Boozy rum and maple bananas with butter-free homemade crepes for a fun breakfast or dessert.
Fun Fact: As the Super Tuesday results rolled in, there was a surge in Google searches for ‘how to move to Canada’.
Not-So-Fun Fact: Donald Trump won seven Republican primaries or caucuses on Tuesday.
After all the coverage, commentary, panic attacks and #RIPGOP hashtags over the last two days, you’d be forgiven for thinking the US presidential primaries were done and dusted. But no! Most of the country hasn’t even voted yet.
This Saturday, the fifth of March, the voting and caucusing will continue in Kansas, Louisiana, Kentucky (Republicans only), Maine (Republicans only) and Nebraska (Democrats only).
If you’ve taken a look at this blog in the past few weeks, you would’ve noticed that I’m ‘following’ the election through food. Basically, I’ve tried to post a recipe that somehow relates to the state or states holding their primaries (or caucuses).
(By the way, you can find all election-related blog posts under the tag ‘Eating the Election’).
To mark the March 5 primaries, I’m going to focus on one state: Louisiana. Why? First of all, it’s kind of hard to think of a dish that relates to all five voting states.
But more importantly, Louisiana – a having been influenced by Cajun, Creole, African and French cuisines (just to name a few) – has an abundance of amazing food.
Louisiana may not be the largest state in the union, but it’s certainly made it’s mark on the food scene.
Just think about it for a second. Gumbo, jambalaya, po’boy sandwiches, muffuletta sandwiches, Tabasco sauce and oysters Rockefeller were all invented in Louisiana. The state’s also known for its beignets, bread puddings, crayfish, Creole meat pies, Cajun custard tarts, pralines, beans and hurricane cocktails. The pecan pie also may have been invented in Louisiana (but it’s exact origins are disputed).
And then, of course, there’s Bananas Foster. This rum-filled dish was invented in New Orleans in the 1950s.
In case you’ve never come across this delicious dessert before, let me explain Bananas Foster to you: bananas are cooked in a boozy sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, rum and banana liqueur. The sauce is then set on fire – flambéed, if you want to get technical – and the bananas and sauce are poured over ice cream.
While I have no problems with the traditional Bananas Foster, I made quite a few changes to make it healthier and easier.
For starters, I didn’t use butter. Instead of using solely brown sugar, I used a combination of brown sugar, maple syrup and blackstrap molasses. Then, for a little extra flavor, I added vanilla bean paste and orange zest. I also omitted the banana liqueur since liqueur isn’t cheap!
Oh, and I didn’t risk flambéing my sauce, fearing I’d burn down my apartment building in the process.
Since there’s a strong French influence in the Pelican State – which can be seen from everything from its food to its legal system – serving these boozy bananas with crepes seemed like the logical (and delicious) thing to do.
To be completely honest, I didn’t come up with the crepe recipe. Instead, I ‘borrowed’ my mother’s recipe – a recipe she made up years ago and used to make frequently, mostly because eight-year-old me would request (read: demand) those thin pancakes every weekend.
By the way, don’t let my pictures fool you: this breakfast (or dessert) should – nay, must – be served with ice cream. I may have made the Bananas Foster sauce a little healthier, but the ice cream component is still mandatory.
Bananas Foster without ice cream? Pfft! Let’s not go nuts here. (Not like a certain billionaire we’ve all been hearing so much about…)
- 1 cup (125g) all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (240mL) milk
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup (60mL) maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60mL) dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 3 – 4 bananas, thickly sliced
- ½ cup (60g) chopped walnuts
- For the crepes: Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt, and make a well in the center of the mixture. Add the eggs and lightly whisk them with a fork, incorporating a small amount of flour into the eggs.
- Pour in the milk a little bit at a time, while gradually mixing in all of the flour from the edges of the bowl. Once all of the milk and flour has been incorporated, it should resemble a thin batter (with a similar consistency to light cream).
- If the batter is lumpy, pass it through a sieve. Alternatively, use electric beaters to briefly beat the mixture until smooth. Let the batter sit for 20 minutes.
- Preheat a skillet over low heat, and then grease with cooking oil spray. For each crepe, add ¼ cup of batter and then swirl the skillet to spread the batter into a thin layer.
- Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes on one side, or until the edges are dry and begin to curl upwards a tiny bit. Flip the crepe, and cook for 1 minute on the other side. Transfer to a plate.
- Repeat steps 4 – 5 for the remaining crepes (the batter makes approximately eight to nine crepes). Adjust the stove heat as needed.
- For the Bananas Foster: In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, maple syrup, dark rum, vanilla bean paste and blackstrap molasses.
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Grease with cooking oil spray, and then pour in the sugar mixture. Let the mixture heat up for 30 – 60 seconds, or until it begins to bubble.
- Add the sliced bananas and walnuts, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes on each side, or until the banana slices are warm and lightly browned.
- Pour the Bananas Foster over the crepes, and serve immediately (ideally with several scoops of ice cream).
For extra saucy crepes, double the sauce (and add a few more bananas)