Every now and then I entertain the idea of doing fancy schmancy desserts. I have spent many hours gawking in awe at the amazing creations of Elizabeth Falkner (Demolition Desserts is still my favourite sweets cook book) and Adriano Zumbo whose eponymous book is utter food porn. Unfortunately, when I actually consider following a recipe, I can’t help but think in terms of who might actually eat it.
To be honest, I’m not really intimidated by the many steps that are invariably involved in creating a showstopper dessert but I do get stymied by the fact that a lot of these marvelous recipes are catering for a dinner party, not one or two people. It’s not really worthwhile going through the heroic tasks of making caramelised white chocolate or tuille if you don’t actually have enough people around you to share your efforts.
On any given day, I really only have my husband and I who would eat super desserts (my kids think Peter’s vanilla ice cream and Ice Magic is sufficiently elegant dessert) and not too many people at my work are into sweet things. The one work colleague who likes sweets happens to be vegan so that eliminates a great deal of recipes found in the above two books alone. I am certainly looking forward to a new kitchen and dining room to entertain more people in!
Anyway, fortunately we invited my sister-in-law and her husband over for dinner last night which gave me an excuse to do a slightly more fancy dessert than average. I had made some salted caramel sauce (which I used in my Hot Cross Buns) recently so I decided to use some of that for caramel parfaits. I also made a batch of graham crackers with wattle seeds so I reduced a few of those into a lovely ‘sand’ in the Thermomix.
I also came across a few recipes recently that used roasted bananas so I tossed a couple of bananas into the oven with some maple syrup and butter. I’ll be the first to admit that roasted bananas are not pretty but man, they really have an intense flavour and interestingly, the tartness of this sweet fruit comes to the fore.
On a nice big plate I shoveled some graham cracker sand in the middle. Around this lovely sand pit I drizzled some caramel sauce and dotted some with pieces of roasted banana. I placed the caramel parfait in the middle of the sand and drizzled a little more caramel on top with a finishing piece of banana.
Looking at it, I couldn’t help but think of little sandcastles kids make with buckets. In this case however, the sand was very nice to eat and the surprise tartness of the bananas were a lovely contrast to an otherwise very sweet and sticky dessert. Not totally pretty, but I didn’t have any trouble eating this at all :)
Recipe when back from Queensland!