Banana Crème Brûlée

Banana Crème Brûlée

FacebookTwitterGoogle+EvernotePinterest...

A recent lunch at the Brewster Fish House reminded us of just how much we love crème brûlée. As we wandered through the grocery store on Saturday, trying to decide what to make for dessert for a dinner with our two local daughters and their families, the Kitchen Genius decided that a banana crème brûlée would be just the thing. He thought torching sliced bananas would give it some of the flavor of another favorite dessert – bananas foster.

Banana crème brûlée is like comfort in a dish, and was especially welcome on such a cold and gloomy weekend. Making it set off a mini-series of baking that happily took up most of the afternoon on Sunday.

Banana Crème Brûlée

You want crème brûlée to be smooth and creamy. To infuse the cream with the most banana flavor I could muster, I smashed up two small bananas and placed them in a saucepan with the cream. I also cut open a whole vanilla bean and scraped the seeds into the cream and then dropped the pod in as well.

I contemplated putting a little rum in the mixture to further the association with bananas foster, but the dessert was meant for my granddaughters as well as their parents. Even though the alcohol would completely cook off, it would still leave behind a flavor that would be off-putting to children. I was going for pure custard comfort, not edgy flavors.

After simmering the mixture for 15 minutes, I then let it rest for another 15 minutes. This added to the flavor infusion and cooled the mixture enough that it would not cook the egg yolks when I combined them.

Since I didn’t want lumpy crème brûlée, I poured the infused cream through a fine mesh sieve. I couldn’t bear to discard those lovely vanilla scented bananas, so I saved them until my crème brûlée was safely tucked in a water bath in the oven. Then I decided to make banana bread.

banana-3-1

Over the years I’ve noticed that most banana bread recipes make two loaves. Two loaves might have been fine when all of my children were home, but now that there is just two of us, it’s excessive. I’m not a fan of freezing baked goods. It always changes the flavor and texture just enough that it’s not worth it. My theory is that if I’m going to indulge in calories eating something sweet, its much preferable to enjoy something freshly made.

I set out to create a one loaf recipe for banana bread and was very pleased with the results. The bread was incredibly moist, even the end pieces.

Banana Crème Brûlée
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Banana Crème Brûlée
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 4 small bananas , ripe (reserve 2)
  • 1 vanilla bean , cut in half with seeds scraped out
  • 6 tablespoons sugar (plus 6 teaspoons for glazing at end)
  • 6 egg yolks
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place cream, two mashed bananas, vanilla bean seeds and pod and 6 tablespoons sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until steam rises. Take pan off burner and set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
  2. Beat the eggs yolks until smooth in a medium size mixing bowl. Strain cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve set over a second bowl. Discard vanilla bean pod and save bananas to make banana bread.
  3. Whisking constantly, slowly pour cream mixture into egg yolks. A very fine stream works well. Divide custard among six small oven proof bowls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with deep sides with a dish towel, making sure surface is as smooth as possible. Place individual servings of crème brûlée on top of the towel. Carefully pour boiling water into the baking pan until it reaches halfway up the side of the bowls. Do not get any water in the crème brûlée or they will not set properly. Lightly cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until firm to the touch but still jiggly.
  5. Cool to room temperature and then chill for 2 to 3 hours. When ready to serve, slice remaining two bananas into thin slices. Fan the slices in a pretty pattern on top of the crème brûlées. Evenly sprinkle 1 teaspoon on top of each dish. With a kitchen torch, move the flame in continuous circles until sugar bubbles up and turns golden brown. Serve immediately.
    Banana Crème Brûlée
Share this Recipe
Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundaes

This week our weekend family dinner was smaller than usual, but still plenty of fun. Julie, Gary and little Lilia came over. Lilia is almost ten months old and her new tricks never fail to awe us. Our current favorite is watching Julie sing, “If you’re happy and you know it…” and then Lilia claps her hands.

2-21-2016 Lili crawling

She crawls so quickly that we can’t take our eyes off of her for one second. Luckily she is also one of the best little eaters we’ve ever encountered. So far she loves all food and eats a lot more than her tiny size would suggest. It makes planning family dinners easier when no one is picky.

On Sunday, I decided to make an old-fashioned pork pot roast the way my grandmother used to. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and browned it on all sides. Then I sautéed lot of onions and garlic and put it all in a covered baking dish with a little water. Three hours later it was pull apart tender and the resulting juices made the amazing pork gravy I remember from my youth.

That gravy needed a good vehicle, so I served mashed potatoes and cauliflower. The kids all loved the slightly sweet taste the addition of cauliflower added. A green salad fulfilled our veggie needs quite nicely.

Despite the lovely weather over the weekend, I was in full baking mode. I made a wonderfully moist cornbread in a cast iron skillet and brownie sundaes for dessert.

Brownie sundaes were an unusual choice for me, but the idea arose out of a challenge. I’ve been working on creating the perfect moist brownie this month because my daughters didn’t think a homemade brownie could beat a box mix in terms of moistness. This recipe turned that myth on its head.

I also wanted to try a cool trick I saw online to make brownie cups by filling a muffin tin hallway with brownie batter and then placing a well-greased second muffin tin on top so the brownie baked into a cup. That experiment was not successful. The end result was little brownie discs that tasted great but looked pretty dismal.

While Lilia dazzled everyone with her awesomeness in the living room, I whipped up some homemade hot fudge and whipped cream in the kitchen. This is a decadent recipe, but every once in a while decadence is just what you need. Of course, Julie couldn’t resist sending a photo of it to her sister Melissa to tease her about what she was missing while she vacations in Florida. With that in mind, I suspect I will be making these again soon.

Brownie Sundaes
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings
9
Servings
9
Brownie Sundaes
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings
9
Servings
9
Ingredients
Brownies
  • 2/3 cup sea salted butter
  • 5 ounces unsweetened high quality chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs,
  • 1 cup bread flour
Hot Fudge
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocoalte chips
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sea salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Whipped Cream
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Servings:
Instructions
Brownies
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. When melted, add vanilla extract and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs on high for 10 minutes until light and very creamy. Remove bowl from mixer. Add chocolate mixture and stir to blend. Add flour and stir by hand only long enough to blend it in.
  3. Pour brownie batter in a well-greased 9 by 9 square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. When brownies have cooled slightly, cut into squares.
Hot Fudge
  1. Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl.
  2. Place water, sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and boil hard, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes.
  3. Pour hot liquid over the chips and whisk until chips are fully melted.
Whipped Cream
  1. Place a small but tall mixing bowl, the beaters from an electric mixer and whipping cream in the freezer for five minutes to thoroughly chill
  2. Pour whipping cream into the mixing bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer.
  3. Pour whipping cream into the mixing bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer.
  4. Beat about two minutes until soft peaks form.
Assemble Sundaes
  1. Place a brownie square on a plate. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with a drizzle of hot fudge and a dollop of whipped cream.
Share this Recipe