Sugar Cane Banana Fritters with Mango Crème Anglaise
Living in New Orleans, Rene Bajeux can easily find cane stalks for this creative dessert of tempura-dipped fried banana “popsicles” with mango crème anglaise. If your store doesn’t sell such things, use regular popsicle sticks. The bananas are dipped in brown sugar before getting two dips in tempura batter; the brown sugar melts inside, caramelizing the banana, while the tempura batter builds up a crunchy coating outside.
- Mango Crème Anglaise
- Mango - 1, split and pitted
- Vanilla bean - 1, split
- Milk - 3 cups
- Egg Yolks - 10, lightly beaten
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Banana Fritters
- Sugar Cane Stalk - one, 6-inch piece
- Bananas - 2
- Brown Sugar - 1-1/4 cup
- Flour - 1 cup
- Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons
- Pinch of salt
- Ice Water - 1 cup
- Egg - 1, lightly beaten
- Oil - for deep-frying
- Mint leaves - 8, cut in chiffonade
- Hot Chocolate Sauce - 1/2 cup
To prepare the mango: Holding half a mango cupped in your hand, cut a half-inch dice crosshatch through the flesh only, leaving the mango attached to the skin. Repeat with all mango halves. Invert each half, one at a time, to splay the mango pieces outward, then cut them off the skin. Cut the pieces into even 1/2-inch dice. Put the mango pieces in a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice to chill.
To prepare the bananas: Split the sugar cane stalk in half, then split into 1/4-inch vertical strips to make sticks for the banana fritters. Peel the bananas and cut in half horizontally, then vertically. Press a cane stick into each piece of banana, creating a “popsicle.” Spread the brown sugar on a plate and roll the bananas in the brown sugar until well coated. Set aside on waxed paper or parchment.
To make the crème anglaise: Put the milk in a heavy saucepan and scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk, then drop in the pods. Heat the milk just to boiling. Remove from heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved in the eggs. Whisk a large spoonful of hot milk into the egg mixture to temper, then slowly add the egg mixture to the milk while whisking. Put the mixture back on the stove over medium heat and cook, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain over the mango pieces and stir together. Set aside.
To finish the bananas: Put the flour, baking powder, salt, ice water, and egg in a bowl and whisk together gently until just blended. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep fryer or deep, heavy saucepan. Holding it by the stick, dip a banana into the batter to coat, then place in the hot oil, stick end up (the sticks should stand up out of the oil). Repeat to dip all bananas. Fry 1 minute. Remove, drain on paper towels, and dip into the batter again. Place the bananas back in the oil and fry for 2 minutes, until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Spoon scattered pools of mango crème anglaise in a halo on each dish. Cross two banana fritters in the center. Scatter with bits of mint. Drizzle a little chocolate sauce over each dish.