Saint Geran Molasses Sugar Dessert
This is a mouth-watering concoction: crisp, crunchy, toffee-flavoured shells filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with bananas in rum. The recipe was given to me by the very talented young executive chef, Mesh, at the beautiful Saint Géran hotel in Mauritius.
This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Dec 1995) Makes 6
Measuring golden syrup is a sticky business, and the easiest way to deal with it is first to weigh out the sugar and then weigh the golden syrup on top of it so that it sticks to the sugar and not to the scale pan. Then put the whole lot in a thick-based saucepan, together with the butter, and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved, there are no granules left and the mixture is completely smooth. The way to test this is by looking at some on the back of a wooden spoon. Then remove the pan from the heat and beat in the sifted flour and ground ginger, followed by the brandy.
Now place 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the baking parchment so that you have 2 circles on the tray, allowing space for them to spread to a 7 inch (18 cm) diameter as they cook. Now place them in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, keeping your eye on them for the last 2 minutes of the cooking time. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 2 minutes before lifting one from the tray and moulding it over the upturned, greased jam jar, pressing the edges out to get a frilly basket shape. If they get too cool to mould, don't worry about it – just pop them back in the oven for 1 minute and then try again. If you are unsure of yourself, you can have several goes, but remember, it's much easier than it sounds.
As soon as your first basket is ready (it only takes about a minute), place it on a cooling rack and quickly mould the second one. Then repeat the whole process, making two more, and then another two. When the brandy snap baskets are ready, store them in an airtight tin. This stage can be done several hours in advance. To make the bananas in rum, first pre-heat the grill to its highest setting for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the bananas into diagonal slices about ½ inch (1 cm) thick and arrange them on a baking tray lined with buttered foil, but don't let them overlap too much. Then scatter over the orange zest and pour the orange juice and rum over. Finally, sprinkle over the muscovado sugar. Place the baking tray 4 inches (10 cm) from the source of the heat and grill the bananas for about 10 minutes until they are softened and the edges are beginning to caramelise. Remove and leave them to cool completely. When ready to serve, spoon 2 or 3 scoops of ice cream into each brandy snap basket, and spoon the bananas and their juices over.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).