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Banana Split Brownies

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Yields 16 brownies

  • by Nicole Rees from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

With a topping of marshmallows, crunchy almonds, and banana-infused ganache, these brownies are like a classic banana split, minus the ice cream. Adding an overripe banana to the batter keeps the brownies moist for up to 5 days.

For the brownies
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pan
  • 3 oz. (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coarsely mashed overripe banana (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
For the topping
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped ripe banana (about 1 medium)
  • 7 oz. semisweet or mildly bittersweet chocolate (55% to 62% cacao), finely chopped
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Make the brownies

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch-square metal baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal of the brownies. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of the foil, tapping out the excess flour.

Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until it smells nutty and turns golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and salt, followed by the eggs, banana, and vanilla. Whisk in the cocoa powder and flour, mixing slowly at first and then more vigorously until the batter is combined.

Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan, smoothing it so it fills the pan evenly. Bake until a toothpick or a skewer inserted in the center of the pan comes out with just a few moist clumps clinging to it, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the brownies cool in the pan before topping.

Make the topping

While the brownies cool, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat. Stir the chopped banana into the cream; let the mixture steep for 1 hour.

Put the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Pour the cream mixture through a strainer held directly over the bowl of chopped chocolate. Discard the banana. Let the chocolate mixture stand for 1 minute; then stir until smooth. Pour the ganache evenly over the cooled brownies.

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Cover the ganache with the marshmallows and almonds. Broil, rotating the pan every 20 seconds or so to keep the marshmallows from burning, until browned. Using a knife, free the marshmallow topping from the sides of the pan. Let the brownies cool in the pan until the ganache is set, at least 1-1/2 hours. Using the foil overhang, remove the brownies from the pan and cut into 16 squares (use a wet knife to keep the marshmallows from sticking).

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 370; Fat (g): 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 200; Saturated Fat (g): 14; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 44; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 100; Cholesterol (mg): 90; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

For a brownie in a 9 inch pan, the sugar was a lot so I cut it to 1 1/4 cup plus 1tbs and it came out fine, not too sweet. While it was moist it wasn't fudgy, more of like a dense moist cake. This uses 3 eggs and 1 cup of butter. I think I'll stick to my old recipe which uses a lot less but still comes out great.

I couldn't attest to the moistness of these brownies after a few days because they were gone in less than 6 hours (I have a big family), but they were pretty moist fresh. They really don't have a strong banana flavor like I imagined, more of like a fruity depth to the chocolate. I bought semi-sweet chocolate chips and saved myself the trouble of chopping squares. Anyway, they were pretty freakin good. My daughter got tears in her eyes as I cut out half the pan to take to her school bake sale. Just watch them at the end constantly because the marshmallows puff up and brown in no time and you don't want them to burn and ruin all your work.

super moist, banana taste is subtle, perfect in brownie and ganache; I needed a quick dessert and used Duncan hines brownie mix in a box plus using milk to replace water plus 1 tsp of vanilla. I also added 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries in the mix. added banana per recipe and then followed remainder of recipe. So good, the crunchy almonds and browned marshmellow makes it a winner

Absolutely the best brownies ever. Do NOT make if you are on a diet because you will eat all of them. The banana makes it moist. The gananche is superb. The marshmallow topping is the final grand gesture of flavor, along with the almonds (which I toasted before I used them)These are really special brownies. Make.Eat.

This is very sweet and rich - the banana flavor is subtle and very good. Recommend cutting in small pieces!

After my second Nicole Rees recipe, I am hooked on this gal, and "Baking Unplugged" is on it's way to our home! First her Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, and now these brownies. They were stunning. I had a huge day of cooking yesterday, and when it was time to serve these brownies, I realized I'd forgotten to do the Marshmallow and Almond topping. It mattered not, and as it turns out, this is how I will prepare them from here on in. We got the banana lilt in the brownie, and believe it or not, even in the ganache topping! Moist, fudgy, and simply ummmazing. Thank you Fine Cooking for introducing us to Nicole. P.S. My only tweak from the recipe as written had to do with the banana itself. A banana bread recipe that I make has you take 5 bananas and microwave to a point where clear liquid separates from the bananas. Then you reduce the separated liquid for upping the banana flavor. Well, I tried doing this with a single banana. Not much liquid formed, so I just mashed it all together. My long winded point is that I cooked the banana first before mashing. Obviously this did not hurt the recipe whatsoever, and I'll probably do this every time. Cheers, Jeff

When it comes to brownies, I could take them or leave them. Not so with these...they are amazing! The blend of browned butter, mild banana flavor, and cocoa in the brownie part really blends well. The chocolate ganache with a mild banana flavor is perfect with the marshmallow and almond topping...it totally complements the brownie. Whoever came up with this recipe is a genius.

OH MY GOOD GRAVY!!!!!!!!! These were AWESOME!!!!! I just finished eating a square of these and they were as light as air - no heavy banana hit, just subtle - I didn't even brown the butter, i just melted it in the microwave - I didn't do the topping, either. Just one taste of the brownie on its own and I didn't think it needed any gilding for me - but I'm sure the topping is crazy awesome, too. Next time!! DEFINITELY A KEEPER!!! Thanks, Fine Cooking!

This was really easy and fun to make. The brownies tasted great! I was worried the bananas might be overpowering but they are definitely not. The ganache on top was a nice touch.

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