Baked bananas with toffee sauce

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Bananas make one of the cheapest and easiest of all hot desserts, and they are just as welcome as a comforting winter treat as they are to follow a barbecue. For an extra sweet finishing touch, grate some plain (semisweet) chocolate on the bananas, over the sauce, just before serving. If you are baking them on a barbecue, turn the bananas occasionally to ensure even cooking. Bananas are widely grown across the tropics and sub-tropics. They grow in hands (bunches) of five to 20 fingers (bananas). Depending on the variety, they can be small or long, thin- or thick- skinned, with yellow or red skins. They are picked when two-thirds ripe and slowly convert their starch to sugars as they’re shipped.

Ingredients:

(serves four)

4 large bananas

75 ml / 5 tbsp double (heavy) cream

4 scoops good-quality vanilla ice cream, to serve

75 g light muscovado (brown) sugar

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas 4. Put the unpeeled bananas in an ovenproof dish and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the skin is very dark and the flesh feels soft when squeezed.

Meanwhile, heat the light muscovado sugar in a small, heavy pan with 75 ml / 5 tbsp water until dissolved. Bring to the boil and add the double cream. Cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and is toffee coloured. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the baked bananas in their skins to serving plates and split them lengthways to reveal the flesh. pour some of the sauce over the bananas and top with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Serve any remaining sauce separately, so it can be add to taste.

Also you can garnish bananas with strawberries, raspberries or any other berries, which will give a fruity touch to this dessert.