Monday, January 20, 2014

Caramel Bananas with Icecream

"I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bitter-sweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavour that lasts."
(~Graham Kerr)

Hallelujah! I've solved the problem and my blog's got back its pictures!

Way back in the the early eighties, we lived in Rajasthan then, I made this dessert for want of something better to make at the last minute. All I had were bananas, sugar and vanilla essence and hardly any time. I had to give the dessert a name and Caramel Bananas came to mind because of the way the sauce was made. It is not an exact caramel but that's what I christened it and that's what I still call it. Later, I learned it is a dessert and it is made in many ways too. This is the way I innovated and this is how I give you Caramel Bananas.
Back then I didn't use any ice cream or cream. Later on I experimented with ice cream, brandy in the sauce and so on and so forth. You could go ahead and do whatever appeals to your imagination and tastebuds, I am giving a basic recipe. Once again simple, easy, quick and very delicious...enough to make you go bananas over it.

Bananas........................................peeled, halved and cut into 3" pieces, 14-16 pcs
Sugar (preferably brown)............5-6 tbsps, increase or decrease acc to amount of bananas used
Vanilla extract.............................2-3 drops
Brandy (optional)
Oil................................................3-4 tbsps
Ice cream (vanilla)

Heat about 1 1/2 tbsps of oil in a pan. Do not use non-stick. Drop in 5-6 pieces of bananas. Keep the heat on medium high. Turn over when one side browns and brown the other side. This browning is not meant to cook the banana through and through. Just soften the surface and add some flavour. The banana should be firm inside. Keep adding oil a wee bit at a time as you go through with the frying of all the banana pieces. Keep aside in the dish you intend to serve the dessert. From the picture below, you can see why you should not use a non-stick. When the bananas are fried, they leave behind a bit of pulp which browns and blackens as you go through the process (pic on left) This is what helps in the deglazing for the pan sauce.

Once you are done with the lot of bananas, add the sugar to the pan. With a wooden spoon stir it around. The sugar will start to melt with the heat. Add 2-3 tbsps of water and allow sugar to dissolve. Stir and use the spoon to remove all the residue at the bottom of the pan. The sugar syrup will start to thicken but there will still be some undissolved grains of sugar, lower heat and add 2-3 tbsps more water. Caution: be careful at this time. Adding water to caramel can cause it to bubble up and splutter furiously. Keep your hands and self protected.

Raise heat and stir the sauce. Bring it to a boil and add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water. Add vanilla extract/essence. If using brandy you can add it and remove from the stove.

Pour the pan sauce over the bananas. Gently shift the bananas around so they are dunked in sauce, and leave uncovered to cool.

When cool, transfer to the refrigerator. Serve with a generous dollop of ice-cream.


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