Preparation-time: 10 minutes Bake-time: 20 minutes Servings: 6
If you have any desire to concoct these extraordinary dainties, know first that they are exquisitely scrumptious and hence, dangerous. These delights are DANGEROUS to any calorically conscious diet, so calorie counters: Beware! Also, you should be conscious that there are certain ingredients which you will definitely need to have on hand (or resting in your cupboards, or in your refrigerator or freezer) in order to produce The Most Supremely Delightful and Delectable Banana Sundae Puffs You Will Ever Consume. I would deeply appreciate if you would be absolutely certain that you are in possession of all of the following ingredients before endeavoring to make this dessert. THE FOLLOWING INGREDIENTS ARE POSITIVELY ESSENTIAL FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS SWEET TREAT. If you do not have every single one of the following items, you will not be able to produce the intended result. I would advise you to organize and prepare your pantry accordingly.
These are the items which you will be required to have at your disposal if you are going to bring The Most Supremely Delightful and Delectable Banana Sundae Puffs into being –
- One - and only one - lengthy flat portion (or sheet) of frigid, frozen, flaky puffy pastry. You could possibly make this pastry yourself (there is a recipe for flaky pastry on page 214 of this volume), however making flaky puffy pastry is usually quite laborious and time-consuming. If you are not feeling that you have the energy or time to make your own flaky pastry, it is also acceptable to purchase the pastry in your local supermarket (some stores call it “puff pastry”). Thaw your lengthy portion of puffy pastry for approximately one hour. Then – utilizing a small knife or another flat, sharp object (I believe a pizza cutter would do the job satisfactorily) - divide the thawed pastry into little round pieces which measure somewhere around 3 ½ ± ¼ - inches. Now, do not worry if the pieces do not end up measuring exactly 3 ½ inches because it is not vital for these round pieces to be precisely 3 ½ inches. The Banana Sundae Puffs will still be delicious, even if these pieces of pastry are not precisely 3 ½ inches.
- In addition to the pastry, please make sure you have at least ¼ cup of lightly colored (as opposed to the darkly-hued) corn syrup in your pantry. This “light” corn syrup will act as a sweetener for the Puffs. However be aware that this pale corn syrup plays a very different role in the overall chemistry of the confection than would granulated sugar; this is a topic I will address in greater depth in a moment.
- It is also required that you have ½ cup of heavy whipping cream. Some people have acquired the habit of substituting half and half—or even regular whipping cream— for this vital ingredient. These alternatives are not explicitly “heavy” whipping cream. When a recipe calls for “heavy whipping cream”, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE. Your Most Supremely Delightful and Delectable Banana Sundae Puffs will not turn out correctly if you choose to substitute the heavy whipping cream, which is called for, with one of these inappropriate alternatives. This is because of the fact that only heavy whipping cream will achieve the desired density and loft when you are attempting to create Banana Sundae Puffs.
- Unsalted butter – ¼ cup, at a minimum. I would appreciate if you would not assume I am referring to butter or margarine. This recipe calls for bona fide butter – the kind that comes from the milk of cows. I would appreciate it if you would not try to substitute margarine, which is made from vegetable or canola oil rather than the milk of cows. Also, please refrain from the use of “Crisco” or any other bastardization of butter. Let me emphasize this a second time: non-butter products will not work in this dish. *On another topical note: Although this recipe calls for only ¼ cup of butter, it would probably be prudent for you to stock up on the ingredient. I would purchase at least one “stick” of authentic butter, which is actually ½ cup of butter (twice the amount that this recipe calls for). Butter plays an integral role in many recipes and – unless you have a serious dietary restriction which would make it impossible to digest or eat butter – true butter is always a useful ingredient to have on hand.
