Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tropical Dreams

I created this dessert when I started following the Primal Blueprint guidelines, after realizing that I could no longer make my favorite banana bread.  It wasn’t something I made often, but I missed the flavor combination.  So far, I’m not a fan of the primal/paleo baked goods substitutes.  I find it easier to stick with the principles if I don’t make “primalized” versions of the food I shouldn’t have been eating in the first place.  And don’t start thinking I’m all virtuous and stuff—I eat chocolate daily and fried potatoes at least once or twice a week.  (And no, I don’t much care what oil those potatoes are fried in, but lard definitely tastes the best.)

The recipe is a combination of the flavors of the banana bread and the basics of a tropical fruit dessert without the sugar.  My mom tested this recipe and added some variations for people who plan ahead and/or who use microwaves regularly.  Being the generous soul that she is, she made it a couple of times and shared it with her friends, which was reassuring since they ate it all up.  Thanks, mom!

Cardamom Baked Bananas

2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup rum (dark is best)
Butter or coconut oil
3 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced into rounds
1-2 tsp cardamom
¼ - ½ tsp clove
1-2 tsp citrus juice (orange, lemon, or lime)
2 Tbsp salted butter, softened
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
Maple syrup (optional)

Combine raisins and rum in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until simmering.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Or combine raisins and rum in a bowl, cover, and allow to soak for 24-36 hours.  Microwave for a minute before adding the raisins to the recipe. The raisins taste more strongly of rum if you do this, since the alcohol doesn’t get cooked off.

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease 1 ½ quart casserole dish with butter or coconut oil. 

Cream together cardamom, clove, citrus juice, and butter.  Or melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the spices and citrus juice.  Toss the banana slices in the casserole dish and dot with the butter mixture or drizzle the butter mixture over the banana slices if you microwaved it.  If the bananas are not very ripe (or you just want it to be really sweet), drizzle with a little maple syrup.  Sprinkle with the rum-soaked raisins, and top with walnuts and coconut.

Bake until bubbly (about 10 minutes).  Serve warm.  Eat happily!

This dessert reminds me of summer and warmer climates, which is a nice side effect this time of year.  I keep thinking that I should add some sort of chocolate to it, but it’s pretty decadent as it stands.  Then again, I’m a little obsessed with chocolate at the moment, since I am in the middle of the chocolate course.  I am now working on finding a good source of the chocolate I want to use in my shop, and learning to develop recipes.  Any suggestions?!?!

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