heat.
Next pour banana coconut puree into popsicle molds to halfway full. Spoon one teaspoon of coffee simple syrup into each popsicle mold and swirl with a long, thin utensil (we used a skewer) to incorporate the coffee simple syrup throughout the banana coconut puree. Fill popsicle molds the rest of the way with the banana coconut puree and again add one teaspoon of coffee simple syrup to each pop and swirl to combine.
Insert popsicle sticks and allow popsicles to freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Run popsicle molds under warm water for 30-60 seconds to remove popsicles from molds.
Every moment of preparation that goes into these pops is completely worth it. The taste of the final outcome is unexpected and yet completely familiar. A rich sweetness from the caramelized banana balanced by a creamy richness from the coconut milk and finished with a hint of coffee flavor. This might truly be the answer to our summertime "ice cream" cravings.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.