For this recipe, you’ll need really ripe bananas (almost brown) for them to have enough flavour to not be overpowered by the coffee. One way to quickly ripen bananas is to pop them in the freezer for a few hours and then defrost them.
One thing that will help is to first add the sugar and instant coffee to the water, mix and then add this to the butter. This should ensure the sugar dissolves and that the mixture doesn't clump together.
Coffee or dessert? This topping has both – evoking the indulgently sweet caramel and banana of a fresh-baked banoffee pie and the smooth kick of a post dinner coffee.
Serves 2-3 people
2 overripe bananas
120g of butter
4 teaspoons of cold water
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
4 tablespoons of sugar
40g of popcorn, popped
When we were first developing this recipe, we started by using fresh-brewed espresso coffee but this made it taste rather bitter. We eventually discovered that this topping is at it’s most delicious when made with a good quality instant coffee instead – while not as extravagant, it gives the flavour that people tend to expect from coffee-flavoured sweets.
Slice the bananas lengthways into 4. Chop these pieces into several small batons.
Pop the banana batons and butter into a pan and gently heat them on a very low temperature until the butter melts.
Heat for half an hour, swirling the pan occasionally to make sure that the butter flows over the banana and becomes infused with the flavour. Avoid stirring as this will make the banana break up.
Sieve the mixture to collect the delicious banana-flavoured butter. We love using the leftover banana as a pancake filling and serving it with a big dollop of chocolate spread.
Dissolve the instant coffee and sugar in the cold water. Make sure as much of the sugar dissolves as possible to avoid clumping when the mixture is added to the butter.
Add the cold coffee and sugar mixture and 6 tablespoons of the flavoured butter to a pan and stir, ensuring that the sugar has completely dissolved.
Heat the mixture on a low to medium temperature until it begins to boil. Once it’s vigorously bubbling, remove it from the heat and quickly pour it over the popcorn, stirring thoroughly to ensure an even coating. Wait a few moments for the topping to cool and set.
We love serving this popcorn after dinner with a big pot of fresh-brewed coffee or with a round of ice-cold espresso martinis.
Ask Dr Rachel
We asked food scientist, Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart to tell us the story behind this decadent take on a childhood favourite:
“Banoffee pie was traditionally made with banana, toffee and coffee-flavoured cream, so combining coffee and banana is not a new combination. Coffee beans contain floral and clove notes which are shared with bananas, resulting in a pleasant flavour. Finally, the bitterness of the coffee is offset by the sickly sweetness from the caramel.”