I think I am on a banana streak (Banana Cream Pie, Banana Mango Skewers and now Bananas Dulce) and found the perfect Cinco de Mayo dessert – Bananas Dulce with home made coconut ice cream. There is a Mexican restaurant in Kirkland (Cactus) that serves this dish in a little cast iron pan and I think its meant to be shared but I always devour this dessert all by myself and since we haven’t gone to Cactus in quite a while I thought I give it a try to copy cat this indulgent dessert at home and it came out perfect right with the first try.
I made the coconut ice cream from scratch which you don’t have to do, store bought one will be fine, I love the coconut ice cream from Talenti. You can prepare the ice cream and Dulce de Leche a day ahead. It will also look very impressive as you can serve it in small individual cast iron pans or just one big one and have everybody serve themselves. Also I flambéed the bananas in rum (banana liquor would be better but rum will do) and that always makes a big impression and gives it a special fancy note.
I had never made Dulce de Leche before and I read up on the internet how to make it and there are methods where you make the Dulce de Leche from scratch but I was too lazy and chose the non gourmet route by cooking the condensed milk in its own can for 3 hours and the Dulce the Leche came out perfect! I know it sounds completely ghetto and one day I will try it the fancy way but I have the feeling it will taste the same. I have no complaints about the easy route ;-).
So here we go:
Coconut Ice Cream:
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 drops of coconut essence (optional for those who like an intense coconut taste)
- 1 cup coconut toasted flakes (I only had non toasted sweet coconut flakes and they worked out fine)
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
Note: this is for a big ice cream maker, if you only have a small one just 1/2 the recipe. Also if you like it a little bit less sweet, just use 1 cup of sugar.
- Bring milk, heavy cream and coconut flakes to a simmer for a few minutes (add coconut essence if you are using it in this step). Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt together.
- Pour cream mixture into the egg mixture, return back to saucepan and simmer on low heat, stirring all the while until the mixture starts to thicken, under no circumstances let the mixture cook. My mixture didn’t really thicken but that didn’t matter the ice cream came out fine.
- Some recipes suggest to strain out the coconut flakes, I left them in as I like the “crunch”. If you prefer completely smooth ice cream pour it through a strainer.
- Chill the mixture for a couple hours and then pour into an ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes.
- At this point the ice cream is somewhat soft, so I stuck it into the freezer and let it harden a little bit more.
Dulce de Leche
- 1 can of condensed milk
- Poke a few holes into the can and remove the label
- Set the can into a pot of cooking water, the water should come up to an inch from the top of the can. Cover the pot with a lid.
- Let the can simmer for 3 hours. Some of the condensed milk will spill out of the holes, just wipe it off so that it doesn’t drip into the water.
- After 3 hours take the can out of the water (careful, can is very hot), open it with a can opener, empty the contents into a bowl. The top will be more fluid, and there will be thicker, darker chunks at the bottom which will need to be scraped out. When everything is in the bowl, whisk together to make it homogeneous. At this point the Leche looked a little bit chunky, you can thin it out with milk or cream. I actually set the dulce de leche over night in the fridge, the next day I heated the Leche up in the microwave for 1 minute and then poured a little bit of milk into it and stirred it. The Leche looked beautiful, no clumps and had a nice caramel color.
Ingredients for 4 portions:
- 1 shot glass of banana liquor or rum
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 4 bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2 and then slice vertical into 1/2 (you will have 4 pieces per banana)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Whisk lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl to blend; add bananas and toss to coat.
- Melt the butter on medium heat. Add bananas and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Sauté until heated through and beginning to brown, turning gently with heat-resistant rubber spatula, about 5 minutes
- Pour the rum over the bananas and flambé. Once the rum is burned off, take the bananas off the stove.
- Now assemble by scooping the coconut ice cream over the bananas and drizzle with the dulce de leche. You might want to wait 5 minutes before you put the ice cream on the bananas so that it doesn’t melt. Or you can serve it separate and have guests scoop it on to the bananas themselves.
Happy Cinco de Mayo and Guten Appetit.