This Recipe for Bananas Foster Will Help You Enjoy Mardi Gras All Year Long

published Mar 4, 2022
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someone slicing a banana in half
Credit: Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

One of the things I love most about cooking is how you can stumble upon new ways to use the same ingredients that grace your kitchen on the regular. I’ll admit that one thing I have massively under-appreciated throughout the years is the banana. Sure, I’d have one for breakfast or throw a couple in a smoothie, but I don’t think I’ve ever given them the credit they truly deserve — especially when it comes to using them in desserts.

My reintroduction to the ripe world of bananas began with a tasty recipe for chocolate chip banana bread and since then, I’ve never looked back. Now with Mardi Gras in full effect, I’ve been in the mood for something even sweeter. And of course, Jocelyn Delk Adams (and her bananas Foster) was there to soothe my need.  

This classic New Orleans dessert dates back to 1951, when renowned restaurateur Ella Brennan of Brennan’s Restaurant, was instructed to create a new dessert for a dinner that night in honor of the New Orleans Crime Commission Chairman, Richard Foster. Partially due to the already common transport of bananas through the local port, the dessert became extremely popular in the area.

To make bananas Foster, start by caramelizing some butter and brown sugar. Slice your bananas lengthwise and add to the pan. Season with cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, banana liqueur, and vanilla extract before letting them cook down. Now put on your best chef hat and add light rum. Using a longer lighter, carefully light the liquor and admire your work from a safe distance as the flames engulf your sweet treat. You can use a spoon to gently baste the bananas until the flame burns out. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!  

This recipe can be a lot of fun to make, but be careful during the flambé process — bananas Foster tastes best when your kitchen is still intact. If you want to give it a shot and impress your friends, you can find the full recipe as well as a brief history on Jocelyn’s website, Grandbaby Cakes. If that’s not the way you want to get your filling of bananas, these baked banana chips are a great way to snack on the go; they are jam-packed with nutrients and super-easy to pack and store for later. Bananas for the win!