Banana Creams with Crushed Almond Praline

September 17, 2010

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I bloody love custard.

No ifs ands or buts.

It’s comes as no surprise then, that eggs are the one ingredient that I can NEVER live without. Because a world without custards and mousses – which means no brulées, ice creams, pot de crèmes, tarts and curds – would be apocalyptically depressing. My lips have copped it badly over my lifetime because I could never wait for it to cool down before having a ‘taste’. And many plans for profiteroles have utterly failed because I preferred to skip the choux pastry and just chow down on the custard with my spoon!

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Now this banana version is brilliant. Funny though, I didn’t use to like banana custards or even ice creams but as I found out in my wise years, it wasn’t the bananas that I hated, but the putrid fake flavouring they used. Thankfully, this custard is 100% pure fresh banana goodness. The riper the fruit is, the better the custard will be especially after it intensifies overnight.
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It might seem like a minor addition but please don’t skip the toasted almond praline. The custard is great on its own but the praline just lifts it to a whole new level and lends a slight bittersweet note from the toffee and the toasted almonds. The trick is to cook the caramel right to the edge without burning it to achieve a slightly dark and smokey flavour. It’s a good thing to practice when cooking toffees because the flavour at that stage is phenomenal, rather than the sickly saccharine flavour of sugar that you get with lighter caramels.

With the weather warming up, this is one chilled dessert that I’m going to keep in the fridge for emergency sugar hits. As long as I don’t burn my lips eating it all off the stove.

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Banana Cream with Crushed Almond Praline


(Serves 4 if served in glasses)


Ingredients

1 large ripened banana – sliced into 1cm discs
85g caster sugar – divided up into two portions
120ml milk
1 small vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
1 egg
1/8 tsp of salt
1.5 Tbl plain flour (approx 16g) – see note
1.5 Tbl cornflour (approx 11g)
40g of good quality butter (the quality and taste will make all the difference)
120ml cream

Note – I always use 15ml sized tablespoons and never the Aussie 20ml spoons.

Method

Halve and scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into a saucepan. Add the vanilla pod, bananas, half of the sugar and milk to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and leave for 10 minutes to infuse.

In a mixing bowl, add the yolks, whole egg, remaining sugar and salt and briskly whisk for a couple of minutes.

Add the flour, cornflour and whisk until mixture is smooth and no flour remains. Add some of the hot milk liquid to the eggs while whisking to temper. Gradually pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan of milk, whisking constantly as you do.

Cook the custard over medium-low heat, while whisking making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Once bubbles rise to the top, cook for for a further 30 seconds and remove from the heat. The custard would have thickened significantly.

Pass the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Rinse and dry the vanilla pods and store for a later use.

Allow custard to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the butter until fully incorporated, transfer to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.

In a chilled bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks and fold into the cooled custard until incorporated.

Ladle into serving glasses or bowls and chill. Just before serving, sprinkle over crushed praline. Custards will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator.


Crushed Toasted Almond Praline

35g of sliced almonds (toasted in a preheated 175°C oven for around 10 minutes until lightly browned)
110g caster sugar
40ml water

Scatter almonds onto a baking paper-lined oven tray. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook caramel without stirring, swirling the pan, until deep dark golden. Don’t take your eyes off it because it can burn really quickly. Quickly pour the caramel over the almonds and cool until set. Break praline into pieces and pulse briefly in a food processor until crushed (but not powder).


Print this recipe!

Recipe adapted from Kate Zuckerman’s ‘The Sweet Life’

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Banana Cream 

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

bake in paris September 21, 2010 at 06:51

Yep, another way to utilize excessive egg yolks…..

Beautiful photos as usual, and this recipe is the greatest way to enjoy banana…..

Sawadee from bangkok,
Kris

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thang @ noodlies September 20, 2010 at 10:47

Yum, can't wait for summer!

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the ninja September 20, 2010 at 04:21

If I were to claim that I liked custard, I might be forced into the use of many a subjunctive and conditional, but that could well be replaced by "if's and but's" although such options are not favorable to me – so let it be known that I like custard if executed suavely and sexily like Connery in a suit, but not if it makes me queasy in mind or body.

I like your custard.

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angie September 19, 2010 at 11:55

Ohhh something else to do with my ripe bananas! Like you I've always 'hated' banana flavoured anything but only because of the fake flavourings too. If it's got real banana then I usually won't have too much of a problem scoffing it down.

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Cherine September 19, 2010 at 08:24

Love this dessert!! The photos are gorgeous!!

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef September 18, 2010 at 14:33

I had a banana pudding at a buffet dinner (!!!) the other night (although the sign said "lemon pudding") and it reminded me how much I love banana desserts and how little I've had lately. This is thus perfect timing for you to share this fabulous dessert with us! I'm also with you on the lip burning – a friend calls me "asbestos mouth" due to my habit of chowing down on burning things far too early.

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Sarah - For the Love of Food September 18, 2010 at 03:26

I have always maintained I don't like banana custard or ice-cream for the same reason! I always have lots of frozen bananas in the fridge and this is a new way for me to use them up – thanks for the lovely sounding recipe (and beautiful photos as usual).

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joudie's mood food September 17, 2010 at 10:17

I love custard and definitely banana custard! The combination of the smooth with the crunch must be gorgeous!

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joy the baker September 17, 2010 at 04:06

good grief! this custard looks absolutely divine!

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chanel September 17, 2010 at 02:10

I'm a a custard lover too, but almost every time I try to make it myself I end up curdling the eggs, hopefully one of these days I'll master it and then every day can be custard day – and when I do, I will be making this one fo sho

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maxine September 16, 2010 at 23:28

This looks absolutely delicious! I'm wondering if corn flour is the same as corn starch?

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Lora September 16, 2010 at 16:59

This looks like a dessert of the gods. Love the flavors. Gorgeous photos.

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