Banana Funnel-Cake Fritters & Peanut Butter Caramel

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Think of all the yummy, state-fair foods you’ve eaten. Many of them were on a stick, right? Pastry chef Eric Dale of Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen in Denver, thought along the same lines to come up with this we’re-sure-you-haven’t-had-it-yet dessert. Inspired by banana doughnuts he once had a bakery, Dale did hot bananas one better, combining them with funnel-cake batter on a skewer. When the funnel-cake battered banana slices hit hot fat, wonders happen: The batter turns golden crisp and the bananas inside melt to a custard-like consistency. Drizzled with peanut butter caramel and sprinkled with powdered sugar, the finished fritters are something everybody “gets” but not everybody would think up. We’re glad Eric did. For more fun banana ideas, see my Banana Crazy story in the Chicago Tribune.

Makes four fritters; one quart caramel

For fritters Ingredients

  • 4 cups peanut oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Four medium-sized bananas, or, use baby bananas for mini-treats
  • Four wooden shish-kebab skewers
  • Powdered sugar, to garnish

For peanut butter caramel Ingredients

14 fluid ounces heavy cream
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
¼ cup corn syrup

Instructions

  1. To make caramel: combine cream and peanut butter in medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to emulsify. Keep warm.
  2. In large sauce pan combine water, sugar and syrup, stirring with a wooden spoon. Heat to boiling over high heat. Continue heating until mixture is golden-brown. Set aside.
  3. Heat cream mixture to boiling and add to golden syrup; whisking to combine. Warning: hot caramel will bubble up when cream is added.
  4. Make fritters: In large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of standing mixer, beat eggs until frothy; gradually adding in milk. Add dry mixture to eggs in three stages, beating just to combine and scraping after each addition.
  6. Heat peanut oil to 350 degrees. Slice four bananas into 1-inch-thick pieces. Thread one whole banana’s worth of slices onto each of four wooden skewers. Pour ¼ of batter onto a plate and roll banana skewer in batter to coat. Drop battered banana skewer into hot fat. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. With tongs, remove fritter to serving plate that has been drizzled with peanut butter caramel. Dust fritter with powdered sugar. Repeat for remaining fritters.

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