Banana Mousse with Butterscotch


Cookbooks make the best gifts, especially if you love to cook new recipes and learn more about cooking. My daughters have always gifted me cookbooks and they typically know my style and favorite chefs.

They know, for example, that I am enamored with Gordon Ramsay. He’s an expert chef, has had many restaurants, holds many Michelin stars, and he’s hysterically funny to me. And yes, he likes to yell and swear.

One Christmas my daughters gave me Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food. I know I read the book, because I’d never ignore a cookbook, but I haven’t picked it up since. It was published in 2008.

The part that didn’t “thrill” me was the fast food aspect. Why would I need to make fast food?! (Note that this didn’t affect my joy in receiving that cookbook as a gift.)

I know that a lot of busy young parents who care about putting meals on the table require the “quick and easy” style of cooking. But even when I was at my busiest with children and work and life, how fast I could put a meal on the table was not my highest priority. Putting good and nourishing food on the table was.

So, not to sound like I think I’m so cool for having done that. On the contrary, I worked hard! It wasn’t always easy. But every school morning I’d get up extra early and make something like whole-grain pancakes with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. My daughters never purchased lunches at school because I made those fresh every morning. And dinners? Even if I was dodging swim lessons or gymnastics classes, a heathy meal was always served, no matter how long it took to prepare.

So, when I re-read Ramsay’s cookbook, most of the recipes weren’t surprising to those of us who cook a lot. Pastas with olive oil, garlic, and breadcrumbs, or parsley, or tomatoes, or tuna. A lamb chop, a fish filet. Sandwiches. All to be expected in the fast food category.

I do give Chef Ramsay kudos, however, in that he writes, “Don’t skip meals or resort to junk food, however busy you are.” Amen.

So what did I pick to make from this book? A dessert!

Banana Mousse with Butterscotch Ripple
Serves 4

1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups whipping cream, chilled
4 large ripe bananas, chilled in the freezer for 1-2 hours
Squeeze of lemon Juice
Semisweet chocolate, for grating

Put the sugar, butter, and 2/3 cup of the cream in a pan over medium heat and stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the butter melted. Let bubble for a minute or two, stirring frequently, then remove from the heat and let the sauce cool completely.

Pour the remaining cream into a blender. Peel and chop the bananas and add to the blender along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Whiz until smooth, thick, and creamy.

Spoon a little sauce around the sides of four glasses, smudging some of it for an attractive effect. Divide the banana mousse among the glasses and top with more butterscotch.

Use a small teaspoon to ripple the butterscotch through the mousse. I’m not very good at this sort of thing.

Grate over a little semisweet chocolate and chill until ready to serve.

My husband loves bananas and he loved this dessert. Me? Not so much.

As much as I love butterscotch, the banana and butterscotch wasn’t a great pairing to me. I would have preferred a dark chocolate sauce.

But I wouldn’t tell Chef Ramsay that…

52 thoughts on “Banana Mousse with Butterscotch

  1. The smell of butterscotch always filled the air round at my Grans when as kids my brother and I went to visit her in the late 1970’s. This was because she lived next to a sweet factory that made butterscotch sweets! So the smell and taste of butterscotch always bring back wonderful memories of that time. I love this dessert Mimi, thanks for making it from Gordon’s book. It’s on the to-do list!

  2. This looks like it would be a crowd pleaser!
    I learned from my mom and am grateful for it. She worked full time, had a small house crammed with a husband, four kids, and a mother-in-law who didn’t help out at all. She still got a healthy from scratch meal on the table every night for us. She enjoyed the process of feeding us all, and I learned just about everything I know in the kitchen from her, including how to make both easy and complicated meals.
    Many people do not realize that in the time it takes to order and go pick up a take-out meal, they could make something simple at home that is far more nutritious and not full of junk.

