Recipe provided by Patrick Knaak,
Sur La Table, Costa Mesa, Ca
Bananas grill beautifully, and the slight smokiness complements their sweetness. The caramel sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance and chilled. Let caramel come to room temperature, or warm over low heat, just before serving.
Yield: 4 servings
1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon coconut flavored rum
Pinch of salt
4 very ripe bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
To prepare caramel sauce, pour water and corn syrup into a medium saucepan. Sprinkle sugar over the top, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to moisten before adding the next. In a small saucepan, heat cream just until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place sugar mixture over medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear. Increase the heat to medium and boil rapidly, swirling the pan occasionally, without stirring, so the sugar cooks evenly. Cook until the caramel turns a deep golden brown. Immediately turn off the heat and carefully add the warm cream, as the mixture will rise dramatically in the pan and sputter. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to blend and stir in butter and rum, and simmer until thick, about 2 minutes. Keep warm over low heat, or cool to room temperature.
Prepare a medium charcoal fire, preheat a gas grill to medium, or heat a large grill pan over medium heat.
Brush bananas with melted butter and place on grill. Cook just until bananas begin to form grill marks, about 1 to 2 minutes. Gently turn bananas and grill 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer grilled bananas to a plate. To serve, place 1 scoop vanilla ice cream in the center of each of 4 dessert bowls. Arrange bananas around each scoop of ice cream. Drizzle bananas and ice cream with caramel sauce, and serve immediately.