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Bananas in Coffee Bean Syrup

Every morning in Nha Trang, Marcia Kiesel topped yogurt with these bananas steeped in warm, bittersweet coffee syrup; they're also delicious over vanilla ice cream for dessert. Make sure the bananas you choose for this recipe are ripe but still firm, so they don't get mushy.


slideshow  More Fruit Desserts


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole espresso beans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Two 3-inch strips of lemon zest
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 8 firm, medium bananas
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Plain whole-milk yogurt, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the whole espresso beans and bring to a boil. Simmer the beans over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the sugar, strips of lemon zest and pieces of cinnamon stick and simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes or until syrupy.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the bananas and slice them 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal. In a large, shallow dish, toss the bananas with the lemon juice.
  3. Pour the coffee bean syrup over the bananas and let stand until cooled to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours. Spoon the bananas and coffee bean syrup over the yogurt and serve.

Make Ahead

The coffee bean syrup can be prepared one day ahead; let cool then refrigerate overnight. Gently reheat the syrup before pouring it over the bananas.

Contributed By Photo © Earl Carter Published May 2006

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