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Cameroonian spiced banana gâteau


"A Cameroonian bouncer who worked for my dad made this for my family when I was still living in South Africa and it was great," says Welgemoed. "I've added the praline to give it some crunch and to offset the savoury bananas. It's more or less doughnuts and ice-cream in adult form."

You'll need

To serve: vanilla bean ice-cream To serve: African daisies and lavender flowers (optional)   Curried bananas 4 unripe bananas, thickly sliced 10 fresh curry leaves 1 tbsp finely grated nutmeg 2 cinnamon quills 2 cloves 1 tsp Madras curry powder 80 gm light muscovado sugar (see note) 100 ml vegetable oil   Pumpkin seed praline 50 gm pumpkin seeds 50 gm caster sugar   Beignets 110 gm unsalted butter 2 tbsp caster sugar 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour 4 large eggs For frying: canola or vegetable oil

Method

  • 01
  • For curried bananas, place bananas in a heatproof container. Dry-roast curry leaves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and curry powder in a frying pan over medium-heat until fragrant (1 minute). Remove from pan and set aside. Add muscovado sugar and 2 tbsp water to pan, return to heat and stir until sugar starts to dissolve. Add oil along with toasted spices, stir until sugar completely dissolves (1 minute), then pour mixture over bananas and stand at room temperature to marinate and soften slightly (6 hours). Drain before serving.
  • 02
  • For pumpkin seed praline, dry-roast pumpkin seeds in a frying pan over medium high heat until light golden (3-5 minutes), then spread evenly over a lightly oiled oven tray in a single layer. Scatter sugar evenly into a large saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat until dark caramel (4-6 minutes), then pour it over pumpkin seeds and set aside to cool completely. Break praline into shards, then smash with a rolling pin to very fine crumbs (or do this in a food processor). Store in an airtight container.
  • 03
  • For beignets, stir butter, sugar, 240ml water and a large pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat until butter melts and boils (3-4 minutes). Reduce heat to medium, then gradually add flour, stirring vigorously until batter pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball (1-2 minutes). Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, allow to cool slightly (5 minutes), then mix on low-medium speed, adding eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions, until dough is smooth and glossy (3-5 minutes). Refrigerate to rest (at least 1 hour and up to overnight).
  • 04
  • Heat 5cm oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Fry tablespoonfuls of beignet dough in hot oil in batches (without overcrowding pan), turning after a minute, until golden and puffed (7-9 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels. (You can make the beignets ahead and warm them in oven before serving.)
  • 05
  • Roll beignets in pumpkin seed praline to coat, then serve layered warm with curried bananas and scoops of ice-cream, and scattered with flowers.

Note Light muscovado sugar, also known as Barbados sugar, is slightly stickier than regular brown sugar but has a similar flavour. It's widely available in supermarkets.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

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