A Valentine’s Day recipe as hot as your love, and restaurant review in case you burn dessert
Recipe: Bananas Foster
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
The art of flambe may be a passé culinary art form, but it’s sure to impress your V-Day date. He or she will be mesmerized by your mastery of the flame, and the dessert is painfully simple. Originally presented as a tableside show, Bananas Foster is a classic and sweet way to end the night. However, I implore you to exercise caution while lighting the alcohol, as your Valentine’s Day dessert, and eyebrows, may go up in flames.
1 Large skillet
1 Silicon, or high-heat resistant spatula
1 2-cup measuring cup
1 Set measuring spoons
1 Stick/Fireplace lighter
1 Chef’s/Kitchen knife
2 Small bowls
What You’ll Need:
2 Large, ripe bananas
¼ stick Unsalted butter
¾ cup Brown sugar
1 fluid ounce Banana or chocolate liqueur (DeKuyper Creme de Banana or Baileys, will do)
1 fluid ounce Dark rum
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract (optional)
4 scoops Vanilla bean ice cream
Peel the bananas and slice lengthwise down the middle, then cut them in half, so each banana yields 4 pieces; set aside in a small bowl.
Measure liqueur, rum, cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside.
Portion butter into small cubes and set aside in a small bowl.
Place skillet over medium heat, adding butter when the pan is hot; dissolve the cinnamon and brown sugar in the melted butter, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Remove the skillet from heat and carefully pour and stir in the liqueur; replace the skillet while continuing to stir, and add the bananas.
Turn the stove temperature to high and continue to coat the bananas in the glaze for an additional minute.
Once again, remove the skillet from heat and carefully add the rum to the banana mixture.
*WARNING*– Carefully return the skillet to a medium flame with an extended hand (avoid placing any part of your face over/near the pan or the stove); tip the pan AWAY from you slightly and allow the flame to “lick” the edge of the skillet, exposing the alcohol and allowing it to burn. If you feel uncomfortable about tipping the pan, you can use your stick lighter to ignite the dish.
The alcohol should burn for approximately 10-15 seconds with the flame reaching about two feet above the rim of the pan. When the alcohol has burned off completely (i.e. no flame present) turn off the heat—you can test this by repeating step 8 and reigniting the flame, until the alcohol dissipates.
Scoop ice cream into two bowls and add bananas, drizzling the sauce evenly over top, and enjoy!
Restaurant: Cafe Brazil
Location: 11736 W Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90066
Hours: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m., Mon.- Sun.
In the event you find yourself sans eyebrows and out of luck in your attempt at Bananas Foster, Cafe Brasil will be open to save the day. Located on the outskirts of Culver City and Santa Monica, the family-owned and operated Brazilian restaurant serves up delicious food with humble accommodations. Cafe Brasil is attached to a sister business, the Villa Brasil Motel, and parking is available for both destinations street-side or in their private lot. The interior is as visually stunning and quirky as the exterior, as Brazilian tourism and wildlife photos adorn the walls, and fresh flowers grace the tables. Order the Havana sandwich, or two, for you and your date and splurge on a side of french fries. With the absence of traditional American condiments like mustard and ketchup, Cafe Brasil’s homemade “hot salsa” served gratis (free) pairs well with the deep-fried sticks of starchy heaven. Take a seat on the outside patio, or grab a table inside for a more intimate affair. If you’re looking for a more romantic atmosphere, enjoy dinner at Cafe Brasil by candlelight in the evening. Seal the deal with a nightcap in the form of fried plantains– offered with a cart of complimentary accoutrements adjacent the salsa bar– and a sexy cocktail, such as the Caipirinha (sake, muddled lime and sugar cubes) or the Adam & Eve (sake and apple syrup). Seating is rarely a problem, however, on the off-chance tables become sparse, Cafe Brasil’s original restaurant at 10831 Venice Blvd. is a mere 1.5 miles away, although it does not offer alcoholic refreshments. Havana sandwiches for two, a side of fries, an order of plantains and a duo of cocktails will only set you back a cool $40. Additional information regarding Cafe Brasil’s’ restaurant hours, locations and menus can be accessed at http://www.cafe-brasil.com.