The kitchen is a place of transformation. We labour to peel, chop, bake, boil, fry and combine ingredients to convert them into new states of delicious being. Often, it can be quite an involved process, taking hours to turn the flesh of an animal into succulent fall-off-the-bone meat or days to preserve the summer harvest for cooler months. Then there is simple transformation, alchemy even. And that’s what this dessert is.
It uses muscovado sugar, an unrefined natural sugar that is rich and chocolatey in colour, and in taste. It’s a sticky substance that is produced by extracting juice from the sugar cane, heating the juice with lime, drying the liquid to a solid and then pounding the sugar to the same consistency as brown sugar. This process keeps the natural molasses of the sugar cane in, rather than refining it out like white sugar. It can be used instead of brown sugar in sweets like brownies or fruit cakes to add another layer of complexity, or sprinkled on top of hot oats for a morning treat or in gingerbread or ice-cream.
Or, it can simply be used to turn a modest bit of fruit and yoghurt into a saucy, decadent dessert – and there’s no cooking involved.
When sprinkled on top of thick greek yoghurt or cream, muscavado sugar dissolves into a thick, molasses-flavoured sauce. It keeps a fine, sugary texture but looks like a rich sauce and tastes like chocolate’s grown-up cousin. The tang of the yoghurt cuts through the sweetness of the sugar and the fruit.
I have always used bananas in this dessert as I love the melding of flavours, but a base of vibrant summer berries would look and taste beautiful also. If you’re using a glass to present this dessert, you can keep the glass free of splashes by using a piping bag (or a plastic bag with a corner snipped off) to squirt the yoghurt over the fruit.
Yoghurt, Banana and Muscovado Sugar Dessert
- 1 banana per person
- A few tablespoons greek yoghurt per glass
- A heaped tablespoon of muscavado sugar*
Chop bananas into rounds and line the bottom of a glass or small bowl with them. Dollop the yoghurt over the banana and sprinkle the top with the sugar. Leave in the fridge for about an hour to let the sugar liquify, turning in to a rich sauce.
*Muscovado sugar is available in good grocery stores or health food stores in Australia. In the U.S you can pick up a bag at Amazon.