Bananas Foster Cheesecakes
Bananas Foster was one of my most best selling ice cream flavours, back when I used to run Blu Top. It’s a traditional dessert from New Orleans, basically consisting of bananas fried in butter with brown sugar and rum (yeah - now you see why it was the people’s favourite).
It’s also a perfect recipe for Christmas because what’s more festive than SETTING A BLOODY CAKE ON FIRE?? Thats right, we’re going to set these bad boys on fire. It’s spectacular but it’s also a massive flavour enhancer - so don’t skip this bit!
But seriously, these are some of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever tasted. The crust is perfectly crisp with the nuttiness from the pecans. The filling is smooth and creamy with a slight sharpness from the lemon. And the flaming caramelised bananas are just TDF. It’s quite a lot of work, but this recipe is a must try.
Warning! This recipe uses fire and flaming alcohol. Obviously don’t attempt this if you’re under 18. If you do attempt this, be super careful - fire can be dangerous obvs, so make sure you have a wet tea towel handy to throw over the flames, should things get out of hand.
Makes three 10cm cheesecakes
For the Base
65g rolled oats
100g light brown sugar
35g vegan butter (melted)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
For the Filling
125g raw cashews (soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes)
235g silken tofu
235g vegan cream cheese
140g caster sugar
70g dark brown sugar
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
For the Bananas Foster Topping
2 large bananas
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
75ml overproof rum (I used Bacardi 151, but brandy also works. Just make sure whatever spirit you use is over 40% abv)
To Make the Base
In a food processor, blitz the oats and pecans until you get a gritty, sandy textured flour. Add the sugar and blitz to combine. Then, with the processor running, pour in the butter and the pinch of salt. You may have to pulse the machine a few times to make sure all the butter is incorporated.
Line the bottom of 3 10cm springform cake tins with baking parchment. Distribute the base mix between the three tins. You may not feel the need to use all the mix, just go with your gut. If you like a thick base then go for it!
Set in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
To Make the Filling
Preheat the oven to 175c.
Drain the cashews through a nut milk bag or fine sieve. Add the cashews along with all the other ingredients to a high speed blender (not a food processor. If possible use a nutri bullet or ninja to get everything super smooth)
Divide the filling evenly between the three tins, being sure to leave at least a 1/2 cm between the top of your filling and the rim of the tin.
Place on a baking sheet or tray and place in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least two hours before removing the sides of the springform tin.
Once chilled, it’s ready to top with the bananas and serve.
For the Bananas Foster Topping
Slice each banana in half width ways and then slice each half length ways.
Place the bananas cut side down in a hot frying pan over medium heat. They should sizzle nicely. Sprinkle over the sugar and then drizzle over the rum. The rum should melt the sugar slightly and form a nice caramel coating.
Flip the bananas carefully after around 30 seconds and give the rounded side another 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and place two slices of banana on top of each cheesecake. Eat the rest on your porridge tomorrow.
Plate up each cheesecake on a ceramic plate (don’t use glass).
Add the overproof rum to a ladle and very carefully, hold it directly over a low flame on your hob or a single candle. The idea is to warm the alcohol and allow it to release its vapours. After around 15 seconds of warming, tip the ladle very gently so the alcohol moves to the rim of the ladle and closer to the flame. Allow it to catch.
Very carefully pour the flaming rum over your cheesecakes. The flames will eventually die out once the alcohol has been burnt off. Once the flames are out, and not before, you can eat the cake!