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Banana Malt Brûlée Spoonfuls

Tiny single mouthful desserts with which to finish off the meal with just a single moment of bliss, is what these are. Vanilla malt cream, adapted from a recipe in Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern. A single spoon filled with cream and topped with a slice of banana and burnt sugar, concept courtesy of Gale Gand’s Just a Bite. Together, I look forward to ending my next dinner by serving each guest one of these along with their coffee.

Fun cookbook purchasing story: I have been wanting a copy of the Claudia Fleming book for ages. It seems like everyone has it, and is always making these gorgeous composed desserts from her recipes. But I spend way too much on books, and on cookbooks in particular, and my to-read pile is a nightmare of monstrous proportions. This doesn’t stop me from wanting more books, of course. But it does stop me from buying more books at full price or anything even close to it.

I was walking down the street in my neighborhood the other day, when I came across a stoop sale. There are many stoop sales in my neighborhood, and I always pause to look at the books, dishes, and silverware. I was going over the books, when I noticed that another potential customer had just found and picked up a copy of the Claudia Fleming book.

I told him how badly I wanted it, and asked him to please relinquish his claim and give it to me. He laughed, and immediately handed it over. The seller told me it was $2. I thanked him as I was reaching into my wallet, telling him that this find had utterly made my day, because I had been craving this book in particular. He grinned at that, and told me that for me, it was only $1.

Who says New Yorkers aren’t nice?

Banana Malt Brulee Spoonfuls
For the vanilla malt cream
1 C heavy cream
1/4 C barley malt syrup
2 tbsp sugar
2 vanilla beans
3 large egg yolks
1 pinch salt
For the finish
Banana slices
Kitchen torch

Put the heavy cream and malt syrup into a thick-bottomed pot. Scrape the pulp from the vanilla beans into the pot, then throw the pods in, too. Bring to a boil, whisking, then remove from heat and let steep, covered, while you do the next step.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy. Remove the vanilla beans from the pot, and pour the cream into the yolks – a little at firm, just to warm them up, then the rest, slowly, whisking all the while.

(Remember: you can make further use of the scraped-out vanilla beans by rinsing them, drying them, then putting them in a sealed container of sugar to create vanilla sugar.)

Preheat your oven to 325°.

Strain the final product into three 4 oz. ramekins. Place a kitchen towel into the bottom of a roasting pan, and set the ramekins on top of the towel. Fill the roasting pan with enough boiling water to come up about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. The water should cover the towel completely. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil

Bake for 30 minutes, then lift up a corner of the foil to see how they are doing and to let the steam out. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. They will still be slightly jiggly in the center when done.

Remove the ramekins from water and place on a wire rack to cool. Once they reach room temperature, cover them with plastic wrap and let them set in the fridge for at least a few hours.

Pipe a small mound of cream onto each spoon. Place a slice of banana atop each spoonfull of cream, then sprinkle with sugar and melt the sugar with your kitchen torch.

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9 Responses to “Banana Malt Brûlée Spoonfuls”

  1. Tanna says:

    What is wrong with me? I really don’t need more people in my life that give me these overwhelming urges to buy more cookbooks. I just bought 3 yesterday – I’ll never be so lucky as to find it for $2 let alone $1. What a fun memory to have everytime you pick that one up!
    Stories where people do the unexpected beautiful thing are such joys, it’s a pot of gold.
    Thank you so much for telling how you pulled this from several places. It is so much fun when that magic all comes together and voila!
    Incredible how just a spoonful can be so inviting! I just don’t seem to be able to get close enough to the screen to get any off that spoon! It really looks spectacular Danielle!

  2. Nicole says:

    Now, last year at thanksgiving I made creme brulee which was not very appreciated due to already full bellies. But this: This would be PERFECT!

    Thanks for the recipe (and dinner last week was it?)!


  3. Natalia says:

    What a wonderful idea! It makes a lovely presentation and a great way to end a meal. I think I have a real need to buy one of those kitchen torches now.

  4. Nice story and I am sure it made your day! Looks really good!

  5. Teo says:

    I whole heartedly agree with Nicole what a good way to end a big meal. No need to go overboard but also you can bring the luxury of brulee, awesome. I can’t wait to try it out.

  6. Danielle says:

    Tanna – Oh, you’re as bad as I am, sounds like. I actually did just buy another cookbook, new, at full price. But it had so many good recipes in that I can’t wait to try!

    Nicole – Dinner was my pleasure. We should do it again soon!

    Natalia – Oh, my kitchen torch gets a lot of use. Definitely get one. I actually got mine as a gift from a guy who lived next door to me in college. He figured that that way I’d be happy, having the new toy and all, and he’d be happy, because I would make him a lot of goodies using it. He was right.

    Bea – It certainly did, and thank you.

    Teo – I think that’s exactly right – it lets the savories remain the focus of the meal, while still making sure that everyone leaves on a sweet note. If you do try it, let me know what you think.

  7. Matt says:

    Wow! Those look incredible… I can’t wait to try them out this weekend. And I have the perfect bunch of banana lovers to try them out on. Thanks, in advance, for a delicious looking weekend, definitely something to look forward to

  8. [...] Desserts and Other Sweets: Fruit Apricot Fruit Leather Ravioli Apricot Hazelnut Squares Apricot Marzipan Tartlets Baked Rummy Plantains with Cinnamon Gelato Banana Caramel Tart Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins Banana Malt Brûlée Spoonfuls Blueberry Oatmeal Crisp with Lime Ice Cream Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars Brandied Peach, Ginger, and Sweet Corn Cornbread Trifles Cardamom Meyer Lemon Créme Brûlée Bubbles Cranberry Leek Strudel Cranberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake Fig and Date Basteeya Grapefruit Almond Tart Lemon Chocolate Chunk Cookies Lime Syllabub Pear and Basil Tart Pumpkin Nests Rosemary Currant Shortbread with Cumin Ginger Apples Sour Cherry Almond Milk Sorbet Sour Cherry Pie [...]

  9. Todd says:

    These look delicious. I was recently at an event where the caterer used Chinese soup spoons for their one-bite desserts. That might be another option…

    Here’s a link to a photo:


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