We’ve been going to the Caribbean for years, and one thing we typically avoid are the buffets at resorts.
The food is usually very good. That’s not the problem. It’s that we can never seem to control ourselves given that it is vacation. We always leave wishing we hadn’t gone back for a second helping or grabbed that little dessert.
There are exceptions, though.
Like when we wake up late and served breakfast is over, but lunch hasn’t started. The buffet sits there, calling to our growling stomachs. Fortunately, these days we are much better at pacing ourselves and it turns out that on our trip to Jamaica this summer I made a little discovery. It had me thrilled that we grabbed a plate and started scoping out the scene.
The version we had was on the breakfast buffet and really resembled more of a banana bread baked in a casserole pan. But it gave me an idea.
What if I upped the liquid and banana a bit and made it more like a bread pudding. Scoopable, full of banana flavor, with a couple extra twists added.
In this case, those twists are macadamia nuts and butterscotch sauce. That plan ended up working out very well.
I’m not even a huge banana fan, but this, I loved.
Dare I say, it is an excellent alternative for Thanksgiving dinner, or any holiday, if you have a few folks attending that aren’t all that interested in the traditional offerings. Bonus that it’s super easy to make with no crust. Just stir it up, pour into the pan and bake.
It’s also best topped off with some ice cream while it’s still warm. Because, why not?
Banana Macadamia Nut Cobbler with Salted Butterscotch Sauce
Makes about 8 servings
What you’ll need:
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/3 cup raw sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup self-rising flour
1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
Salted Butterscotch Sauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup half and half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a round 9-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside.
Stir together the banana, sugar, and maple syrup in a large bowl until all ingredients are combined. Pour in the butter and stir well. Mix in eggs.
Slowly stir in the dry ingredients a little at a time. Stir in the milk and mix just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
To make the crumble topping, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Use a fork or clean hands to smash the butter into pea-size pieces. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cobbler.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned and the center is set. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
While the cobbler bakes make the sauce. Stir together the brown sugar, half and half, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-heat. Bring to a low boil and cook until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. (It’s rare, but every now and then my sauce doesn’t get as smooth as I’d hoped. If this happens, simply strain it and discard any solid pieces that may have formed.)
To serve, scoop the cobbler into a bowl, top with ice cream, and drizzle with a little sauce.