Salted Caramel Banana Baked S’mores Dip
The perfect way to end summer and begin fall: With a decadent combination of salted caramel, bananas, chocolate and marshmallows.
Summer is on the breadth of extinction- for 2015, anyway. For me, it is already past it’s expiration date as school started nearly two weeks ago- marking the end of a very restful two months. While I’m glad to return to my daily routine, I dread this upcoming year. I’ve spent nearly twelve years at my school and become sort of a home away from home- my friends, my teachers- it’s like a little family on it’s own, and it’ll be strange to make the transition to college. With that said, I am excited for what this year has to offer as well. I was always afraid of the seniors, who walked with a certain air and poise- as if they owned the school. And now I’m in that very position. So far, so good.
Today I bring you somewhat of a transitional dessert- an in-between summer and fall sort of recipe. The ease and warmth of putting together a s’more by the campfire paired the cozy decadence of salted caramel drenched bananas. But unlike a traditional s’more, you don’t need the crackling wood or yellowish flames of a fire, though that would be nice. You can make this dish using only the simplicity of an oven.
- I made my own caramel sauce because the only store-bought type I like is made by Marks and Spencer which I did not have on hand. You could use your favorite variety.
- I used miniature marshmallows because they melt faster- Jumbo would work fine as well, you’d probably use less though.
- This isn’t a particularly thick dip. The bed of marshmallows will make way to reveal an amalgamation of melted chocolate, caramel sauce and bananas- it has a slightly runnier consistency- more like a chocolate fondue or chocolate ganache.
- This does store in the refrigerator (if it lasts) where it will thicken slightly, but only a day or so. Fruit needs to be eaten fresh.
- Serve the dip warm out of the oven with ginger cookies if you’ve got some on hand. Those add to the essence of fall- and also pair beautifully with the ingredients of the dip.
- For the salted caramel sauce:
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted works fine)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- For the s’mores dip:
- 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
- 1-2 bananas, sliced one way then the other
- 200 g (between 7-8 oz) chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- Cookies and fruit to serve it with
- In a small pan, add the water, corn syrup and sugar. Then stir just to combine.
- Place the pan over medium heat without stirring. You can swirl the pan. To prevent sugar crystals from forming on the sides, dip a brush in some water and gently brush off the sides until the crystals are gone.
- Just when the caramel becomes a bubbly amber color, turn off the heat. This should take between 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to overcook as burnt caramel is not tasty.
- Stand back (this is known to splatter) and add the butter and heavy cream. When the mixture calms down slightly, stir the ingredients until the sauce is silky smooth.
- Add the salt and vanilla and stir to taste. Start by adding 1/2 tsp salt and then add more if you’d like.
- Cool the sauce and store in a container in the refrigerator until ready to use. This lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge and even longer in the freezer.
- This recipe makes 1 cup of sauce and you only need half of it to make the dip.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 F.
- In an 8 inch skillet, saucepan or dish (whichever you use, it should be oven proof), pour in 1/2 cup of caramel sauce.
- Add the sliced bananas and stir gently. Pat the mixture so that it coats the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle atop the chocolate chunks as evenly as possible.
- Finally, top with the marshmallows until the chocolate and caramel is barely visible underneath.
- Place the dish on the top of your oven rack and bake for a minimum of 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are melted and their tops are a beautiful golden brown.
- Serve with sliced fruit on a toothpick/fork, gingersnap cookies, graham crackers or digestive biscuits.