A couple of weeks ago, I was part of a Culinary Challenge at the Muslim Women’s Alliance Annual Celebration Luncheon where three Muslim women were honored for their service to humanity. Each gave heartfelt speeches about their work and really touched everyone who listened- there were lots of tears in the crowd, to say the least.
One of the women receiving an award (the youngest ever to be honored in this way by MWA), Tasmiha Khan, is actually a former student of mine who began the non-profit organization called Brighter Dawns, which strives to provide preventative and health care education to the most impoverished areas of Bangladesh. Before reading on, please take a moment to vote for their project in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge.
So, the very last event of the luncheon was the friendly competition- the culinary challenge. Pastry Chef and former Top Chef Just Desserts Contestant Malika Ameen had a team of two sous chefs on her side, as did I on mine. We each had a short window of time to complete two dishes- one savory and one sweet.
For the savory, we were provided scallops and a bunch of fresh herbs and spices, some oil and a burner. For the sweet dish, we were given bananas, citrus, nuts, fresh berries, pound cake, heavy cream, chocolate, and a few more baking essentials.
Off we went in a frenzy to create something quick and delicious. We made a wonderfully spiced seared scallop dish infused with Indian spices and served over fresh spinach (because that’s what you do when you don’t have time to cook all the ingredients).
That dish didn’t win- but I still want to share it because I think it was a good one. Insha’allah, on the blog one day.
But, our dessert dish did win the judges over. We used the pound cake, of course.
At home I used a slightly different variety of the ingredients: frozen raspberries instead of fresh, dark chocolate instead of white, chopped almonds instead of sliced.
Prepare the pound cake by slicing it ahead of time. This dish goes quick so you want to have the slices ready to pour everything over top while it’s all still warm.
Chop the nuts ahead of time if you don’t have that done already.
Slice the bananas ahead of time, too. They should be on the firm side because otherwise the entire dish will turn out mushy.
Grate the chocolate ahead of time, too.
And zest the lemon. Orange zest will go nicely too/instead of lemon.
Now you’ve got most of the essentials ready.
But if you don’t have ready-made whipped cream, make it yourself. It’s so quick and easy.
Place heavy whipping cream plus sugar in a stand mixer. Whisk on high for approximately five minutes and it should become the consistency of a light whipped cream. No box required. No artificial ingredients. Now you know what’s in it and you can control the amount of sugar, too.
The first thing to do with regards to cooking this dessert is to melt the butter in a small saute pan. I use about 4 pats (4 tablespoons) because it’s enough to create a sauce over the top when finished, but you can certainly use less butter.
Then add the banana slices.
Not too high, not too low of a flame.
They won’t necessarily brown, but they’ll get flavored by the butter since it’ll begin to froth and come up to cover the bananas.
Now, add sweetened condensed milk.
Pour it over gently then make sure it gets gently spread out or it will clump in one place.
Next, add the vanilla extract.
and some cinnamon. Starting to look good, right?
It should cook down for a few more minutes and while it’s nice and warm (not steaming hot), pour it over the pound cake then add all the other delicious stuff.
Just work quickly because the whipped cream loves to melt. But it’s also my favorite part…
Sauteed Bananas Over Pound Cake
By March 22, 2013Published:
- Yield: 2 plates (4 Servings)
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 10 mins
- Ready In: 20 mins
Warning: this dish is meant to be shared. Do not attempt to eat the whole thing yourself as it contains unnecessarily high amounts of butter, cream and milk. There's a reason why there's barakah (blessing) in sharing all those calories!
- 1 zest lemon
- 1/2 cup almonds chopped or sliced
- 2-4 pieces pound cake sliced thick
- 2 firm bananas thinly sliced
- 1 piece milk or dark chocolate cold
- 4 tablespoons butter cold
- 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
- 1/2 cup raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- Zest the lemon and cut or slice the almonds, pound cake and bananas. Grate the chocolate, too. Place two pieces of the pound cake on dessert plates.
- In a small sauté pan place four pats of butter and heat on medium-high. Add the cut bananas. Once they cook for a few minutes and the butter begins to froth, add the condensed milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Add sugar, if desired.
- Pour the mixture over the pound cake. Quickly add a bit of lemon zest, almonds and grated chocolate over the top, then a few dollops of the whipped cream, which will melt quickly. That means- serve it immediately!
- For the Whipped Cream (which makes 1/2 cup), use a stand mixer or hand held beaters to whip the combo of both 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Place both ingredients in a bowl and whisk for five minutes on high. If using a stand mixer, be sure use the whisk attachment.