I did not have a good Honeymoon four years ago. We went to Costa Rica and the trip started out wonderful. We stayed at a small hotel with hot water springs for a couple of days and enjoyed long hikes to volcano and waterfall. We spent another few days at a different location at a spectacular tree house B&B up in the mountains, saw a lot of animals, zip lined over trees and valleys and saw beautiful sunsets. Then it all went down.
Our next destination was described as a beautiful Villa with a Gourmet Chef. In reality, the villa turned out to be a rusted and ran down cottage and the chef was a home cook with no concept of anything gourmet in sight. And the thing is that if I was expecting a more down to earth experience, I wouldn't have minded it too much (well, except for the ridiculously expensive price), but I was dreaming of that place for a few months and it was a huge disappointment. The food was a big part of being let down. I can't really blame the cook. It was a local woman, who did not speak any English and she really tried, but her idea of fancy dining was piping mayo rosettes on fish and covering fruit in pink condensed milk.
One night, however, somewhere underneath all the stickiness of the condensed milk and sugar I discovered the most delicious caramelized bananas. They were amazing! So much so that I tried to explain it to her and asked to repeat it the next day, just without all the other "fancy" sauces. I just wanted the most delicious, moist, melty caramelized bananas. The response was surprising - impossible! Ok, I thought, maybe they already used up all the bananas and she could not purchase more on such a short notice, but the next day there was another dessert consisting of bananas and sugar. Another dessert that went untouched.
Since then my husband and I have a saying: "Impossible bananas." We use it whenever we can't get something that we should be able to get and also every time I see caramelized bananas on the menu.
Last week, when I was in Cuba, I was able to have my Impossible Bananas almost every day, not the same as the Costa Rican ones, but still very good. They were bathed in sugar syrup with some butter, orange juice and rum - perfection!
This recipe is much lighter. It's Roasted Bananas, not Caramelized Bananas. I am utilizing natural sugars, just a bit of fat and heat to create a sweet, yet healthy, dessert. There are also two ways of doing it. One is to roast the bananas for 30 minutes which would result in luxuriously soft and sweet dessert that you'd want to eat with a spoon while sipping Champagne. The.other way is to roast the fruit for about an hour and a half (this is the option pictured), which would make a leathery and chewy bananas since it's almost like making dried fruit. I love both options and choose one based on my mood. If I'm making something for a quick dinner dessert, then I roast them for only half an hour. If I'm baking in the morning, then I usually decide on a longer roasting time, this way I can just pick up a sticky and dense piece of fruit in my hand and munch on it while watching tv or reading. You can also make this dessert vegan by using vegan butter or margarine. I actually used soy butter this time (pictured).
Bananas - 2 large
Vegan butter or regular butter - about 1 tablespoon or a bit less
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Spray baking pan with oil.
- Cut bananas in half and then slice each half lengthwise to end up with four quarters.
- Place bananas in the pan and place little knobs of butter on the bananas.
- Roast for either 30 min or an hour, an hour and a half.