Banana Foster – decadent New Orleans dessert with sauteed bananas in butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and bathed in a rum syrup. Top with vanilla ice cream and you’ll have the fanciest 10-minute dessert for dinner date nights!
Just when you thought all fancy things come with a price, here comes this Banana Foster to impress your beau for a dinner date night at home.
I was left utterly speechless when I first had this dessert during my younger years. Banana Foster is probably one of the coolest and tastiest banana recipes that I’ve had in my whole life. I mean…flaming bananas in front of you with a generous helping of ice cream topping?!? Say whaaat??? What could be cooler than that?
Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, I’m sharing this simple yet fancy recipe with you so you can treat your Dad/Husband/Grandpa to a fancy dinner date night at home featuring this Banana Foster for dessert. It’s going to be flaming hot (*pun intended*) for sure.
Why is it Called Banana Foster?
This decadent dessert might ring a bell like an 80s movie title that you’d normally find in your Dad’s DVD collection, but actually it isn’t. Banana Foster is a dessert that was birthed at the restaurant Brennan’s in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1951, by Ella Brennan and the restaurant chef Paul Blangé.
It was called as such since New Orleans was a major import hub for bananas coming from South America. Furthermore, as for the “Foster”, the restaurant owner Owen Brennan named it after his friend Richard Foster who was also the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission back then.
Banana Foster is made with bananas sauteed in a butter, sugar, cinnamon syrup and flambéed with rum for that smoky rich rum flavor. It’s served over vanilla ice cream.
What Can I Substitute For Rum in Banana Foster?
Well honestly, it wouldn’t be Banana Foster after all if it doesn’t have lightly cooked rum in it. There’s just that distinct boozy smoky rich flavor of rum that complements well with the bananas and the caramely syrup.
However, by any chance, if you aren’t comfortable with using rum in this dessert, you may substitute rum with either one of the following:
- rum extract
- Dark Cachaca (a Brazilian liquor made from sugarcane juice)
- Grape juice/pineapple juice/apple juice (for non-alcoholic substitutes)
It won’t be much like the traditional dish, but I bet it would still be good.
Easy Banana Foster
It isn’t that complicated to make this restaurant-quality dessert. Yes! And rather than killing yourself with anxiety upon reading the flambé technique, you can simply add the rum and cook the sauce for a couple of minutes without the flames.
Here’s how you can make Banana Foster right at home anytime you want:
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and make the brown syrup using brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then add a tablespoon of rum, water and vanilla extract and cook until bubbly and thickened.
- Add the bananas into skillet with sauce, coat it and remove from heat.
- Pour in the remaining rum and ignite it then letting it burn off. Return the flambeed pan back to the stovetop and cook for another 2-3 minutes, while flipping the bananas, until the sauce is thickened and bananas are thickened.
- Remove from heat and serve warm banana foster with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream.
Is there are anything simpler than this? I doubt it. In fact, I’ll be making this more often and not just on special occasions. What a great dessert to cool down this summer! Rest assured, I’ll be hoarding more bananas from now on. And who says you can’t have too many bananas?
What is Flambé?
Also spelled as flambe and pronounced as /flɒmˈbeɪ, it is a cooking technique that was credited to the French. In this method, alcohol is added into the hot pan and creates a sudden burst of flames. By doing so, flambeing cooks off the alcohol content of the dish while keeping that flavors of the liquor.
Cognac, rum and other liquors with 40 % alcohol or 80 USA proof are considered to be the ideal liquor when flambeing. Thus, you should avoid using alcohol with higher percentage as they are highly flammable and too dangerous to use.
Can Kids Eat Banana Foster?
This would totally depend on the parents or guardians of the kid. Personally though, I don’t mind serving this to my son as it doesn’t mean that he’s eating the entire recipe. PLUS the alcohol content has been cooked off, so why not let your kid have a piece of this dessert?
Can I Make Banana Foster Ahead?
As we all know, bananas don’t look that good for too long after you slice them. The same with this banana foster, I highly suggest that you leave off this dessert on your make-ahead list. It just doesn’t make the cut. The bananas gets too mushy if kept warm far more than 5 minutes.
What you can do though is make the sauce ahead of time and just add the sliced bananas once you’re ready to serve.
Looking For More Banana Recipes?
Moist Banana Cake (with video)
Banana Puff Puff (with video)
How To Make Banana Foster
Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium low heat, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Cook until moist for about 1 minute.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of rum, water and vanilla extract, cook stirring continuously, until the grainy texture disappears and the mixture rolls off the spoon in a steady stream (bubbly and thickened) – 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the bananas to the skillet and turn them until coated with the sauce.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the remaining rum.
Carefully ignite the rum with a long match or grill lighter, using extreme caution to stay away from the flame!
Allow the alcohol to burn off, then return the skillet to heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring and flipping the bananas until the sauce is thickened and the bananas are tender. To serve, place warm banana foster on a plate or bowl and top generously with vanilla ice cream.
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup (132 g) brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (0.35 g) cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon (0.55 g) ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup (59 ml) rum
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla
- 3 firmly ripe bananas , peeled and halved lengthwise and crosswise
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
- Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium low heat, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook until moist for about 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon of rum, water and vanilla extract, cook stirring continuously, until the grainy texture disappears and the mixture rolls off the spoon in a steady stream (bubbly and thickened) - 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the bananas to the skillet and turn them until coated with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the remaining rum. Carefully ignite the rum with a long match or grill lighter, using extreme caution to stay away from the flame! Allow the alcohol to burn off, then return the skillet to heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring and flipping the bananas until the sauce is thickened and the bananas are tender.
- To serve, place warm banana foster on a plate or bowl and top generously with vanilla ice cream.
Tips & Notes:
- Use 100 proof spiced rum, which adds flavor and ignites easily.
- This alcohol is highly flammable and extreme caution should be used when making this recipe. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an accident.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.