Bananas Foster Pralines
Originally published Oct 30, 2009. Updated on 8/18/2021
I’d never even heard of it before a 2005 trip to New Orleans - It’s not really something you see on a lot of Canadian restaurant menus, even now - but I quickly fell in love.
Bananas, butter, brown sugar, creme de banane, rum, and cinnamon - what’s not to love?
The flavors of Bananas Foster, in the form of a praline!
Tips for Making Pralines
Pralines are easy to make, but also easy to screw up - IF you don’t follow a few best practices.
Here are some tips to ensure your success!
Have everything you need close at hand, measured out, and ready to go.
This means measuring out the ingredients that come later, having your spoon or spatula in reach, AND having a pan already lined with parchment paper.
You have to move FAST when it comes to temperature, so don’t waste any time on things that can be done beforehand!
Watch the Sticking!
Working with stickiness is an important consideration.
For the pan, you want to either grease it or line it with parchment. Personally, I like to spray it with pan spray AND line it - the spray holds the parchment in place.
Do NOT use wax paper! It may look like parchment paper, but it will not hold up to the heat, and you’ll have a mess.
Also, when spooning the pralines out, consider spraying your spoons with pan spray. It makes it go quicker AND cleaner.
... and I usually forget until the very second after I spoon my first one!
So, do as I say, not as I do!
Use a Candy Thermometer
Pretty straightforward - using a candy thermometer is a great way to ensure success when making candy.
Just be sure to watch it, and actually take the candy off when it’s the right temperature.
Too soon, and it won’t set up right. Too late, and it may burn, taste weird, have an off texture, etc.
Stirring the Pralines
Stirring is an important part in the praline making process.
You want to stir / beat them to get the crystallization process going... but if you beat them TOO much, it’ll just set up as a lump in your pot.
I tend to end up over-beating them, which makes the last half of the batch or so... less than pretty. Oh well, they still taste great!
If you beat them JUST until you can hear sugar crystals scraping against the side of the pot, you should be good to go!
Watch the Humidity!
Sugar in general is hydrophilic - it loves water, it attracts it.
When it comes to making pralines, a humid environment can affect the final texture - making it more grainy - or it can even prevent it from setting up at all.
So, try to make them on a less-humid day.
If that’s not an option, and you’re not happy with how the brittle turns out, just repurpose it!
Crumbled pralines are great as an ice cream topping, to sprinkle on pancakes with syrup, to toss in a batch of cookie dough, etc.
Pralines that didn’t set can be heated up and used as an ice cream topping, or rolled into a truffle-type candy. (Roll them in finely chopped pecans!)
Toast the Pecans
This isn’t a requirement, but it does make for a nicer finished product.
Before getting the brittle started, toast the pecans. Just put them in a dry pan and cook over medium-low heat - stirring frequently - until they’re aromatic.
This gives a more complex, roasty flavour to the finished candy.
How to Make Bananas Foster Pralines
Full recipe follows, but here's a pictorial overview for those who like them!
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar, cream, and butter.
Heat on medium or medium-high until mixture comes to a boil – it will start out VERY thick.
Once the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, or until the mixture stays at a low boil. Affix candy thermometer to pan.
Stir occasionally, scraping down sides of pan. Cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees.
At 240 degrees, remove the pan from heat. Add pecans, banana chips, extracts, and cinnamon.
Stir/beat well with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula – it will become opaque, a thick creamy texture. Stop as soon as you hear sugar crystals scraping against the pan.
Spoon quickly onto parchment paper, allow to cool & harden.
More Candy Making Recipes
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Bananas Foster Pralines
- 1- ½ Cups Granulated Sugar
- ¾ Cup Light Brown Sugar packed
- ⅔ Cup Heavy Cream
- 6 tablespoon Butter
- ¾ Cup Chopped Pecans
- ¾ Cup Dried Banana Chips
- 1 teaspoon Banana Extract
- 2 teaspoon Rum Extract
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar, cream, and butter.
- Heat on medium or medium high until mixture comes to a boil – it will start out VERY thick.
- Once mixture starts to boil, turn heat down to medium low, or until mixture stays at a low boil. Affix candy thermometer to pan. Stir occasionally, scraping down sides of pan. Cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees.
- At 240 degrees, remove pan from heat. Add pecans, banana chips, extracts, and cinnamon. Stir/beat well with a wooden spoon – it will become opaque, a thick creamy texture.
- Spoon quickly onto parchment paper, allow to cool & harden.