There’s a whole lot to love about this dessert, which makes it hard to decide what to babble incoherently about first. Maybe it’s best to start off with the absolute tongue-melting pleasure I felt upon taking the first bite. I’ve never been big on bananas or banana splits and I really hate fake banana-flavored foods. Apparently, though, when you toss a few banana slices around with butter and sugar, my tongue sits up and takes notice. Then again, what wouldn’t get that kind of reaction after being caramelized in butter and sugar. Carry on, bananas!
This is a dessert meant to be enjoyed as soon as you make it, for obvious reasons. Let the good sundae times roll!
The recipe wants you to cut the bananas up, like so, but you can do longer pieces if you prefer, really. No biggie. And dudes, it’s your sundae, you can have it how you want to, true?
To start the caramelizing part of this cooking adventure, lay down the banana slices in a preheated skillet, butter already melted. Oh yeeeaaaah, it’s like the cooking equivalent of Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye.
Even better, top it all with brown sugar and just watch it…well, getting it on. On your stove top. Oh yeeeaaaah.
SEE? I told you some Oh-yeeaaaaahing was going on. Just look how delicious it made the bananas.
Now for the homemade chocolate sauce that is 100% awesomesauce! People, put that bottled syrup away. It’s got its uses, no doubt, but I’ma gonna tell you about this homemade stuff of dreams.
It is transcendent.
It will make you see starry-eyed unicorns dancing on top of gummy bears. But only the gummy bear flavors you like best.
The reason is because there will be extra sauce leftover – HOPEFULLY. Because when it is refrigerated and you come back later to heat it up for another sundae you will notice that it is quite firmed up but still a little soft and you will be curious and you will get a spoon instead and you will scoop some up and eat it by itself and it will make you forget all the names of everything!
The reason is because once chilled, it takes on the decadent texture and taste of the inside of a chocolate truffle with the barest hint of bananas. It. Is….I can’t bear that there is no more in my fridge. Gonna go cry now and redo my mascara.
I would make this dessert again all the way through just to make the sauce again and horde it away. Though I was nice this time and shared the discovery with kidlet. Our eyes both lit from inside like industrial-grade headlights. SO. GOOD. Gaaaaah!
Hey, don’t forget to toast your nuts. We didn’t have walnuts, as was called for, and used pecans instead. You could really use whatever kind you prefer. Almonds and even pistachios would be great. Just remember, nuts. Toast ’em.
This all comes together fairly quickly after prepping the individual items. In no time you will be making some dessert fanatics insanely happy, I promise you this. Be sure to grab some banana, ice cream, sauce and nuts in every bite. Every. BITE. Oh, sundae, I miss you.
Caramelized Banana Split Sundaes
from Caramelized Banana Splits with Hot Chocolate Sauce, Gourmet, November 2007
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 firm-ripe bananas, sliced diagonally 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
- 1 pint cinnamon or vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted and cooled
Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, then add bananas in 1 layer and sprinkle with brown sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and cook bananas, gently turning once and shaking skillet occasionally, until sugar is caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Divide bananas among 4 bowls, leaving any remaining caramel in skillet.
Add cream to skillet and boil over medium heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Add chocolate with a pinch of salt and whisk until melted.
Top bananas with scoops of ice cream, then drizzle with some of chocolate sauce and sprinkle with nuts.
We had semi-sweet Ghirardelli, so that’s what we used as opposed to bittersweet chocolate. Either would work great, I think.
Wouldn’t change a thing about this one otherwise. Delicious as-is!