Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps

Happy  Monday Kids! Here in the Mid-Atlantic States we are still busy digging out and getting our lives back to normal after the crazy amount snow that was dumped on us this weekend.  And I’ve got a recipe for you this week to help you use up all of the eggs and milk you bought in preparation for the blizzard!  For some reason, bananas were also a hot item that disappeared from the shelves almost as quickly as the usual staples.  So here you go!  I hope you make my Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps and if you do, snap a photo and post it on instagram with the hashtag #chefericsphotocontest and I’ll repost my favorites.  Fire It Up!

Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps

Ingredients/Vanilla Bean Custard

2-1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla bean paste (2 tsp vanilla extract can be used instead)

Method/Vanilla Bean Custard

Whisk the milk, sugar, flour and egg yolks together in a heavy 3-qt saucepan.

Cook over medium-heat, whisking constantly, 10–12 minutes or until thickened.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla bean paste. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Ingredients/Coffee Caramel

2-1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

3 Tbsp hot water

2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar

¼ lb butter

Method/Coffee Caramel

Stir espresso powder and hot  water together until powder is dissolved.

Cook 1/2 cup sugar with a pinch of salt in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until the sugar is melted into a deep golden caramel, about 15 minutes.

Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the espresso (the mixture will steam and bubble vigorously). Slowly add pieces of butter and whisk together until caramel is room temperature.

Ingredients/Banana Mousse

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 egg whites, beaten stiff

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Method/Banana Mousse

Cook sugar and water together over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the bananas and cinnamon and cook 3 minutes over medium-high heat.

Transfer the banana mixture to a food processor and puree.

Chill for at least 45 minutes.

After the banana puree is chilled, put it in a mixing bowl and fold in the beaten egg whites until they are well incorporated.

Fold the banana-egg white mixture into the whipped cream in a large bowl until well incorporated.

Ingredients/Banana Crisps

1 banana, peeled

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

oil for deep frying

salt

Method/Banana Crisps

Put the banana in salted ice water (about 1 quart of water with 1/2 tsp salt). Remove from water to slice and put back into water [LP3]  and add turmeric to the bowl. Keep the bananas in the water for 10 minutes, then drain completely and put on a kitchen cloth to remove the moisture.

Heat the oil until it starts fuming, Make a paste of 1/2 tsp water and 1/4 tsp salt and add it to the oil. This will make the slices fry crispier. Deep-fry the banana slices until they’re crisp, about 5 minutes. Fry only a few slices at a time; don’t crowd the fryer.

Drain the chips on an absorbent paper.

Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Assembly

Spoon a little custard into each spoon. Pipe Banana Mousse on top, drizzle on a little caramel, then pipe on more mousse. Stick banana chips into the mousse.

Chef Notes

You can find high-quality banana chips at specialty food stores, if you want to save time making the recipe.

Variations

For a holiday winter feel change the custard flavor to eggnog, the mousse to cinnamon and the banana chips to an almond crisp.

Read More