Banana Panna Cotta

We're drowning in bananas over here. First was the grocery bag full for one Euro, then the local fair trade shop had a box of over ripe, unsellable bananas out front with a sign "FREE! Take some".  I was feeling both cheap and compliant, so I did.

Did I mention that I don't actually like bananas? My mother reckons I ate my lifetime supply in my first three years of life, because they used to have to buy them by the flat to keep me in my banana habit.  5 kilos of less-than-favourite fruit for almost nothing is not an offer I can pass up, but I did need to be creative about using them. Many (oh. so. many!) were sliced and flash frozen before being dumped in to a freezer bag for later. The rest became desserts like ice cream, a chocolate meringue pie to be blogged later, and this panna cotta.

It is a bit naughty, this one, because it just wouldn't be right to leave out the caramel sauce, would it? This was for a birthday potluck for a food nonfreak, so there was only so far I could go from the original, and lack of sauce seemed a step too far. Perhaps my tastes are now irreparably dialled away from the mainstream, but I thought this pudding was delicious! It had a good re-visit rate at the buffet despite being next to chocolate mousse and cheesecake, which were not ony more iconic but also prettier - the bananas gave the top of the pudding a bit of a spider vein effect, and the walnuts that were to ring the top all floated to the top of the batter and therefore ended up on the bottom once it was plated. If you can get your caramel a bit thicker than mine, it'll cover both those issues quite nicely.

1/3 c maple syrup
1 1/2 pucks of palm sugar
2 Tbsp clarified butter
whole walnuts or pecans

Melt on medium heat, turning down to low as you get towards the bubbling stage, and stir until it's darkening, thickening, and you've lost patience. Pour into a glass dish with straight sides - a deep pie plate would work - and place your nuts flat side up in a ring just inside the perimeter. Allow to cool.

Note: I have considered whether it would be worthwhile to freeze the caramel, to keep the nuts down until the pudding can set up in the oven. If you try this, let me know in the comments how it worked out. I suppose more sugar and less syrup would thicken it too, but this is already way more sweetness than I'm currently used to. Experiment and report!

8 eggs (minus a few whites)
3 c coconut milk or cream
3 very ripe bananas, chunked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon 
optional: if you are trying to get more gelatin in your diet, the pure powdered kind would work here.

Blend as completely as possible. Then blend a little more. There must be no lumps! It will be runny.
Set up a bain marie around your caramelled dish and pour the custard in. I tried drizzling it down the sides to avoid disturbing the nuts, but this was futile with such a thin caramel as mine. Cranky Mommy was in the kitchen that day.

Bake at a moderately high heat without fan until just set. I'd estimate that took about 40 minutes for mine, but the depth of your pan will be a determining factor for you.

Allow to cool completely before serving. This can be made a day ahead and chilled in the fridge overnight. To serve, slide a knife around the custard to loosen it from the dish, lay a platter over top, and invert the whole thing - quickly - onto a level surface. Sauce will run everywhere, so be sure your platter has a lip.


  1. ..stir until ... you've run out of patience...! LOL - you sound like me!!! :-)
    I'm seriously thinking about doing a "Whole 30" - trying to kick a sugar/alcohol habit... sigh...

  2. MDA's Primal Challenge starts Monday. That should take us up to the fall break and then we'll do GAPS intro and see where that gets us.
    The Healthy Home Economist also has a 4 step plan to kick sugar. Good luck!