A few days ago, I was staring at a bunch of rapidly ripening bananas sitting in the kitchen, calling out to me. It was after dinner, and I was just not in the mood to eat bananas, yet I really didn't want them to go to waste. A thought popped into my head to make bananas foster as a way to use up some of those bananas, disguised in dessert form. And you know, sometimes we get the idea that restaurant desserts are really hard to make at home, but the truth is that sometimes they are so incredibly easy to make that once you've figured it out, you'll never burn your money on them again. Bananas foster is certain one of them.
Traditionally, bananas foster is a dessert in which bananas are cooked in a brown sugar based sauce, with banana liqueur and rum added and then burned off for flavor and effect (this is called a flambe). While the flaming bananas foster is exciting and certainly doable at home, I didn't want to play with fire since I neither had a pan with a long handle nor a long match or lighter to set the alcohol on fire in the pan. But if you have these tools, you can simply light the alcohol in the saucepan from a distance, and it will flame with a pretty blue color until the alcohol burns off. The recipe I used comes from Allrecipes.com, and doesn't burn off the alcohol, so I replaced some of the alcohol with water, since I didn't want the taste to be too strong in the final sauce. In the end I didn't really taste any of it, so you can probably add more to get the flavor.
1/4 cup salted butter (half a stick… okay fine, this dessert isn't exactly good for you)
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsp rum (I substituted with 1 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream + 2 1/2 tbsp of water)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise and crosswise (I only used two, but the sauce is more than enough for 4)
1. Melt butter on medium heat in a skillet.
2. Add brown sugar and stir well to obtain a thick sludge. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, and alcohol and/or water.
3. Continue to stir the sauce until it bubbles and becomes liquid (the brown sugar will melt). Add in bananas and heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
4. Pour out and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream (I don't have ice cream, so I just added some whipped cream on top hehe). Yummy, simple, and fast! To make it healthier, I'm sure you can use a butter substitute. Since I had a lot of sauce for the number of bananas I made (the sauce is sweet, I only needed a little bit with each bite, although my boyfriend was having fun drinking it haha), I just refrigerated the rest of the sauce to use for a future batch or for a topping of some sort. Mmm…