Havana Bananas with Rum, Chilies, and Chocolate Sauce
Norman Van Aken creatively transforms fruit with ice cream by using tropical flavors sparked with chilies. Sauteed bananas are spiced with chili jelly and spooned on plates decorated with banana, chocolate, and mango sauces. A tuile cup cradles mango ice cream on top of the bananas. Each of the recipes used to make this dish can be used separately on its own or in another dessert.
- Mango Ice Cream
- Mango - 2 cups peeled, seeded, diced ripe
- Sugar - 1-1/4 cups
- Lime Juice - 2 tablespoons fresh
- Milk - 2 cups
- Egg Yolks - 5
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Chili Jelly
- Ancho chilies - 2, stemmed and seeded
- Chipotle Chilies - 2
- Water - 1 quart
- Red Currant Jelly - 6 tablespoons
- Honey - 6 tablespoons
- Sherry Wine Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Chocolate Sauce
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Brown Sugar - 2 tablespoons, firmly packed
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 4 ounces, chopped
- Mango Sauce
- Mango - 2 cups, diced ripe
- Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon, fresh
- Confectioner's Sugar - 1 to 3 tablespoons
- Orange Juice - 1/2 cup to 1 cup
- Banana - 4, ripe
- Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Dark Brown Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Chili Jelly - 2 tablespoons (above)
- Myers’s Dark Rum - 3 tablespoons
- Tulip Cookie Cups
- All Purpose Flour - 1-1/4 cups
- Confectioner's Sugar - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup (1 stick), melted
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 3 tablespoons
- Pure Vanilla Extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- Egg Whites - 4 large
- Salt - Pinch
- Vegetable Oil - 1 tablespoon
To make the ice cream: In a nonreactive mixing bowl combine the mangos, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and lime juice. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Scald the milk in a heavy saucepan. In a small mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar. Pour in the scalded milk into the yolks in a thin stream, whisking to blend. Return the yolk mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes, or until thickened. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to let the mixture boil. Strain the custard into a bowl and let come to room temperature. Stir the mango mixture into the custard. Whisk in the cream. Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if needed. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
To make the jelly: Remove the stems from the chilies and toast in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until they begin to release their aromas, about 3 minutes. Place them in a saucepan with the water and simmer on medium heat until the water is almost completely evaporated. Add the currant jelly, honey, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and process in a food process or until smooth. Transfer to a clean bowl and cool.
To make the chocolate sauce: In a small heavy saucepan, cook the cream, butter, and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is no longer grainy. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Cover and chill until serving. If made in advance, the sauce may be reheated gently over low heat. The sauce should be pourable for serving.
To make the mango sauce: In a food processor puree the mango, lemon juice, and sugar. Add enough orange juice to achieve a sauce that will pour. Correct the flavoring, adding sugar or lemon juice as needed. Force the sauce through a strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract all the juices from the pulp. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
To make the cups: Grease a large baking sheet with vegetable oil and dust with flour, shaking out any excess. Take a thin, flat piece of cardboard, and make a template: Cut out a circular hole 7 inches in diameter. Place the pattern onto the baking sheet and, using a spatula, evenly spread some of the cookie mix into the stencil. Remove the stencil and repeat to make 7 more circles. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and set the baking sheet on it. This will help keep the cookies flexible while you are molding them. Using a large, flexible spatula, lift a cookie off the baking sheet and slide it onto the bottom of an inverted 3-inch-wide glass or bowl. Quickly press the cookie down around the glass or bowl to form a cup. Work rapidly to prevent the cookies from crisping before you have finished shaping the cups — once the cookies are crisp they will no longer be pliable enough to mold. Repeat to shape all 8 circles into cups. Freeze four for future use.
To prepare the bananas: Peel the bananas and cut them into 1/4-inch slices on the diagonal. Heat a skillet to moderately hot. Place the bananas in the skillet with the butter and brown sugar. When the butter is melted, add the chili jelly (the remaining jelly can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months). Toss the bananas to coat them well. Remove the bananas to a plate. Add the rum to the pan, deglaze, and reduce the sauce until thickened.
To assemble: Divide the bananas among dessert plates. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and mango sauce, and the sauce remaining in the banana cooking pan. Place the mango ice cream in tulip cookie cups and place on the plates.