01 May 2008

Banana Parfait

Banana Parfait (with title)
There was a recent invitation on the Blog Rounds for Filipino doctors to cite why they choose to practice in the Philippines. I obviously didn't participate, because that's not my plan for the moment: I didn't want to appear like a giant hypocrite. While I love my country and I love my home, there's still so much my young heart hasn't seen and experienced yet. One of the reasons I cook so many non-Filipino dishes is for that unique experience. In between, it's always Filipino food (and you will see some here someday, I promise). I originally meant to plate this dessert and call it "Paradise": Banana Parfait Napoleon with Chocolate Sauce. The tourism industry of this country, after all, likes to showcase this country as an inexpensive Shangri-La. However, a few things came to mind over the past few weeks.
One Window
That's the view outside my window. I described it to Ann once as butt-fugly. For some reason, city planners don't care (I don't live in a gated community, unlike many of my well-to-do friends) and my residential area is constantly infiltrated by noisy warehouses and factories. Admittedly I took that a few minutes before rain, but it's not much better with the sun up. There's an actual drum where they incinerate plastic and the fumes saturate the poor air, and worst of all, a stupid bulldozer that just runs forever-- half of it in reverse-- making those loud, awful BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! noises to warn people a hundred miles away to steer clear. I wear earplugs (thank you, Walgreens) so I can study somewhat in peace. At midnight, stupid delivery trucks come in and spread pollution, and stupid drunken construction workers bang on the gate of the warehouse (probably where they sleep, as it's far from their home) to let them in, waking us all up.
Another Window
This is the other side of the house, my brother's view, which is not the street-side. I think that's an avocado tree (so much for my 17 units of Botany). Despite the rusty galvanized rooftops, the green just makes it much better. Amazing how "paradise" can change in a matter of meters.
Banana Parfait (FAIL!)
This is the second failure of "Paradise." I originally adapted this recipe from Grand Finales, where a Banana Snickers Parfait Napoleon was adorned by a majestic puff pastry decoration. I got a little playful and a lot stupid, making a way-too-large and too-heavy decoration that more or less destroyed the whole thing. Why is that bird pecking at a giant stone with a booger on it? I don't know. Does it have retinoblastoma? Why is it lying down with its wings spread? Seriously, is that coagulated blood on the side? It was seriously a WTF moment:

that you go so far on one end of the frustration spectrum and end up on the other side, laughing it off. Never again. I unmolded the others and poured the ganache on one side. Much better. I told Jen that it must be a sign from God for me to get with the program and study already. My cooking will improve when I can focus on it.

But it was still a little too creamy for me. I think my body is now actively craving healthy food and, if you will believe me, healthier desserts (or at least cake, and not something made almost entirely of fat, like a parfait). I recorded a minimum weight of 134.5 pounds twice already, which is a good way from the max of 140 pounds I weighed a few months back. Yay for me.

Banana Parfait
335g (12oz, about 3-4 large) ripe bananas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
15mL (1 tablespoon) dark rum
200g (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) heavy cream, chilled
42g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Purée the bananas, lemon juice, and dark rum together. In another bowl, whip together the cream, sugar, and vanilla until it holds soft peaks. Gently fold the banana mixture into the cream, taking care not to deflate the foam too much. Distribute among 6 molds (I used plastic cups) and freeze. To unmold, dip the mold up to just below the level of the parfait in hot tap water for 5 seconds, then turn over onto the serving plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The chocolate ganache is just an equal weight of boiled cream and chopped bittersweet chocolate, but milk chocolate would also be great with bananas.

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