Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Banana Split Brownies

I never ever would have thought to use that manky old blackened banana rotting on my counter to spruce up a batch of brownies. Until I saw a recipe for banana split brownies, that is. Then I couldn't get the notion out of my head. Add browned butter into the mix and it became irresistible.

The original recipe calls for a layer of toasted marshmallows on top. I'm not a huge fan of marshmallows and didn't have any on hand anyway so instead I took the idea of a banana split and ran with it, making the recipe my own. In addition to the banana and browned butter in the brownie, I added some chopped maraschino cherries. The ganache layer is made with cream steeped with fresh banana slices, which I mixed with some diced strawberries. The entire thing is sprinkled with another banana split topping: crushed pineapple.

I was warned these brownies would be rich, and they certainly are. I wish I had some vanilla ice cream to pair them with as the experience is not unlike eating an extremely chocolaty banana split. And that's a good thing in my book.

As an aside, is it just me or is photographing brownies one of the most difficult things in the world? They're so dark it's hard to capture the details and make it look like anything other than a brown blob. I'm sure I could have staged the shot differently to make it a little more interesting and attractive but I'm hoping my description alone is enough to make you drool.

Banana Split Brownies
Recipe adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup mashed overripe banana (about 1 medium banana)
18 maraschino cherries, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (3 oz) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2 1/2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped ripe banana (about 1 medium)
7 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (55-62% cacao), finely chopped
8 large strawberries, diced
1 cup canned shredded pineapple, drained

To make the brownies: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch square metal baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides so you can lift the brownies out. Spray the foil with cooking spray and flour (or butter and flour the foil).

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it smells nutty and is golden in color, about 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the butter cool for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to the pan and whisk to combine. Whisk in the eggs, banana, cherries, and vanilla. Finally, add the flour and cocoa powder and whisk until all ingredients are combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

To make the topping: while the brownies are cooling, bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped banana. Cover the pan and let steep for 1 hour.

While cream is steeping, place strawberries in a bowl and microwave 30 seconds. Stir and microwave an additional 30 seconds. Drain and let cool.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Return the cream (with the banana still in the pan) to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour the cream through a strainer into the bowl with the chocolate. Discard the banana in the strainer. Let the chocolate/cream mixture stand for 1 minute then stir until smooth. Stir in strawberries. Pour the ganache over the brownies and spread. Evenly sprinkle the crushed pineapple over the surface.

Let cool until the ganache is set, at least 1 1/2 hours. Lift the brownies from the pan using the foil handles. Cut and serve.



Sara @ Sew Sweetness said...

Wow, it sounds really amazing! I'm going to have to try it. And I don't really like marshmallows that much, either. :-)

Bree said...

Enough with the baking until you find a way to get stuff to me good & hot. And no, me baking for myself isn't the solution! :)

Seriously though, those look delicious, and I agree, the marshmallow doesn't sound like a good addition.

Meg Luby said...

i am amazed. like really, wow. sure looks daggum good! thanks for sharing :)
@ http://www.clutzycooking.blgspot.com

Desi said...

what a good idea for a brownie! a definite must-try :)

The Mixing Bowl Diary said...

wow! my family is going to LOVE these!! thanks for the great idea.

Bella @ Bella before and after said...

WOW girl, yeah your description was def enough,, gosh, how can you actually make my mouth water just by talking about this brownie, DANG,,, it must be good.

Thanks for linking up!!!

Bella :)

Lisa said...

Wow, those brownies look super decadent and delicious. I hope you'll come by and link them up to Sweets for a Saturday #7. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweets-for-saturday-7.html