Michael Smith, executive chef at Porthminster Beach Cafe, shares his recipe for caramelised bananas with cinnamon meringue, pistachio ice cream and cinder toffee

Serves 4

You will need

Bananas 2
Caster sugar
to cover

For the meringue:
Egg whites 2 large
Caster sugar
to dust

For the pistachio ice cream:
Milk 250ml
Sugar 120g
Egg yolks
Unsalted pistachios 100g, shelled

For the cinder toffee:
Malt vinegar
2 tsp
Golden syrup
1½ tbsp
Bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp



  1. Peel the bananas and halve lengthways. Place flat-side up in a baking tray and sprinkle over an even layer of sugar. Use a blowtorch to caramelise, alternatively you can place the bananas under a preheated grill.
  2. For the cinnamon meringues: preheat the oven to 140°c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until you have a stiff, glossy mixture. Spoon 8 heaped desert spoons on a baking tray, dust with cinnamon and bake for 30-40 minutes until the meringues are dry. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool and dry for a few hours with the door ajar.
  3. For the pistachio ice cream: lightly colour the pistachios in a dry frying pan over a low to medium heat, taking care not to let them burn. Heat the milk and cream in a pan. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and slowly pour the hot mixture over the yolks and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Blitz the pistachios in a food processor and stir into the mixture. Strain through a fine sieve and cool. Once fully cooled, churn in an ice cream machine until smooth and thick. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze.
  4. For the cinder toffee: grease a large baking tray. In a large pot, heat the butter, water and vinegar until the butter melts. Add the sugar and golden syrup and cook until the mixture reaches 154°c. Remove from heat, add the bicarbonate of soda – it will bubble up quite a lot – and continue to stir until the bubbles settle. Pour into the greased tray and allow to cool before breaking into chunks.