Recipes

Profiteroles with Vanilla Chantilly Cream and Caramelized Bananas

Recipe courtesy of Whitney Miller

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"My inspiration for the dessert came from my love for the Southern classic, flamed bananas foster with vanilla ice cream," Whitney shares. "In the craziness of the competition, I accidentally burnt my first batch of profiteroles, so I needed to start over. It was worth it because they came out perfectly the second time around."

After tasting this uniquely delicious version of bananas foster, the judges declared it the hands-down winner.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for garnish
  • 3 bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick on a bias
  • 2 tablespoons brandy

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Line two baking pans with parchment paper or Silpat. In a small bowl, sift the flour, 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a medium pot, combine 1/4 cup of the butter and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the dry ingredients and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, or until the mixture pulls away from the side of the pot. Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs for 2 minutes, or until incorporated and the mixture comes together to form a ball of dough.

  4. Scoop the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip or into a plastic storage bag with a hole about the size of a dime cut in one corner. Pipe about 20 golf ball-size mounds onto the prepared baking pans. Dip your finger in water and lightly smooth out the peaks of all the puffs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the profiteroles from the pan and set aside to cool. Wipe off the Silpat or replace the parchment-you'll need this for the caramel.

  5. Beat the cream with a handheld electric mixer until it forms soft peaks. Add the vanilla seeds and sift in the confectioners' sugar, folding it into the cream. Scoop the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  6. In a small pot over medium heat, combine the 2 cups granulated sugar with 3/4 cup of water. It should look like wet sand. Swirl the pot over the burner to dissolve the sugar completely. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the sugar melts and begins to turn golden. Continue to cook 3 minutes longer, or until the color deepens to medium amber. Be careful, the sugar is really hot at this point. Remove from the heat. Pour the hot caramel onto the prepared baking pan. Let it cool and harden for 15 minutes and then break up into long shards.

  7. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter gets foamy, add the bananas and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cook and stir for 3 minutes, or until the bananas have caramelized on one side and the sugar has melted. Flip the bananas and remove the pan from the heat. Pour in the brandy and ignite with a gas burner flame or long kitchen lighter. Toss the bananas and cook 2 minutes longer.

  8. Make a hole in the bottom of each profiterole and pipe the vanilla cream inside.

  9. To assemble, put 5 banana slices on a plate in a circle. Top each banana slice with a profiterole, letting the outer end of the banana show. Place 3 pieces of your caramel design in the center of each profiterole ring. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

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Profiteroles with Vanilla Chantilly Cream and Caramelized Bananas