Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
Learn how easy it is to make this exciting and dramatic Banana Foster dessert for your family and friends. This original Banana Foster
recipe is from the
Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. I have adapted the wording in this recipe to make it easier
to understand how to flambé.
Louisiana dishes to serve your family and
friends and also to help celebrate Mardi Gras.
History of Banana Foster:
In the 1950's, New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South
America. In 1951, Owen Edward Brennan challenged his talented chef, Paul Blangé,
to include bananas in a new culinary creation. The scrumptious dessert was named
for Richard Foster, who, as chairman, served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime
Commission, a civic effort to clean up the French Quarter. Richard Foster, owner
of the Foster Awning Company, was a frequent customer of Brennan's and a very
good friend of Owen. Little did anyone realize that Bananas Foster would become
an international favorite and is the most requested item on the restaurant's
menu. Thirty-five thousand pounds of bananas are flamed each year at Brennan's
in the preparation of its world-famous dessert.
Banana Foster Recipe:
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 min
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
1/4 cup dark rum*
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
* Use an 80-proof liquor/liqueur or 40% alcohol
by volume for flambéing. Cold liquor will not ignite! Heat the brandy or liquor in a saucepan,
with high sides, just until bubbles begin to form around the edges (around 130 degrees F. or 54 degrees C.) before adding to the flambé pan (you will
be able to see vapors rise from the liquid).
How To Flambé.
Use a flambé pan, large skillet, or large chafing dish with rounded, deep sides and a
long handle. Have all your equipment and ingredients needed to flambé your dish ready before starting the process.
If you are planning to flambé in front of your guests, light the dish at the
table, but far away from guests and flammable objects. If you have a serving cart, now is the time to use it.
Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in the flambé pan. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until
the sugar dissolves.
Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and
begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Never pour liquor from a bottle into a pan that is near an open flame (the flame can follow the stream
of alcohol into the bottle and cause it to explode). Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot.
Remove the pan with the hot liquor from the heat source before adding the rum to avoid burning yourself. Tip the pan slightly to
ignite the rum. Once you add the liquor to the pan, do not delay lighting. You don't want the food to absorb the raw
alcohol and retain a harsh flavor. If the dish doesn't light, it's probably not hot enough.
Ignite with a long match (such as fireplace matches or a long barbecue lighter). Always ignite the fumes at the edge of the
pan and not the liquid itself. Never lean over the dish or pan as you light the fumes.
When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice
cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.