Oatmeal is a staple of weekday morning breakfasts at my house, but I still eat it on the weekends too. I just want to dress it up a bit, when I have some extra time. Thanks to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, I have a new favorite fancy topping for my oatmeal: Browned and crispy bananas, all cool and creamy inside.
The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs is a hipster establishment, with low beds and concrete floors, and an old Denny's converted into a round-the-clock eatery serving local food and Stumptown coffee. It was a lovely spot to spend a couple of days in the cool California winter sunshine. But after the real sunshine, the sunniest thing I found there was a dish of Irish oats with "torched" bananas.
This lovely breakfast had a banana sliced on top, then thinly sprinkled with sugar. The sugar was torched until crispy and brûléed — a little smoky and burnt tasting, and a lovely complement to the sweet, creamy banana underneath.
Brûléeing your oatmeal is such a simple way to dress it up. It gives it a special touch of sweetness and flavor and it is rather fun to wield a kitchen torch on a Saturday morning.
How To Make Brûléed Banana Oatmeal
To do this in your own kitchen, slice a banana into thin rounds, and pat them as dry as possible. Lay them on top of a bowl of fresh oatmeal and sprinkle them with a light, thin layer of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to brown the sugar evenly and scorch the bananas just a bit. Let cool for a few minutes so the sugar sets and gets crisp. Serve hot.
(You can also put the bananas and oatmeal in a heat-proof bowl and broil them for a few minutes until crispy and browned.)
Do you ever do this? Ever brûlée your oatmeal or breakfast porridge?
Updated from post originally published April 2011.