Also known as candied bananas, toffee bananas are a Chinese dessert. They consist of crunchy, batter-coated bananas topped with a sweet sugar glaze. Toffee bananas are often topped with black sesame seeds, and served alongside ice cream.
The method for making these toffee sweets is considered very simple. Bananas are peeled and sliced, then dunked into a coating mixture made from an egg, flour, and water. Before frying in oil, cooks typically prepare the finishing glaze, as the process is meant to be carried out as quickly as possible for the most crisp, sweet products. The glaze itself usually consists of sugar and water heated until caramelizing occurs, though it can also include the addition of sesame seeds, or cinnamon, if preferred.
Once each stage of the recipe, from batter to glaze, is completely ready, and the oil is fully heated in a pan, cooking can commence. Toffee bananas should be cooked with plenty of space between each piece of fruit to prevent sticking from occurring. Immediately after each piece is fully fried, they should be individually removed and coated within the glaze. Finally, each glazed piece is then dunked into an ice bath for a few seconds, then quickly plated and served.
Toffee bananas are designed to be eaten immediately after cooking. If pieces are left to sit before being eaten, they may lose their crispness and become soggy and unappetizing. To make serving the dessert simpler, some cooks recommend lightly oiling the serving plate. This will ensure that the pieces do not stick and are easier to grasp and enjoy.
Ice cream is often served alongside hot toffee bananas, usually in a separate, attractive dish. Though many people use plain vanilla ice cream, other traditional flavors for this dessert include lychee and mango. Other cooks may opt to serve the hot dessert alongside or topped with some sort of whipped topping. Drizzles of chocolate, caramel, or any other garnish of choice may also be used.
Depending upon the restaurant, sometimes the bananas are served already coated and glazed to customers. Other venues may prefer to serve a showier version of the recipe. If so, they may deliver a plate of sliced bananas treated with the hot caramelized sugar to patrons, then drop the sweet fruit into an ice bath to create the quick crisping effect in front of customers. If this is done at home, cooks should remember to remove the coated pieces very quickly, within seconds of immersion, from the bath for the best results.