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Culinary Camp and Caramelized Bananas with Salted Caramel Sauce


May 5, 2013

Recipe: Caramelized Bananas with Caramel Sauce served over Toasted Pound Cake

Growing up I was never much one for camp. I happily spent my summers at the farm, mucking stalls and bringing in the mares, earning a daily lesson on one of the saint school horses that lived in the far barn.

Caramelized Bananas

Caramelized Bananas with Salted Caramel Sauce, Served over Toasted Pound Cake and Ice Cream and finished with Slivered Almonds

This past weekend though I was transported to my own personal nirvana; a culinary camp of sorts in Boulder, CO taught at Escoffier: School of Culinary Arts. The only thing possibly better than spending four days with brilliant chefs, lovely fellow students, and more pounds of butter than I care to admit, was getting to spend the weekend with my Dad. Big Tim flew in from Boston and I arrived from Seattle for a father/daughter weekend, the first we realized with shocking soberness since April 1999.

Big Tim enjoying a morning latte.

Big Tim enjoying a morning latte.

Friday night we kicked things off with Street-Style Tacos and Saturday and Sunday were filled with Sophisticated Sauces, a class that teaches how to make iconic dishes, elevated to the next level through sauces from Italy, France, Thailand, and more. The classes were utterly spectacular offering hours of hands-on learning culminating in a shared meal.

This Caramelized┬áBananas with Caramel Sauce served over Toasted Pound Cake was a stunning end to an absolutely epic meal, featuring the salted caramel sauce we’d begun the day with. Caramel sauce is undeniably tricky, but our instructor Chef Ann taught us the tricks of the trade, resulting in a nearly foolproof finished product that when drizzled over caramelized bananas made everyone forget how full we’d claimed we were just moments before.

The beauty of this dish is that it can be made largely ahead, creating an elegant end to a dinner party that doesn’t require much fuss. Stay tuned for more shared recipes from our Culinary Camp weekend, but for now…enjoy this one..because it is good!

Caramelized Bananas with Salted Caramel Sauce served over Toasted Pound Cake
Adapted from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts: Sophisticated Sauces – Day 1

Caramelized Bananas

Caramelized Bananas

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar + more for sprinkling the bananas
  • 1 TB corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water (enough to cover the water or “hydrate” it)
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 tsp fine salt (or to taste)
  • Pound cake (store-bought is fine)
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Ripe bananas
  • Toasted Almonds

Note: I’ve had my fair share of disastrous caramel making experiences, so a few tricks of the trade. Your pan must be absolutely clean. Even something as minor as touching the inside with your fingers can cause crystallization. No stirring; ever. When you add the cream it will rapidly expand, so use a much bigger pot than you think you need.

  1. Place the corn syrup in the bottom of medium/large sauce pan and swirl to coat. Add the sugar and water, and swirl again until all the sugar is covered with water/looks hydrated.
  2. Set the pan over low-medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. If sugar crystals are forming on the edge of the pan give a quick swirl to reincorporate.
  3. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Cook over medium high heat until the syrup becomes a rich golden color.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisking vigorously, with a long-handled wire whisk, add the heavy cream. Stir until incorporated.
  5. Add the vanilla and the butter and stir until the sauce is smooth.
  6. Allow to cool slightly and add salt to taste.
  7. To caramelize┬ábananas, peel and cut in half lengthwise. Liberally coat with white sugar, enough so that you can’t see the banana underneath. Using a blow torch, caramelize until golden brown and a nice candy topping has formed.
  8. Serve over ice cream, toasted pound cake slices, and caramelized bananas. Top with toasted almonds.
Just one of the sweet faces I'll be returning home to.

Just one of the sweet faces I’ll be returning home to.


  1. emmycooks says:

    That sounds like so much fun! What a great way to spend time with your dad. And those bananas–now I’m hungry!

  2. You lucky girl! A weekend with Dad. Caramel Sauce might be good but not as special!

  3. What a fun weekend trip! Caramelized bananas are one of my favorite desserts – drool!

  4. Alex says:

    Wow, it must have been great being with your dad after so much time. Great recipe AND TIPS!

  5. How decadent and delicious! I love caramelized banana!

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      I’d never made them before…isn’t that nuts??? I’ll definitely be making them again though, that’s for sure.

  6. Hannah says:

    Caramelized bananas are pure bliss, Erina! I love that you went to cooking camp with your dad – what a special time together. I look forward to hearing more about your delicious weekend!

  7. Great to spend time with your dad after such a long time. You both must have been blissed out. And bliss is exactly what this dish is! Great job – thanks.

  8. Ann says:

    What a fun way to spend time together! This dessert sounds gorgeous — and I love the presentation, too!

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Thanks Ann! This one was a hit…and would be very fun to do at a dinner party too since it’s so easy yet elegant. Hope you’re well!

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