- The second type of sweetener you will use in this recipe is plain, white sugar. This recipe calls for 2/3 cup pure, white sugar. There are many types of sugar which can be purchased in a grocery store nowadays (brown sugar [dark and light], colored sugar, white sugar crystals, white sugar cubes, pearl white sugar, Muscovado or Barbados sugar, Demerara sugar, raw sugar, superfine sugar, confectioners’ sugar, date sugar, fruit sugar, coarse sugar, sanding sugar, castor sugar, spicy world rock candy sugar, etc.), but when you are attempting to create The Most Supremely Delightful and Delectable Banana Sundae Puffs You Will Ever Consume, it is most likely a poor time to experiment with new-fangled or exotic sugars.
- You will also need to procure a minimum of 1/2 cup cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is something which you may or may not have very strong feelings about. Some people have an inclination towards less intense forms of cocoa powder, while other people embrace anything and everything with dark chocolate undertones. To each his own, as far as cocoa goes – so you have my blessing to choose your cocoa powder depending on whether you like very dark chocolate, lighter chocolate, or Dutch processed cocoa. Regardless of which type of cocoa powder you choose to utilize, understand that cocoa powder has an unparalleled ability to impart a full, rich chocolate flavor to any and every dish it is incorporated into.
- One of the final ingredients this recipe will require is a small dash of coarse salt. This may seem counterintuitive: Banana Sundae Puffs are, in fact, a sweet dessert, and salt is customarily used in savory dishes like baked potatoes or soup. However this small dash of salt will be a vitally important counterpoint to all of the sweet ingredients you have already added – and will continue to add. That being said, I would appreciate it if you would make sure that you do not add too much salt. Adding too much salt will throw off the chemistry of the entire dish.
- Perhaps the very most important of all of the ingredients used in this dessert are the 4 firm-ripe bananas. They are really what make these Banana Sundae Puffs into Banana Sundae Puffs. The bananas selected for this dessert should be sliced into thin pieces – no more than a ½ inch thick. You should slice the bananas with a knife or similarly sharp object – something along the same line. The bananas which you ultimately decide to utilize in your Banana Sundae Puffs should not be overly ripe, meaning their peel should not be completely black. The peel of the bananas which you use to make this dessert should definitely have some black speckles punctuating their otherwise yellow peels, but they should not be ripe to the extent which would leave the actual fruit of the bananas (as opposed to the peel of the bananas) brownish grey and bruised.
- I have almost finished listing the selection of necessary ingredients for Banana Sundae Puffs, but nonetheless there are still two more items which you will need to procure before beginning to mix together this sweet treat. Although I say you need to procure these last two items, it is perfectly acceptable if you just happen to have them on hand already and would like to use the ingredients you have, as opposed to purchasing new ones solely for this baking project. Contrariwise, although it is perfectly acceptable to use ingredients which you already have available please make sure they are fresh and not in any way compromised in taste or quality. All this is to say that this recipe for Banana Sundae Puffs calls for 1 pint of good vanilla ice cream. When I say “good” vanilla ice cream, I mean vanilla ice cream which is delicious – whether or not you choose to pair it with other satisfying foodstuffs. This is to say, do not purchase any type of “bulk”, or “economy” vanilla ice cream for use in this recipe. A rich ice cream made with pure cream, pure vanilla, and vanilla bean would be ideal.
- The final ingredient on this list is walnuts which have been roasted. You will need at a very minimum ¼ cup of walnuts. After measuring the walnuts, heat up a small pan on the stove. Chop the ¼ cup of walnuts and pour them into the hot pan which you prepared on the stove top. Allow the walnuts to roast until they turn a dark, golden color. Be careful because it is very easy for nuts to burn when all you are attempting to do is toast them. For this reason it would probably be prudent to have an extra supply of walnuts on hand, just in case. In order to prevent your walnuts from burning in the first place, do not turn the heat on you stove up too high. Furthermore keep your eyes on the pan at all times. Just remember this phrase: constant vigilance.
