I made this dessert a few days ago because I had a bit of time to spare and a few cinnamon & raisin bagels in the fridge (I wrote about our love of bagels in the fall here). An acquaintance of ours who lives in Tennessee makes bananas in caramel sauce regularly, and she usually serves this delicious concoction over chocolate ice cream – so yummy 🙂 I remembered her and decided to use her banana & caramel sauce recipe to bring some sweet joy to our bagels. I also had whipped cream on hand and lots of toasted almonds to serve as a crunchy element. I was thus well-equipped and ready to improvise in the kitchen while waiting for my husband to get back from work.
Sadly, the caramel sauce did not turn out as planned – the main problem was that it hardened up really quickly when cooled. I did some research on the Internet and noticed that various chefs included heavy cream on their list of ingredients for caramel sauce. Maybe the cream would have done the trick?
1 cup milk and 1 cup coffee creamer, combined
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cinnamon & raisin bagel
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium size banana
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 toasted almonds for decoration
Whipped cream (optional)
Cut the bagel in half and gently dunk it in the milk & creamer mixture. Allow about 20-25 seconds for the bagel to absorb some of the liquid.
Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a pan and add the bagel. Toast it in the butter, making sure that the toasting is uniform.
Take the bagel out of the pan and let it cool, then sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top. This is how the bagel looks like at this stage in the preparation process:
Put the sugar and the remaining butter in a pan over a low heat and let the sugar caramelize. This step took me approximately 5 minutes.
When the sugar has caramelized, add the sliced banana and stir slowly to cover all the pieces of fruit with caramel. You don’t want the banana to become mushy and to disintegrate, so you must stir slowly and patiently for only about 30-40 seconds or so.
This looks like liquid gold, doesn’t it? 🙂
Put the bottom half of the bagel on a plate and spoon a generous portion of bananas and caramel over it. Add the top half of the bagel and another layer of bananas and caramel. Decorate with chopped roasted almonds, sprinkles of cinnamon and/or plenty of whipped cream.
I was pleased with the overall concept of this dish, which provided me with an opportunity to elevate the humble bagel and to turn it into a tasty fall dessert. The bagel was delicately sweet and not at all mushy, while the fresh and luxurious whipped cream added a touch of decadence to the ensemble. Moreover, the cinnamon was the perfect embodiment of the “spirit of the festive season” and the toasted almonds provided extra texture and assertiveness.
My only concern was with the hardening of the caramel. I never saw this happen to my acquaintance from Tennessee, so maybe there was something I could have done differently? I really wish I knew the answer…