When we lived in Tampa, there was truly only one really nice restaurant: Bern’s Steakhouse. Not the most inviting place for non-meat eaters. But hey, when you graduated from somewhere or had a birthday or anniversary, that was where you went.
But, to be honest, we loved it! The chef was always happy to make us veg food, and once actually thanked us for giving her something different to do besides prepare steaks. And the one thing it had, that I haven’t seen anywhere since, was a very fancy dessert room. The dessert room had its own private booths where you could set your own music, including being able to pipe in live piano being played at the entrance of the dessert room. Swank! New York City, you’d better step up your game.
One of my favorite desserts was their Bananas Foster. Not only because it was delicious, but also because they would light it on fire at the table, and everyone would be like, “ooh.” A few years ago I managed to get my hands on their recipe, and it was super easy to veganize: substitute earth balance for the butter, and substitute coconut milk ice cream for the regular ice cream. I actually find the coconut ice cream to be even better than the original; it kind of makes you think of the tropics. Ok, maybe I’m getting a little too excited. But it’s good.
Anyway, this one is a real crowd pleaser, and always impresses the guests. (Remember, “ooh.”) Just try not to have too much wine by the time you make this and then set yourself on fire. That’s a real party faux pas.
Ingredients: Serves 4
|1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
|1/4 cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, halved and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup dark overproof rum ( Bacardi 151)
4 scoops vanilla coconut milk ice cream
1. In a flambé pan, or skillet, over low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves (usually less than one minute– be careful not to caramelize). Stir in the banana liqueur, and then add the bananas to the pan. When the banana pieces begin to soften and brown, turn off the heat.
3. Carefully add the rum: pour on top but do not mix it. Ignite the rum with a long handled match. You can shake the pan occasionally while the fire burns.
4. When the flames subside, pour the mixture into four separate bowls.
5. Place one scoop of ice cream on top of each.
6. Serve immediately.