Few deserts look so complicated, turn as many heads, taste as amazing, and are as deceptively easy as flambé ...anything.
I promise, this is super easy, super delicious, and will grab LOTS of attention at a party or dinner for loved ones.
Sidenote: All the pictures and videos for this instructable were shot with a refreshed battery that was nearly dead to start with using this technique!
Step 1: Ingredients / Materials
Frankly, the measurements don't really matter, so long as they're roughly right -- I didn't measure anything - and it always turns out!
- 1 large banana *see notes
- about a quarter cup of butter (margarine would work)
- about a quarter-to-half cup of Brown/Golden sugar
- 1 lemon, a little rind and juice (makes many servings from 1 lemon)
- Cinnamon to taste
- Liquor: about 1 oz. I used Brandy, but Rum would work.
- Quality Vanilla Ice Cream (not pictured)
-Unripe (fully green) means it'll be bitter and woody, avoid (unless you like woody bananas)
-Under-ripe (some green) means the cooked product will be similar to 'soft ripe' raw, this is how I like them
-Ripe (fully yellow) means you'll have quite-soft finished product
-Overripe (dark yellow/brown) means you'll have soggy mush, use these for banana bread, they are no good here.
- Stove of some sort, gas preferable -- see notes.
- Heat-proof tools - something that won't melt. spatula/spoons/scoops
- Small skillet
- Cutlery close at hand
- Zest grater
- Good knives are handy
Step 2: Prep your work area
This step is VITAL. Once you start, you can't stop (easily) so be prepared!
It's best to be ready, rather than freak out when you have a hot pan smoking because you're missing one thing. The beauty is there's so few ingredients, its not hard to be prepared.
Set up your work area with plenty of space to set down a hot pan or utensil, move things around, and be generally be ready for the unexpected. You want everything in close reach, but not cluttered!
Obligatory warning: This is liquid naplam we're working with, oil and sugar in a pan that we will be starting on fire -- tie back long hair, wear natural fibers (cottons/wools), and avoid synthetics. Be ready with an appropriate extinguisher or box of baking soda for if it lights on fire before you add the flamable ingredients.
Step 3: Prep your ingredients
This one's easy also
- Slice your bananas into your favourite size chunks, I find bisecting (like a banana split) lengthwise, then cutting into 8 total pieces yields a good piece size.
- Clean your lemon - wash it to remove that wax they put on, since we'll be zesting it and you don't want nasty chemicals in your food.
- Put a slice in your lemon, leaving it intact so it's easier to zest into the pan, if you prefer, zest the whole lemon beforehand - The choice is yours!
- Tidy before you start! Toss banana peels out so they're not in the way!
Step 4: Let's get cooking!
It's gonna go fast now -- here we go!
- Start the stove on low/medium heat.
- Add butter to the pan
- Add a few scrapes of lemon zest to the pan while the butter melts
- Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the pan
- Add the sugar to the pan, and stir until it melts
- Once the whole mixture comes to a boil, add the bananas and sautee for about a minute. Keep a close eye on it - it should stay brown and not smoke. Smoke means you're burning it. Turn down the heat and try again.
- Now the bananas should be soft but not mushy. Time to add a splash of Brandy to the hot mix. It will immediately boil, so be careful of spatter.
- Here comes the magic -- The alcohol as a liquid won't burn very well, but the VAPOUR given off by the boiling liquid is VERY flamable. Gently tilt the edge of the pan toward the flame and it will ignite spontaneously (see video)
- Scoop some ice-cream. (not pictured) I bet you can figure this part out.
- Pour deliciousness over the ice cream, and it should caramelize into awesome-er-ness.