Gluten free and vegan Caramelized Plantains, a dessert made with plantain rounds mixed with coconut oil, cinnamon and sugar. Topped with freshly whipped coconut cream for the ultimate post dinner treat.
I am all about plantains nowadays. Love love love them. My first discovery of my love for plantains was when I tried plantain chips for the first time. Sliced into rounds and deep fried – just like potato chips but oh so much better. Salt, crispy, crunchy, something about them, I just could not help myself.
I have literally replaced what used to be a potato chip addiction with a plantain one instead now.
And luckily I have picked the perfect set of countries to travel through because as I have discovered both Nicaragua and Costa Rica embrace the awesome plantain.
In my time here I have seen plantains accompany many rice and protein heavy dishes. It could be in the form of plantain chips, either in super thin super thin slivers or in thick round that have been fried, crushed and re-fried. Yes the double fry. And most recently, upon crossing the border into Costa Rica the plantains seem to accompany the main meal in a sweet stewed way of preparation.
Yep it might seem strange at first, but the sweetness and soft tender plantain ended up perfectly accompanying the rest of the meal.
Oddly enough literally days before D and I set off on this Central American travel adventure I was grocery shopping with my mom and decided completely randomly to pick out two plantains.
They were perfect for creating these caramelized plantains!
The plantains were perfectly ripe – almost blackened in their peel. Slice those into rounds – not too thin and from there you’re going to pan sautee them – preferably in a cast iron pan – that works best.
With a drizzle of sugar, cinnamon powder, and some coconut butter, let those plantains caramelize and turn soft, tender almost mushy sweet.
The perfect way to serve up these caramelized plantains for dessert? With a freshly whipped batch of coconut cream. Yep no heavy cream required here, just a refrigerated can of coconut cream is all you need (and some vanilla extract). Some like to add sugar to their coconut cream, but I think just a drop of vanilla extract is perfect – I prefer mine to be rich and fluffy, but not overly sweet.
Once the can of coconut cream has been refrigerated overnight when you open it up the cream will have separated from the coconut water/milk which will have drifted to the bottom. Carefully skim off the cream and place into a very cold bowl (which also will have chilled in the freezer for a bit). Add the vanilla extract and start whipping into shape, hopefully with a hand or stand mixer.
Within minutes you will see the coconut cream transform itself into a thicker whipped fluffy mixture.
By this point your plantains should be ready. Serve plantains with a hearty dollop of coconut cream and optionally a sprinkle of grated chocolate, cinnamon powder and or spoonful of a nice cognac.
Get ready for these indulgent caramelized plantains to be a gluten-free dessert too. Simply perfect. No baking required and ready within minutes. Make sure to add the coconut cream at the last minute as the warm plantains will quickly force it to melt!
- 2 plantains very ripe, almost black, peeled and cut into rounds
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 can coconut cream refrigerated overnight
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oil over medium heat in a cast iron pan. In a bowls toss plantains with sugar and cinnamon. Add to pan. Cook in single layer for 10-20 minutes until soft and caramelized.
- Place large bowl in the freezer for a few minutes. Skim coconut cream off the top of the can (making sure not to grab any of the coconut water at the bottom). Add to the chilled bowl.
- Add vanilla extract and whip using a hand mixer, starting on low and working up to high speed, until stiff peaks form.
- Top plantains with whipped coconut cream. Optional: sprinkle with grated chocolate, cinnamon powder and teaspoon of Cognac.
- **Top with whipped coconut cream just before serving as the heat of the plantains will melt the coconut cream