Jan 23, 2017

Wait Until You Taste These!

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Fried Apple Banana Fritters
Fried Banana Fritters are popular all over Asia. It's important to use the right banana for this dessert. The Apple Banana here in Hawaii is perfect, with a sweet/sour flavor.  In my opinion this dessert/breakfast food is much better than Hawaii's iconic malasada, which is basically a fried doughnut hole.

These fritters are crispy on the outside, filled with a ripe apple banana chunk, that is tender and moist on the inside. Using ice-cold soda water helps the batter to get crispy, but you want to make sure that you don't put too much soda water in the batter, adding it slowly as you stir, keeping it thick. It's also a good idea to drain the grease from the fritters on a paper towel after they are fried so they are not oily, and use oil that has not been used before. Then simply dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with honey, very simple. Wait until you've tried these!

3 ripe apple bananas, chopped into bite sized chunks
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon rice flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil (to add to batter)
1/2 cup club soda (ice cold)
Canola oil for deep frying
Powdered sugar for dusting
Honey for drizzling

In a large bowl, mix together the self-raising flour, corn starch, rice flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil until smooth and thick.

Now slowly add the ice cold club soda and whisk gently just until well incorporated and smooth.

In a wok, or small skillet, heat one inch of oil on medium-high heat. While waiting for the oil to come up to temperature,  325˚F, begin dipping the apple banana chunks into the batter. Using a slotted spoon, test the temperature of the oil by carefully dropping a small bit of the batter into the oil. If the oil is hot enough, the batter should begin to bubble up and lightly brown within a few seconds.

Adjust heat to medium then carefully place the battered banana chunks into the hot oil, leaving enough room in between them to turn over. Fry on each side for just about 2 or 3 minutes or so until lightly golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Repeat as necessary with remaining banana chunks. Keep the fritters warm in a 200˚F oven, this will keep them crisp.

Place warm bananas on a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with honey before serving, or serve with vanilla ice-cream. Makes 18 fritters depending on the size of the bananas.

Note: If you don't have self-rising flour, you can make your own by mixing 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Also make sure your baking powder is current. Check the expiration date on the box. Baking powder can lose its potency over time, which means your baked goods won't rise as they should.

For more apple banana recipes, click here.

Hawaiian Coconut Cream Pudding
Hawaiian island sweetness with a light, creamy texture that keeps you dipping your spoon back in.

Kara brand from Friendly Market
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup corn starch
1 cup coconut cream, Kara brand
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

Ingredients for toppings:
Cinnamon for dusting
Toasted coconut flakes for sprinkling
Crystalized ginger, chopped
4 ounces chopped macadamia nuts, toasted, for good measure
Honey for drizzling over everything

Mix one cup of milk with the corn starch to make a slurry. Stir quickly until the cornstarch dissolves completely.

Heat the remaining 3 cups of milk, coconut cream (not coconut milk), vanilla extract, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Pour in the milk and corn starch mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 3 or 4 minutes.

Remove from stove and ladle pudding into 8 small ramekins. Cover each dish with plastic wrap and allow to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

To serve, remove the plastic wrap and place a small serving plate on top of each ramekin, then holding each, quickly turn it over so the cold pudding comes out of the ramekin onto the plate with a little shake. Top each serving with a dusting of cinnamon, a sprinkling of toasted coconut flakes, chopped crystalized ginger, chopped and toasted mac nuts, and finally a generous drizzling of honey. Serve with hot Fried Apple Banana Fritters to really take this dessert over the top (recipe above).

Makes 8 small servings or 4 larger servings as pictured above using larger ramekins.

Note: This tropical recipe is original and was inspired by the Middle Eastern dessert known as "Malabi". There are very few traditional Hawaiian desserts, however this is similar to "Haupia", which is served at many Hawaiian luau tables.

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