Chocolate-Banana Tempura with Ice Cream and Caramel
- TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
For Top Chef Winner Hung Huynh's Asian take on a banana split, halved bananas are stuffed with bittersweet chocolate, coated in a light tempura batter and fried until golden. The indulgent dessert is finished with rum-spiked caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- One 1/4-inch-thick slice of peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 4 large bananas
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate bar, cut into eight 2-by-1/4-inch-wide sticks
- 1 cups cake flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups chilled club soda
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter with the cream, brown sugar, rum, Grand Marnier, ginger and vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over moderately high heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce into a bowl and keep warm.
- Peel and halve the bananas crosswise and cut each piece lengthwise three-quarters of the way through. Stuff each banana with a piece of chocolate.
- In a large pot, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. Put 1/4 cup of the cake flour in a shallow bowl. In a medium bowl, mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cake flour with the cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Stir in the club soda just until incorporated; the tempura batter will be lumpy.
- Dust each stuffed banana with the cake flour in the bowl, then coat with the tempura batter. Carefully add the bananas to the oil and fry, turning a few times, until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bananas to paper towels to drain. To serve, arrange the banana halves in shallow bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with the caramel sauce.
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