We made four types of soufflé in the cooking class I took: banana, lemon, orange, and (of course) chocolate. I, of course, was skeptical. "Can't we just make more chocolate soufflés and skip all this fruit nonsense? How about molten cakes, can we do those? Banana? It has to be? Yuck."
Then the banana soufflés came out of the oven. These towering, yellow/white, airy creations with the most amazing, delicate, fruity and sweet flavor. I was hooked. Hooked. I barely even tasted the chocolate soufflés, and I was utterly disgusted by the lemon and orange (sour! waxy! yuck!). But ever since that cooking class, I've wondered if I could replicate our delicious banana soufflés at home.
The first hurdle was finding a recipe. All the ones I could find online involved rum or liqueur, or citrus, or some other strong flavor, but what I wanted was so much simpler. Finally, I unearthed my recipe binder from the cooking class, and just went with the original.
If you're as skeptical as I was about the idea of a dessert that's basically just egg whites and bananas, I promise you that this will be so much better than you expect. You might just never go back to chocolate!
2 ripe bananas
3 tbsp water
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1. Butter and sugar 4 4-ounce ramekins.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Peel bananas and puree in a food processor until smooth.
4. In a small saucepan, bring water and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil. Simmer 4 minutes or until thickened and sugar has dissolved.
5. Add banana puree and cinnamon to sugar syrup, stir until incorporated. Set aside to cool completely.
6. In a stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Add remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat to soft peaks.
7. Fold cooled banana puree into egg white mixture. Pour into ramekins and place ramekins on a baking sheet.
8. Place baking sheet in the oven and immediately turn temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed up.