Recipe of the week: Vegan caramelised banana with candied walnuts & lemon sorbet
By Mark Hartstone, chef proprietor at La Fosse at Cranborne.
The great thing about this recipe is that it is almost entirely from store cupboard ingredients.
Other than the sorbet the dish can be put together whilst your dinner guests are digesting their main course! The walnuts can be prepared in advance along with the sorbet, however the caramel on the banana will dissolve into the fruit and therefore must be done at the very last minute.
For the lemoncello sorbet:
· 240ml water
· 160g sugar
· zest of 3 lemons
· juice of 6 lemons
· Dash of lemoncello on the sorbet as you serve
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved and a syrup has formed, about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Now stir in your lemon zest and juice.
To create a soft texture that is not crystalline at all, ½ the sugar may be replaced by an inverted sugar. This is a sugar syrup that has been boiled at 114 degrees with an agent such as cream of tartar or citric acid.
Cool the mix and place in an ice cream maker or in a bowl that you whisk every 30 minutes whilst it freezes.
Alcohol acts as an anti-freeze by reducing the freezing temperature of liquids, so by drizzling the lemoncello over the finished sorbet you escape the problem of it not freezing.
· Caster sugar (2 soup spoons per banana)
· Lime zest
Peel bananas and cut length wise or in slices (thickness as you wish).
In a frying pan, put all the sugar and let it slowly melt on low/medium heat.
Once melted, add the banana 1 piece at a time, so that every piece is coated with the caramel
Take off the stove, remove the pieces of banana onto a piece of silicon paper and sprinkle with lime zest.
The most important thing is to not overcook the banana or you will end up with a mushy consistency.
For the candied walnuts:
· 5 walnut halves per person
· 100ml almond milk
· caramel from bananas
Heat the caramel on the stove again then add the almond milk which will create a toffee type sauce. Add the nuts and they will coat and fill the undulating grooves of the walnuts.
When the nuts are well coated remove and put on the silicon paper.
For the toffee sauce:
· 50ml almond milk
· caramel from bananas
Deglaze the pan again with a dash of almond milk to create the sauce. A pinch of cinnamon will add a touch of warm and spice, a little grated vegan chocolate will also give the sauce some depth.