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Roasted Banana Soufflés with Caramel Sauce

A silence fell over the table when my friends first tasted this dessert, interrupted only by the sound of spoons being licked or dipped back into the ramekins for a second, then third mouthful. A silencing dessert is always a winning dessert in my book.

Roasted Banana Soufflés with Caramel Sauce

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Make-Ahead: The banana custard can be made up to one day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Ingredients

Unsalted butter, for the ramekins, at room temperature

6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for the ramekins

2 large ripe bananas, unpeeled


2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise


3 large eggs, separated


1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


2 large egg whites


Powdered sugar, for dusting


3/4 cup Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

Method

1. Position a rack in the centre of the oven, place a heavy baking sheet on the rack, and preheat the oven to 375°F. Completely coat the interiors of four 8-ounce ramekins (3 1/2-inch diameter) with some of the butter, with your brush strokes going from the bottom of the ramekins to 
the top (this will help the soufflés rise better). Refrigerate for about two minutes, or until the butter is cold and set. Brush with a second coating of butter in the same manner. Then coat the interiors with sugar and shake out any excess sugar

Refrigerate the ramekins. 


2. Place the bananas on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the banana peels are completely blackened and the flesh is soft. Remove the bananas from the oven (leave the oven on). 


3. Peel the bananas (you should have about 1 heaping cup of banana flesh). Transfer to a blender, add the cream and milk, and puree until smooth. 

Caramel Sauce

If you’ve got sugar, cream, butter, and salt on hand, you can pull caramel sauce out of your hat in a matter of minutes. The caramel sauce can be made up to three days ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Rewarm over low heat.

Makes: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups sugar


2/3 cup heavy cream


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel

Method

1. Heat a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar melts and then turns a deep amber colour.

As the sugar melts and caramelizes, tilt and swirl the pan to distribute the caramel evenly, but do not stir. As soon as the caramel is a deep amber colour, remove the pan from the heat.

2. Stir in the cream and butter, whisking until the butter melts and the sauce is completely blended. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any undissolved bits of sugar, if necessary. Stir in the fleur de sel and cool slightly before serving. 

-by Curtis Stone