Grilled Banana Splits with Hot Fudge and Rum Caramel Sauce

Everyone loves banana splits. But, hey, when the bananas are grilled to caramelized perfection and then topped with goodies-- watch out!


  • For the Hot Fudge Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the Rum Caramel Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cold unsalted butter
  • For the Banana Splits:
  • 6 firm-ripe unpeeled bananas, halved lengthwise
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) packed light brown sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • Hot Fudge Sauce, for serving
  • Rum Caramel Sauce, for serving
  • 2 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  • Finely chopped roasted lightly salted peanuts, for serving
  • 6 maraschino cherries, for serving


For the Hot Fudge Sauce:

Combine the sugar and cocoa powder in the top of a double boiler set over briskly simmering water, and whisk to combine. Add the heavy cream and corn syrup, and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is hot, thick and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the sauce is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve. (The sauce can be prepared up to several weeks in advance and reheated gently in a double boiler before serving). Store in a nonreactive airtight container, refrigerated. About 2 cups.

For the Rum Caramel Sauce:

Combine the sugar and hot water in a heavy saucepan, and cook over high heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally but never stirring the sugar mixture, until the mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream (be careful-- the mixture will splatter). Return the pan to the heat and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the sauce is thick and creamy, stirring occasionally to help incorporate the cream, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum, vanilla and butter. Serve warm. (If making the sauce in advance, rewarm gently before serving). It will keep for several weeks refrigerated in an airtight container. About 1 1/2 cups.

For the Banana Splits:

Preheat a grill to high, and lightly oil the grill grate.

Place the banana halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet and drizzle the honey evenly over them. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place the bananas, cut side up, directly on the grill, arranging them so they are perpendicular to the grill grate. Close the grill cover and cook until the bananas are caramelized around the edges and the fruit is beginning to pull away from the peel, 3 to 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer the grilled banana halves (still in their skins) to a small baking sheet. Using two small forks or a long, thin spatula, carefully remove the banana halves from their skins and place 2 pieces of banana on each dessert plate. (This is a little tricky because the bananas are now very soft). Top each banana with 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with the Hot Fudge Sauce and Rum Caramel Sauce. Top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Garnish each banana split with a maraschino cherry, and serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper 2009. All rights reserved.

RecID 9958

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