I like to spend Valentine’s Day at home, rather than at a restaurant with lots of other couples, and to make it festive I plan a special menu for us. This year for dessert I knew I wanted to incorporate chocolate and bananas. I was thinking of making Chocolate Pots de Créme but wasn’t sure how to bring in bananas until I came across a recipe for Chocolate Pots de Créme with Banana Caramel. I knew it was risky to try something new on a special occasion but I broke my rule and gave it a try. Luckily, my husband and I loved it! And it wasn’t difficult to make it at all. All three elements below can be made separately and used in another dessert recipe. Feel free to mix and match and experiment.
Bittersweet Chocolate Pots de Crème
Adapted from Fine Cooking
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
Heat the half-and-half and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until scalding hot. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the eggs.
Return the milk mixture to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and whisk until it thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, sugar, and a pinch of salt; whisk until melted. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Divide the mixture between two 6-oz. ramekins or serving glasses. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.
*I took the lazy route and did not strain the chocolate mixture and it turned out fine.
Adapted from Cannelle et Vanille
1/4 pound sugar
3 tbsp corn syrup
2 oz butter
1/2 pound ripe bananas, pureed
Puree the bananas. Place the corn syrup in a small saucepan. When it starts to melt and bubble up, sprinkle a third of the sugar on top. As soon as that starts to melt and caramelize, add some more sugar. Let that caramelize and add the rest of the sugar. It’s ok to stir with a wooden spoon. If some crystalizes, it’s ok, let it melt. Add the softened butter, stir and then add the banana puree. At this point, turn the heat off but let any chunks of harden caramel melt on the stove.
Pour in a bowl and let it cool. Once cold, pipe on top of the chocolate layer.
Kahlua Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp Kahlua
In a bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks begin forming. Add the Kahlua and continue whipping until it’s the right consistency.
Layer all the items in a glass or jar. I just used a spoon but to make a really neat presentation I think it may be better to pipe each item in. Dust the whipped cream with some cinnamon and you’re done!