Maple Roasted Bananas with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

I have begun a lifelong love affair with maple syrup. It started with pancakes, gravitated towards desserts, and found its way to savory foods (maple syrup is just fantastic on asparagus). But today we aren't talking about pancakes or savory foods. We are talking desserts. And this one is certainly a doozie.

When I set out to make these maple roasted bananas, I had no idea of the surprises in store for me. When you start to invent your own recipes, a little surprise here and there is bound to happen (though you never anticipate it). It started out innocently enough, with beautifully cut bananas drowning in maple syrup and brown sugar. What can I say? I let my guard down. So I put them in the oven, set the timer, and started putting away ingredients. About 4 minutes in, I smelled burnt sugar and rushed to the oven. The bananas were perfectly fine, oh yes they were, and I let out a brief sigh of relief. But the extra sugar in the pan had decided to boil and burn something awful. So, being completely practical, I turned on the broiler to harden the sugar on the bananas.

The fire alarm forced me to stop my experiment.

My bananas turned out perfectly despite this. My pan may be charred black, but who can care about that when these gorgeous bananas are staring you in the face? Some sugary syrup had been spared, so I drizzled this over the roasted bananas and added a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream. Oh. My God. I ate more than my fair share and licked my plate clean. Licked it spotless.

The cinnamon whipped cream keeps the sugar in check, so it is not overwhelming. Both the maple syrup and banana flavors shine. I could gush longer about how good this is, but I think its better if you just find out for yourself, don't you?

(Don't worry, I adjusted and tested the recipe so your baking venture will be a little less exciting).

Maple Roasted Bananas with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Yields 4 servings

Roasted Bananas
4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or dark rum)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the bananas crosswise and then lengthwise. Coat them thoroughly with maple syrup, on all sides. Drizzle any remaining maple syrup on top. On a baking pan, lay the bananas cut side up and sprinkle on the brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Watch carefully, in case the sugar begins to burn. Then, turn on the broiler. Broil the bananas until the sugar has melted and they are golden in color, about 2 minutes.

Top the bananas with any leftover juices from the baking pan, a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream, and serve hot!

Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream and cinnamon until hard peaks form. Serve immediately.