    • No it’s not for everyone as as we both know, not necessary. Regarding the dessert – there’s no sweetener in the mousse part, so it really wasn’t sweet. I don’t like sweet myself, and worse than that, cloyingly sweet! But the banana and butterscotch pairing just didn’t work for me that well.

  3. In the small town where I live there used to be a sweet factory and if the wind was coming from the right direction the aromas were divine. I like your Butterscotch dessert but not with the Banana I think. Don’t know which other fruit would work. I like my Bananas just as they are. I’m sure this is perfectly beautiful for everyone else.
    I like to have a few ‘fast food’ recipes that are quick to knock up when I’m busy – not one for ‘takeout’ food – too greasy!!
    Thanks Mimi :))

    • Oh goodness! It would have made me hungry all the time just to have food flavors in the wind! Well, that was my point exactly – the banana and butterscotch pairing were maybe too close in flavors? That’s why I’d prefer a dark chocolate sauce. I was in my 20’s – maybe 24 – when I had McDonald’s for the first time!

  4. I hear ya, Mimi! It’s so easy to resort to take-out or junk food on busy days. But it’s really not that hard to whip up an easy meal! With Robbie in kindergarten now, weeknights can be a bit hectic. We definitely keep a handful of quick recipes up our sleeves! Speaking of recipes, I love the flavors going on here! As Cynthia noted, butterscotch isn’t a flavor we see all that often anymore. I can see how it would pair quite well with banana!

    • It added sweetness to the banana mousse, which wasn’t sweet – just cream and banana. I honestly never knew you could whip the two together in a blender and create a mousse!

  5. I’ve never read one of Gordon Ramsay’s cookbooks, nor watched his TV shows. I’ve seen some of his videos, though, and have read some of his recipes in magazines. He clearly knows his stuff, and I bet I’d like his books. Certainly like this recipe — neat flavors. And I like the purple background in the photos!

    • Thanks, John. He has a show called Masterchef Junior, with little kids cooking! It’s so pleasant and incredible to watch. Such talent. Many have to stand on stepstools to cook! He definitely knows his stuff – I think he has more Michelin stars than anybody else. I’ve been to one of his restaurants and it was perfection – just what he promotes. High quality and consistency.

  6. That looks wonderful! And I agree, preparing healthy and tasty meals is worth the effort. I think so many of our society’s health issues are a result of a poor diet of “quick” meals and fast-food take out.

  7. A healthy and delicious meal is always worth the time (if it exists, of course). ;-) I feel the same as you do about “fast food.” In fact, when time permits, I LOVE a meal that takes all day or even days. In any case, YUM to this mousse. Love how the glass is first “lined” with the butterscotch. Pretty and delicious! ~Valentina

  8. While I don’t have kids I could have written the rest of the post word for word. I probably would have picked the same dessert too. GREG

  9. Without actually realizing it, “Don’t skip meals or resort to junk food, however busy you are.” has actually kind of been my mantra. My mother was like you — healthy nourishing meals at all times, I never even had cereal until college (anf I still don’t like it.) The mousse and butterscotch ripple look lovely — thanks!

    • Cereal? What’s that?! I do remember discovering Cocoa Puffs at a friend’s house, but nope. No cereal of any kind growing up. Nothing canned. Good for our Mom’s.

  10. I definitely agree with you gifting theory, and not just because I’m a cookbook author. ;) It really is the gift that keeps giving, as you can make and enjoy the recipes for many years to come!

  11. We had a different kind of junk food when I was a kid in Germany and I loved every bite of it but most of the time I ate with all the people on our farm. It was all homemade . I love the combination of butterscotch and banal.

  12. even tho my house is overflowing with books of all sorts, i have 2 more cookbooks on the way and i have pre-ordered another two. i am so addicted:) Gordon is such a card isn’t he?

    • I love Gordon. I think when he began showing up on American tv, people here just thought he was a gimmick. They had no idea what he had accomplished. He’s impressive. And I completely understand your cookbook addiction. I will never count my cookbooks. I don’t care what the number is!

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