Roasted Bananas with Crushed Hazelnuts, Banana Ice Cream, and Banana-Caramel Sauce
This pretty dessert can be finishing in the oven while you serve the entree for a dinner party. Papillotes of foil are opened to reveal bananas roasted in a rum-raisin sauce which makes itself as they bake. A scoop of banana ice cream and dried banana slices finish the dish. The banana garnishes are dried overnight; start the night before.
- Dried Banana Garnish
- Bananas - 2
- Vanilla Sugar - 1/2 cup (sugar in which a split vanilla bean has been stored)
- Bananas - 6
- Sugar - 1-1/4 cups
- Vanilla Sugar - 1/2 cup
- White Raisins - 1 cup
- Rum - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 8 tablespoons (1 stick), softened
- Hazelnuts - toasted
To dry the bananas: Slice the bananas very thin lengthwise on a mandoline or V-slicer; make at least 8 slices. Spread the bananas in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the vanilla sugar. Put in the oven and set the oven to its lowest setting, propping the door open if necessary; you want to maintain around 100 F. Leave overnight; the next morning the slices should be browned and dried. Set aside.
Peel and puree 2 bananas. Combine the sugar and the banana puree in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until the mixture begins to color. Swirl in 1/4 cup of the vanilla sugar and let cook until the mixture is a golden caramel color. Remove from heat; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Peel the remaining bananas. Lay four large squares of aluminum foil on a work surface and place a banana on each. Sprinkle the bananas with the remaining vanilla sugar, the raisins, and the rum. Top each banana with 2 tablespoons of butter. Working with one packet at a time, fold the foil over the banana and fold back a narrow strip along the long edge twice. Fold in each end in a narrow strip twice. Working as if the foil were parchment, crimp between your fingers like pie crust, working from one end to the other along the folds to seal the packet. Repeat with all packets. Place the packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes; remove from oven.
To serve: Place a foil packet on each serving plate. Slit the foil lengthwise with a sharp knife and peel it back along the length to reveal the contents. Spoon caramel sauce over the bananas and sprinkle each with hazelnuts. Top each with banana ice cream. Anchor 2 dried banana slices, slightly offset, in each scoop of ice cream.