After organizing all of the essential ingredients—which I have listed above—the first thing you must do in order to make Banana Sundae Puffs is turn on your oven. Preheat your oven to the temperature of 375 degrees. However, prior to turning on the oven, MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO COOKIE SHEETS OR OTHER PANS RESTING IN THE OVEN. If you fail to check for pans resting in the oven you will needlessly heat them up and could potentially ruin any rubber handles sitting in the oven. Furthermore, it is possible that you might – without thinking – grab the hot pans out of the oven and burn your hands badly. Additionally, DO NOT FORGET TO USE OVEN MITTS WHEN EXTRACTING HOT ITEMS FROM THE OVEN. After extracting any resting pots or pans from the oven, find a baking sheet and set a properly sized piece of parchment paper on top of this baking sheet (e.g. if your baking sheet is 18 inches long, you will probably need at least 17 ½ inches of parchment to lay on top of it). After you have turned on the oven to precisely 375 degrees and prepared the baking sheet by laying the parchment paper on top of it, place the approximately 3 ½ inch rounds of puffy pastry on the sheet. These rounds should be placed a very minimum of 2 inches away from each other on the parchment-lined baking sheet because they grow during the baking process and you do not want them to touch at all. Bake these rounds of somewhat puffy pastry until they have turned a golden color and become very puffy indeed. This should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. If you are unsure about the baking progress of these rounds, turn on your oven light and peek inside. By doing this you will be able to see if the puffs are actually baking without letting any heat out of said oven. When 15 minutes have elapsed, you may physically open the doors of the oven to observe if the rounds have reached their desired color. Once the pastry medallions have reached a golden color and become decidedly puffy, find some oven mitts. Put on the oven mitts and remove the parchment lined baking sheet from the oven. Transfer each of the puffy—poufy even—pastry rounds to a wire, cooling rack and allow them to sit upon the rack, releasing their stored heat into the surrounding room until the temperature of the room and the pastry rounds are roughly equivalent.
At the same time, find a medium-sized sauce pan. This sauce pan should be able to house all of your remaining ingredients without question. Furthermore, find a whisk (you will find out why you need this soon). Into the sauce pan pour the light colored corn syrup, heavy whipping cream, real butter, pure white sugar, cocoa powder – of your desired richness, and an appropriately sized pinch of salt. Mix all of these ingredients with a whisk and wait until they begin to boil, whisking all the while over a medium-high temperature. After you have allowed this substance to boil for approximately 50 seconds (do not concern yourself if somehow the boiling drags on for an entire minute, however under no circumstances should you allow the fudgy mixture boil for any more time than sixty seconds), remove the now fudge-like sauce from the medium heat and allow it to cool a little bit. If you are not going to use the mixture in the immediate future, put the substance into an appropriately sized airtight container. (This fudge-like sauce will remain edible for approximately 2 months before it is colonized by a robust cadre of bacterium. In all candor, one might still consume this infested condiment, but the foul flavor and indigestion that would likely follow make such a choice inadvisable.)
In order to assemble a Banana Sundae Puff, find an appropriately sized plate. Remove a pastry round from cooling rack where it has been resting from the time you took it out of the oven. Carefully assemble an artful portion of banana slices atop the puffy, goldeny brown pastry. Complete the Banana Sundae Puff by scooping a rounded dollop of good vanilla ice cream on top of your banana pile. Drizzle the entire puffy mountain with your home-made fudgy sauce and sprinkle with you carefully toasted and chopped walnuts. Repeat this process until all of the puffy pastry rounds have been turned into Banana Sundae Puffs.
If you adhere to these instructions as meticulously as I have recorded them, I am convinced you will agree beyond a shadow of a doubt that these are the best, most supremely delectable and delicious Banana Sundae Puffs you have ever consumed.
— Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food: March 2012 (reproduced, for your convenience, at the very bottom of this page).
Banana Sundae Puffs
· 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into six 3 1/2-inch rounds
· 1/4 cup light corn syrup
· 1/2 cup heavy cream
· 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
· 2/3 cup sugar
· 1/2 cup cocoa powder
· Coarse salt
· 4 firm-ripe bananas, thinly sliced
· 1 pint vanilla ice cream
· 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Meanwhile, in a medium pot, combine corn syrup, cream, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and pinch of salt; bring to a boil, whisking, over medium-high. Remove fudge sauce from heat and let cool slightly. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 months.) Top each pastry with bananas, ice cream, sauce, and walnuts.