Valentine’s Day is around the corner. As you probably know, Bryan and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. But we do like to have date nights and enjoy romantic dinners every once a while. A banana dessert is not your typical choice for Valentine’s Day, but you will LOVE this dessert! Because it is a souffle! A well risen souffle is going to impress your loved one any time and every time!
This roasted banana souffles recipe is from Chef Curtis Stone. If you don’t know him, he is an Australian celebrity chef. He was the host of Top Chef Masters. He is the owner of a popular restaurant, Maude in Los Angeles. I first learned about Curtis Stone from watching his show, Take Home Chef (2006-2008). In the show, Curtis searched for a random shopper into a supermarket or Sur La Table and offered help to cook for a special meal for loved ones. They then picked up all the ingredients and headed to the shopper’s home to cook. Back in the days, I really hoped that I would bump into Curtis in one of those supermarkets and take him home (to cook!). He is so tall and hot! Unfortunately, the show got cancelled before I get to meet him. Oh, wow… It really sounded like I’m obsessed about Curtis Stone. Ok, I admit it! Maybe just a little… HAHAHAHA! 😛
After that show, Curtis Stone gets more and more popular. Hosting Top Chef Masters probably takes his popularity to another level. He then opens the restaurant, Maude in 2014. It is one of the best restaurants in town. It is still unbelievably hard to get a reservation till today.
So, shall we move on to the souffle? Light and airy souffles are all you need for you and your date. This recipe is just for 2 servings. Roasting banana is the key to the recipe. The banana flavors got intensified and concentrated in the process of roasting. Even though there is only 1 banana in the recipe, the banana really comes through in the souffles. Serve the hot souffles with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream and a few crunchy brûlée banana slices. Everything you want in one bite! Heavenly! Did I mention these souffles can be made a few hours ahead? Make them before you start cooking dinner and bake them after dinner. Easy breezy! Enjoy! Have a sweet Valentine’s Day!
Roasted Banana Souffles
– 1 large ripe banana
– ¼ cup milk
– 1/3 cup heavy cream
– ¼ teaspoon vanilla paste or ½ vanilla bean (split lengthways)
– 1½ large egg yolks
– 45 grams caster sugar (divided), plus more for ramekins
– 7 grams all-purpose flour
– unsalted butter (for ramekins)
– 2 large egg whites
– ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
– powdered sugar (for dusting)
– Vanilla ice cream
Banana Brulee Slices (optional):
– 8 thinly sliced banana (optional)
– 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the banana on the baking sheet and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the peel is blackened and the flesh is soft. Remove from oven and carefully transfer the flesh to a blender or food processor.
- In the blender, add milk and heavy cream to the banana. Blend until smooth.
- In a medium heavy saucepan, pour in the banana mixture. Stir in the vanilla paste or scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 20g caster sugar until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour. Gradually whisk in the hot banana mixture. Return everything to saucepan and cook over medium heat until the pastry cream has thickened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Press a plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream. Set aside and let it cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
- Butter 2 1-cup ramekins and coat with caster sugar. Dust off the loose excess sugar. Keep in the fridge.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat 2 egg whites on medium speed until it starts to get foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue whisking. Slowly add the remaining 25g caster sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 – 4 minutes.
- Mix 1/3 of the egg whites to the banana pastry cream to loosen up. Fold in the rest of the whites gently. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins. Fill to the top.
- Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until puffed, set, and golden around edges, about 15 minutes. No peeking.
- For the banana brulee (optional), line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a baking sheet on top of a pot holder. Put the banana slices on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar over banana slices. Light the chef’s torch and move the flame over the banana. Make sure only the very tip of the flame touches the banana. Move quickly back and forth until the sugar has melted and turned brown. Let it cool for a couple minutes.
- When soufflés are ready, top with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream and banana brulee slices.
- Before starting with egg whites, make sure you have a clean and dry mixing bowl. And make sure your egg whites do not contain any egg yolk. If there is anything in the egg whites, it will keep the egg whites from expanding.
- The soufflé can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Cover the unbaked soufflé with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. Bring them almost to room temperature before baking, about 30 minutes.
- I love the crunchy texture of the banana brulee. It is nice with the fluffy souffle. But it is optional.
(Adapted from Curtis Stone via Coles)