Savour banana split and salted caramel sauce this summer season

Put a smile on your family’s face by serving up some sweet childhood nostalgia in the form of a barbecued banana split, but with a gourmet salted caramel twist.

While many may not assume that their tasty dessert has been prepared on the barbecue, this banana based dessert holds its form perfectly on top of a Weber grill. This recipe is hard to beat when topped with a creamy scoop of ice-cream and a drizzle of rich salted caramel sauce.

Serve this up on a warm summer’s evening and there is no doubt that your family will be crowning you the ultimate grill master.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

BBQ time: 2-3 minutes

Required: Four bamboo or metal skewers (soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes )

INGREDIENTS

Salted Caramel Sauce

150 g sugar

4 tbsp water

4 tbsp double cream

1 tbsp good-quality bourbon / whiskey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

4 firm but ripe bananas

30 g unsalted butter, melted

1 litre chocolate or vanilla ice cream

Optional

Whipped cream

4 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans

Maraschino cherries

METHOD

Prepare the barbecue for direct cooking over medium heat (180°–230°C ). In a heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar and water and place over a high heat on the stove. Bring to the boil, swirling the pan gently, until the sugar dissolves. Brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming.

Boil, without stirring, for 7–9 minutes, until the syrup turns a deep amber, occasionally swirling the pan and continuing to brush down the sides with the wet pastry brush. Remove from the heat.

Stand back while carefully adding the cream, bourbon, vanilla extract and salt (the mixture will bubble up vigorously ). Stir with a heatproof rubber spatula until smooth, briefly placing the pan back over low heat if needed to dissolve any caramel bits. Set aside off the heat.

Cut each banana in half lengthways, leaving the skin attached (to help the bananas hold their shape on the barbecue ). Brush the cut sides with the butter. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the bananas, cut sides down, over grilling/direct medium heat, with the lid open, for 2–3 minutes, until warm and well grill-marked on the cut sides but not too soft.

Remove from the barbecue. Peel the banana halves, then leave them in halves or cut each half in half again and set aside.

To serve, place two scoops of ice cream in each of four bowls. Gently set the banana pieces on opposite sides of the ice cream in each bowl. Drizzle each serving with the caramel sauce, top with the whipped cream and garnish with the pecans and cherries, if using. Serve immediately.

 

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