Sunday, January 16, 2011

Caramelized Banana Splits with Hot Chocolate Sauce: A perfect introduction to the classic dessert

Until I was an adult, I had never eaten a banana split.
   This is not a sob story, just a factual reflection on life.
   Banana splits only existed in the universe of Dairy Queen when I was a kid. Mom and Dad sometimes ordered one and shared it, while I opted for a sundae instead.
   I only knew that Dairy Queen banana split dishes made great Barbie doll bathtubs.
   Fast forward to adulthood in November 2007, and I’m flipping through Gourmet magazine.
   There was the recipe: Caramelized Banana Splits with Hot Chocolate Sauce (click for the recipe). And it was in the mag’s Quick Kitchen section, no less.
   For the first time, I was going to try a banana split, and I was going to make it myself.
   It was a fantastic introduction into the world of banana splits: They were warm, gooey and absolutely divine,
   They're a lovely treat on a cozy winter night – the whole family will love them. Get the fire going, turn on a movie and whip up these easy-to-make splits.
   Butter is melted in a skillet, then bananas are added and sprinkled with brown sugar. The bananas are cooked for a few minutes until the sugar is caramelized, and are divided among bowls. Any remaining caramel is left in the skillet.
   Heavy cream (I used whipping cream) is added to the skillet and boiled until the caramel is dissolved. Finely-chopped bittersweet chocolate is added and whisked until melted.
   The bananas are topped with scoops of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream, then drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with toasted chopped walnuts.

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