Sunday, September 7, 2008

Flambéed Bananas With Lyle's Golden Syrup, Toasted Almonds, And Shaved Chocolate

There's been a jar of Lyle's Golden Syrup in my cupboard for several years now. Don't worry, it doesn't go bad - it's sugar. Besides, it was sealed up tight. Once upon a time I was going to make bobotie but couldn't find Lyle's, which is called for in my bobotie recipe, at any of the markets I haunt, so I didn't make it. When I finally found the Lyle's I was deep in my low-carb, no-sugar phase and had lost the desire to make bobotie, which I later found out, is often not made with Lyle's. Enough of that. Suffice it to say, the Lyle's has been languishing around my cupboards for a good long while.

Last night after a rather sparse dinner, as Mr CC and I were watching a movie and bemoaning the fact that we were out of ice cream, I got a hankering for sautéed bananas. Checking the cupboards for further enhancements, there was the Lyle's, and here was its chance.

Flambéed bananas are easy to make and take no time at all at the stove. My only word of caution is that you take caution when adding alcohol to heat, as the flare up can be quite exciting and possibly dangerous.

The only thing I would add to this deeply satisfying dessert is the missing ice cream. A small scoop of really good vanilla would be a safe and delicious choice. However, if you dare, Chunky Monkey comes to mind...

Christine's Flambeed Bananas With Lyle's Golden Syrup
2 ripe but firm bananas, organic free-trade are best
1 tablespoon butter
1 heaping tablespoon Lyle's Golden Syrup
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon toasted, slivered almonds
Dark, bittersweet chocolate for shaving

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet (I used cast iron) over medium-high heat.
Peel the bananas, removing all the strings and things that accompany the fruit.
Slice each banana down the center lengthwise and place in the skillet when the butter has melted and is slightly bubbly.
Sauté the bananas until they are golden. Using two spatulas if needed, gently flip them and sauté the other sides.
Using all the syrup, drizzle it over each banana slice.
With the pan still on the heat, carefully but quickly pour the Triple Sec over the bananas. Shaking the pan should cause the alcohol to ignite (keep your face and body at arm's length from the pan). If it doesn't, tip the pan slightly so the flame from your burner catches scent of the alcohol. That should do the trick. If it doesn't, use a long match to light the Triple Sec in the pan. The flame will die when the alcohol has burned off.
To serve:
Place two banana halves on each plate. Stir the syrup mixture in the pan then drizzle over the bananas. Sprinkle with cinnamon then almonds and, finally, using a microplane, shave the dark chocolate over each plate. Serve immediately, with ice cream or without. But if I'd had some. . .

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