According to beer expert and author Jef van den Steen, Westmalle’s Tripel is a complex
beer with competing flavors: the fruity aroma of ripe banana, the delicate bitterness of hops,and the sweetness of malt. The creamy, mellow character is balanced by a fruity, acidic touch reminiscent of orange. He says a beer like this one calls for a bold, daring dessert. This recipe has been adapted from “Westmalle Trappist: Met Een-voudige en Lekkere Eenpansgerechten” (Delicious One Dish Meals Made Easy) by Stefaan Couttenye and Jef van den Steen.
CARAMELIZED BANANAS WITH WESTMALLE TRIPEL AND RUM
1 cup sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Westmalle Tripel (see Note)
Zest of half a lemon, peeled in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
Zest of half an orange, peeled in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
4 ripe but still firm bananas
4 small slices of fruitcake (optional)
4 scoops chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream
Toasted sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
Combine the sugar, rum, beer, and zests in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until a thick syrup forms, about 15 minutes.
Remove the zests and add the peeled bananas. Cook, spooning the sauce over the bananas often and shaking pan to gently the roll bananas for a few minutes, until they are well glazed.
Carefully remove the bananas from the skillet and arrange on four plates. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Briefly dip both sides of the cake slices in the syrup so it soaks up a little bit. Place the cake onthe plates with the bananas. Drizzle the remaining syrup on top.
Serve with a scoop of chocolate ice cream (or vanilla ice cream) and sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds, if using. This dessert can be served hot or cold.
Note:State regulations for beer commerce vary, so monasteries rely on a network of local beer distributors. Visit www.merchantduvin.com to find a distributor near you.