Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Banana Soup

Tonight was one of those fun girls nights. Watched Nacho Libre, made chocolate banana soup and ate pizza. We had decided we wanted to make something a little experimental. I was looking through one of my cookbooks that I love to just read. Its called "Dessert Circus" by Jacques Torres. Its basically fancy dessert cooking. I came across this soup and thought well this is interesting and has potential.

We made a few alterations to the original, number one we didn't soak the bananas in rum... but in a makeshift rum. Which is made through molasses, pineapple juice and almond extract ( Who knows if that's really what its like or not but it was tasty either way.We also wanted to eat the end product a little faster so I added a thickener to the chocolate soup portion, like 1/4 cup of flour, this way it would get thick enough for the meringue with just like half an hour of cooling instead of 2 hours. Yes... sometimes I'm a little impatient. We also made the dish in a souffle dish, next time I do think it would be better in smaller dishes, this way I think everyone would get a more even bananas to chocolate to meringue ratio.

We also attempted to caramelize the sugar about 5 times and every time it just didn't work. I've put the links to some youtube videos that will hopefully help you on your venture of caramelizing.The first one lets you see the whole process very nicely and the second seems very similar to what we want to do for this caramel since you add in the butter. We kept having the issue of the caramel becoming rock hard when we added anything into it. Now when I googled why it hardens, it seems as though we got the temperature to high. It shouldn't get above 250 degrees. I will have to try this again and see if I can ever really caramelize sugar!

Wow, it was so rich! (It tasted like something you should be eating at a restaurant!) Very yummy though. Especially when you are eating the bananas in the chocolate it tastes like a chocolate covered banana. It only gets better when the light fluffy meringue gets added in. :)

Banana Chocolate Soup
Source: Adapted from Dessert Circus by Jacques Torres. Copyrighted 1998. p.104
Makes: 8 servings

Caramelized bananas
4 large bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 tbsp molasses
1/4 c pineapple juice
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)

4 c Whole milk
1/4 c flour
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

7 large egg whites
1-3/4 powdered sugar
  1. Mix the molasses, pineapple juice, and almond extract in a mixing bowl. Here you are just diluting the molasses to get 1/4 cup of this mixture. 
  2. Mix the sliced bananas into this mixture till covered, let sit as you make the caramel. 
  3. Heat a pan on medium high heat. When it is warm add the sugar. Coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
  4. Shake and sift the sugar around (a good demonstration is in the first youtube video) till all is melted then add in the butter to add smoothness to the caramel. 
  5. Add in the banana mixture and mix the bananas and caramel. If there is a lot of extra liquid let it sit in the pan a little longer on heat till it evaporates a little then put into your dish/dishes. (I used a souffle pan)
  6. Mix the milk and flour in a sauce pan.
  7. Heat the whole milk in the sauce pan till boiling then add the chocolate. Stir till melted. Take off heat, Pour into your baking dish/dishes.
  8. Put dish/dishes into a 13 by 9 inch pan and place in the fridge till thick enough to support the meringue. Suggested 2 hours. (I probably only had it in there for a half an hour to an hour) 
  9. Make the meringue by beating the egg whites in a large mixing bowl till frothy. Then 1 tbsp at a time add in the powdered sugar till it creates stiff but not dry peaks. 
  10. Take the chocolate soup out of the fridge and top with the meringue in a decorative manner. If your soup has gotten cold inside (feel the outside of the dish on the sides) cover the sides of your dish as close to 1/3rd of the way up as you can with warm water and let it sit for 30 minutes to warm the soup. 
  11. Heat the oven to 450. 
  12. Remove the soup from the warm water bath and place on a baking sheet. Put in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the meringue begins to brown. Then serve! 
The chocolate soup after cooling.. mmm.... 
Delicious toasted meringue topping


Stacey said...

That looks really good! Maybe I'll make it someday.

Tasha said...

um, that looks AMAZING. all my favorite ingredients: bananas, chocolate, sugar.... um . YES