Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bananas Foster – America’s Favorite Flaming Dessert

When you think show-stopping, special occasion desserts, you usually don’t think “simple and fast,” but that’s the case with Bananas Foster. This delicious New Orleans classic only has a few ingredients, and takes just minutes to make. Except for the folks that burn their houses down, everybody loves this recipe.

Speaking of which, the best way to avoid that kind of thing is to make sure you have the flame turned off when you add the banana liqueur and the rum. Once in, you have a chance to stand back a little, and you should be fine to flambé. By the way, if you’re using an electric stove, simply use a long fireplace lighter to ignite.

As I mention in the video, try to find the largest bananas you can for this. We definitely want them to get nice and tender in the rum sauce, but we don’t want them falling apart. Along the same lines, only cook the bananas for about 30 to 60 seconds per side before adding the booze.

That may not seem like much, but by the time the sauce comes together, they’ll be perfect. Another great tip, especially for larger groups, is to scoop the ice cream ahead of time, and keep your bowls in the freezer. You want to spoon over bananas Foster piping hot, and don’t want it cooling down while you’re scooping ice cream for six people.

Of course, in New Orleans they prepare this tableside, which can be a challenge at home, so you’ll have to settle for turning down the lights, and gathering all your guests around the stove to watch the show. I hope you give this great American desert to try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for two portions:
2 bananas, peeled, cut in four pieces each
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 ounce Banana liqueur (mine was 17% alcohol)
2 ounces rum
2 pinches cinnamon
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

26 comments:

Roberto said...

There just isn't much call for Banana liqueur and since I only make Bananas Foster two or three times a year, I forget about the liqueur and just use more rum. In my opinion that white stuff hardly even qualifies as rum. Try this recipe with a nice medium-dark rum like Mount Gay or Appelton Estate. It makes a huge difference because then the rum sauce actually tastes like rum.

Chef John said...

Thanks, but I have tried it with dark rum, and prefer the white! I like a more pronounced banana flavor, and there's still tons of rum flavor. But to each his own!

Emma Vicens said...

For the non drinking alcohol people: it all goes in flame! So there's none left, except the nice flavor... that's the whole point. And this recipe might have been imported form France (yes... I am French) as we do lots of those around here. My grand-ma used only super ripe bananas (so no need to add sugar) and then when the "flambé" is over, she used to pour cream in the pan, so we had some banana toffee... it was sooo good!

Gsweb8 said...

Hi Chef...another great video, thank you! I've done the bananas-butter-sugar thing before because I didn't have the liquors, and you're right it was just ok. I really want to do this authentic version though and my question is, do I have to flambé? Or, is that just for culinary wow-factor?

Chef John said...

The flambe use burns it off faster. Still cooks out, but would take longer and maybe over cook bananas? Not sure, never not flamed.

Also, for people wondering, you can never burn off all of the booze. Very small trace amounts remain.

Salli Gillespie said...

Thanks C.J. this is a good recipie. I have done this one before. This is unfortunately a recipie one would not want to prepare for friends who cannot have alcohol. One of my best friends is a recovering alcoholic (30 years, yay!) who still avoids anything even artificially flavored to taste like alcohol. She says she still has to be careful even after such a long time. Something I didn't even realize until we were tasting candy samples one day. And yes it is true that trace amounts of alcohol remain. Great demo, as usual.

Cathy Cuttell said...

Thanks for showing how to flambe. I am looking forward to trying it.

Judy said...

I had this dessert at a restaurant once, where they did it table-side. I got TOTALLY buzzed off of it. So I KNOW that all of the alcohol does not burn off! I don't drink so I felt really loopy, in fact. Not a dessert to do if alcohol is something you are trying to avoid, like Chef says!!

bdwilcox said...

You are the Michael Bay of your banana flambé. (Your video needed more explosions, BTW.)

Raymond Keeler said...

I'm a banana hater.

would peaches and bourbon work??

maybe use a tad bit ripe peach cause it's not as firm??

Chef John said...

Give it a try!

Paulius Budrys said...

I only have a non stick pan. Can the flames damage the non stick surface somehow?

Chef John said...

No.

LuisaCA said...

Very authentic. We just got back from NOLA so had this several times there (apparently a Requirement). BTW I just made some DYI banana liqueur just to try Bananas Foster at home.
Thanks, Luisa

P-Mac said...

First time tonight. My first flambe. Fun. Too sweet for my taste, but kids loved it. Found you need to be careful with pan size. I used a too-large sautee pan and had too much real estate for the liquid amounts in this recipe. Burned some sugar. Did a second, smaller batch (only one banana, quartered, and a TINY bowl. Much better proportioned for the yield, IMO) Will make it for guests sometime soon. Thanks, CJ!

Lhinelle said...

might be sacrilege, but I'd throw some toasted pecans on top of that and go full-blown sundae.

Magnus Nilsen said...

Is there any substitute for banana liqeur?

Chef John said...

No. Just leave out!

Chris Allard said...

This recipe looks awesome, and a real crowd pleaser too! I'd love to try it but was wondering what percentage your rum was. I think the standard is 40% but I want to make sure the flame isn't too big on my first try.

Chris Allard said...

This recipe looks awesome, and a real crowd pleaser too! I'd love to try it but was wondering what percentage your rum was. I think the standard is 40% but I want to make sure the flame isn't too big on my first try.

Chef John said...

YEs, just regular 80 proof rum!

rain.drop said...

They're superb! Thank you Chief John.

Amanda Vermette said...

Is it possible to flambé without a gas stove??

Thanks for your great recipes!!

Amanda Vermette said...

Can you flambé without a gas stove??

Chef John said...

yes! check the second paragraph!

Kim McCray said...

I am wanting to let my teenagers do a presentation with bananas foster...and they can not use alcohol. Is there anything I can buy to still make it "flambé" without the alcohol?