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Caramelised bananas with cinnamon meringue

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Michael Smith, executive chef at Porthminster Beach Cafe, shares his recipe for caramelised bananas with cinnamon meringue, pistachio ice cream and cinder toffee

Caramelised bananas

Serves 4

You will need

Bananas 2
Caster sugar
to cover

For the meringue:
Egg whites 2 large
Caster sugar
to dust

For the pistachio ice cream:
Milk 250ml
Sugar 120g
Egg yolks
Unsalted pistachios 100g, shelled

For the cinder toffee:
Malt vinegar
2 tsp
Golden syrup
1½ tbsp
Bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp


‘There are many elements to this dessert but, if you’re not feeling ambitious, you could serve them in any combination,’ says Michael.


  1. Peel the bananas and halve lengthways. Place flat-side up in a baking tray and sprinkle over an even layer of sugar. Use a blowtorch to caramelise, alternatively you can place the bananas under a preheated grill.
  2. For the cinnamon meringues: preheat the oven to 140°c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until you have a stiff, glossy mixture. Spoon 8 heaped desert spoons on a baking tray, dust with cinnamon and bake for 30-40 minutes until the meringues are dry. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool and dry for a few hours with the door ajar.
  3. For the pistachio ice cream: lightly colour the pistachios in a dry frying pan over a low to medium heat, taking care not to let them burn. Heat the milk and cream in a pan. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and slowly pour the hot mixture over the yolks and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Blitz the pistachios in a food processor and stir into the mixture. Strain through a fine sieve and cool. Once fully cooled, churn in an ice cream machine until smooth and thick. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze.
  4. For the cinder toffee: grease a large baking tray. In a large pot, heat the butter, water and vinegar until the butter melts. Add the sugar and golden syrup and cook until the mixture reaches 154°c. Remove from heat, add the bicarbonate of soda – it will bubble up quite a lot – and continue to stir until the bubbles settle. Pour into the greased tray and allow to cool before breaking into chunks.

Michael will be appearing at St Ives Food and Drink Festival, which takes place on Porthminster Beach, between May 11-13.

Also try

Pistachio sponge

This pistachio sponge with mascarpone ice cream is one of the dishes that helped Jamie secure the top honours at the South West Chef of the Year competition

Cornish strawberries and cream

Tom Hannon, head chef at The Rising Sun in Truro, shares his Cornish take on the classic strawberries and cream combo


Who can resist a chewy meringue roulade? This one from Emily Scott of the St Tudy Inn is smothered in orange curd and fresh fruit