Historically, I've not been one to seek out dessert. Sure, if offered, I'll gladly accept your slice of cake or pie, your scoop of ice cream or gelato, your pots de creme, or perhaps your trifle...but I'm not one to purposely "leave room" for dessert. Perhaps it's because we didn't have dessert most nights when I was growing up, and we certainly didn't make it a practice of ordering it on those rare occasions when we went someplace nice. I very much was, and still am, a member of the "clean plate club," and depending on the main course, I'm not likely to have the stomach space for something sweet at the end of the meal (NOTE: I'm still testing the hypothesis that ice cream melts and fills in all the empty space down there). Nevertheless, I've slowly shifted toward the realm of the after-dinner sweet treat, mostly due to my foodie friends, pastry chef Aaron in particular.
That said, there is one dessert that I have been dreaming about for over a year. Twelve months, 27 days, and two hours, to be exact. It's the Bananas Macadamia from Castaway's Restaurant & Tiki Bar in Cannon Beach, Oregon, and it's...intoxicating. Ripe bananas flambéed with sweet cream butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg, deglazed with island rum and served with coconut ice cream and toasted macadamia nuts. I ain't never been to Hawaii, but my mouth sure has.
I tried the Bananas Macadamia from Castaway's last year with some friends and, to be polite, didn't grab it from the table after my first bite, threatening to stab anyone who came near it with my fork as I greedily slurped up its contents. Later that evening, I lamented my penchant for social graces and made a pact with myself to get (and not share) my own bowl of this simple, yet delightful dessert. Last weekend, I did just that, which turned out to be a somewhat poor idea given how rich and instantly satisfying a few spoonfuls can be...which just goes to show that dessert really is better when you have someone to share it with.
P.S. The photo below completely undersells this thing. Given that I was working with a hot, sticky concoction of bananas, sugar, and rum plus quickly-melting coconut ice cream, there was little time for staging. Now go get a spoon!