Culinary Journeys

Holiday dessert idea: Bananas Foster with a twist

Updated 20th December 2016
(CNN) — With Christmas and New Year's looming, why not try whipping up an unexpected holiday dessert?
Pastry chef Summer Bailey is a New Orleans native and daughter to the proprietors of a bayou-based seafood restaurant and market. These days Bailey concocts confections for Andrew Carmellini's classic American restaurant The Dutch.
The self-described "Southerner at heart" displays her passion for pastries with her unique take on Bananas Foster. Please, try this at home.

Bananas Foster Soufflé

Makes 9-10 servings
Banana mixture:
7½ ripe bananas, smooshed
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp dark rum
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
1½ cups egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Banana base:
In a medium heavy bottom pot, add the butter. Brown the butter over medium high heat until very nutty and dark brown in color.
Being very careful, quickly add the rum and lemon juice. Next add in both sugars and cinnamon, stirring to prevent burning.
Add in the ripe bananas. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent burning. You are looking for a thick mixture similar to pudding.
Using a hand blender or regular blender, pureé the banana mixture until very smooth. Pour it out into a large bowl and place it in the refrigerator until completely cooled -- about 8-10 minutes.
As the mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 425˚F.
Grease 8 to 10 ounce ramekins with butter and sugar.
Once the banana mixture is cooled, stir in the chocolate to make sure every soufflé gets at least one chocolate chunk.
Add in eggs whites to a very clean stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Start whisking and add the salt and cream of tartar.
As the whites get slightly foamy on top, slowly pour in the sugar. Whip the egg white and sugar mixture until it makes stiff peaks. You are looking for a shaving cream consistency.
Once your meringue is ready, working fast you will fold in the meringue half at a time into the banana mixture. Do not over fold the mixture (having some egg white streaks is OK).
Pour the batter into a piping bag (you may need to refill it), and pipe the batter into the prepared ramekins slightly over the top of the ramekin.
Using a small offset spatula, smooth down the top until completely flat. Using the tip of your thumb, run it along the edge of the ramekin to create a straight side soufflé.
Place one soufflé in the microwave oven for 27 seconds. Next place it in the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Serve with a side of vanilla ice cream and enjoy.