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MICHAEL SYMON Banana Beignets with Vanilla Bourbon Caramel

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2 large eggs
1 cup very ripe bananas (mashed, about 2 bananas)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar (plus 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus 1 tablespoon)
canola oil (for frying)
Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, banana, milk, vanilla and sugar, and whisk to combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon, and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Allow batter to rest for 1 hour.
To a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add a few inches of oil. Preheat to 350ºF.
Begin dropping 1 tablespoon of the batter in at a time. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and cooked though.
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and a pinch of salt and roll the beignets in the mixture as they come out of the hot oil. Serve with the bourbon caramel drizzled on top and on the side and more cinnamon sugar if desired.
For the Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce: in a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Place over medium-high heat and cook while swirling, not stirring, until you have an amber colored caramel, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream followed by the bourbon, vanilla and the salt. Place back on the heat. Add the butter and stir until melted. Set aside to cool and thicken. Serve with the beignets.
Helpful Tip:
– Make the caramel sauce ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
– Remove the bourbon for a kid-friendly dish!

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