16 May 2008

Recipe: Banana - Rum Napoleons

I am a fan of bananas, and this Banana-Rum Napoleon is a recipe to satisfy your dessert cravings, and it is low-fat to boot!

Thanks to ian_ransley for use of his photo.
I love napoleons, they work really well in a restaurant kitchen, because they are relatively easy to assemble, if you prep before hand, and the presentation looks very elegant, and your patrons or guests will think allot of time was spent
creating it.

Sweet Nothings
Low Fat
Low Calorie Desserts
This recipe is adapted from Sweet Nothings by
Jill O'Connor. It makes 10 portions.
If you aren't feeling like bananas - You can
substitute peach, nectarine, or a favorite
berry puree - and flavor
with a liqueur of your choice.
It is better to prep the pastry in
advance(up to 24hrs ahead),
to speed up the production of this dessert.
The cream filling cannot be made more than
2 hrs ahead of time if using the original recipe.
If using real cream, you must make right before serving.

For The Pastry
  • 6 Sheets of phyllo dough (12 x 17 inches), thaw if frozen
  • Butter flavored vegetable cooking spray.
  • 6 TB granulated sugar
Tip: When working with phyllo dough - to thaw, allow the box of phyllo dough to rest out on a counter if the inside temp is relatively low, it will take 3-5 hrs for proper thaw. Otherwise put in the fridge 2-3 days ahead of time. Take out as many sheets as needed, then wrap the remaining in plastic wrap , tightly and use within 5 days. When you are working with phyllo dough it is best to have a tray to lay out the sheets, then keep totally covered, under a damp kitchen towel. If exposed to air, the moisture from the phyllo dough will be wicked out and it will become dry and brittle - which means non workable for you. So work quickly.


  1. Preheat Oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet w/ parchment paper.
  2. Place the first phyllo sheet on a clean flat work surface. Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 tsp of the sugar. Add a new sheet onto the previous prepared layer. Repeat as instructed above, using 3 of the 6 phyllo sheets only.
  3. Cut the layered phyllo into ten 6 x 3 inch rectangles. Place rectangles on prepped baking sheet. Bake in oven until crisp and golden - 3-5 minutes. WATCH THE BAKEOFF - thin phyllo burns very quickly, so don't get distracted while waiting for them to brown.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer phyllo triangles to a rack to completely cool.
  5. Repeat the above 4 steps again with the remaining 3 phyllo sheets.
{There will be scraps - the books says to discard, but as anyone in the culinary trade knows - use everything you can, so save the scraps and bake last, use as garnish for another dessert, or a smoothy etc.}

For The Cream Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups pureed banana (1 1/2 - 2 large bananas) OR Measure out your favorite substituted puree - peach, nectarine, or a favorite berry puree.
  • 1 to 2 TB freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 1/2 TB Dark Jamaican Rum OR If using other fruit, the use the liqueur of your choice.
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat non-dairy topping
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced on the diagonal, 1/4 inch thick
  • confectioners sugar for top of finished pastry

  1. Place pureed fruit, lime juice, Rum or liqueur, vanilla and nondairy topping in a bowl. Fold together ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Dessert Assembly:

  1. Just before serving place a phyllo rectangle onto a plate. Spoon 1/4 cup of the banana cream onto the pastry.
  2. Top the cream with 8-10 banana sliced OR your substitute fruit pieces other berries.
  3. Top the filling with a 2nd phyllo rectangle, sieve confectioners sugar over the top.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have created 10 napoleons.

To create a decorative pattern - such as a herringbone or cross hatch : heat a metal skewer over a gas flame or use a mini blow torch, until very hot. Quickly lay the hot metal skewer on the top of your napoleon for the desired marking, repeat until you have the desired effect.

For an nice presentation - garnish plate with drizzles of fruit puree; add a bit of mint, or some citrus zest curls.

105 calories per serving; 1.5 grams of fat - 13% calories from fat.

This dessert can easily be converted into a Vegan dessert: Use melted Earth's Balance in place of the cooking spray - or use soy milk to brush over the layers of phyllo (you might need to adjust baking times, so watch the pastry closely). Replace the "non-dairy topping" with silken tofu. Yum!

Full FAT:
And for those of you who cannot stand fake cream - go ahead and use the real deal, just use heavy cream in place of "nondairy topping", as heavy cream has a higher fat content which will help stabilize it a bit better than traditional whipping cream. Whip this up right before serving, as real WC will separate quickly. You may need to adjust the amount of puree also - try a little at a time.

Original recipe© Jill O'Connor.



8:05 AM, May 17, 2008 Reply  

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5:17 AM, August 25, 2008 Reply  

Banana napoleons have always been my and my husband's most favorite as far as the sweet side dishes are concerned. (Yes, we eat them mostly as a side dish.) Apart from your recipe, I always add small pieces of chocolate to the dough and although it takes great skill to turn off the oven just before the chocolate starts melting, it's worth that many tries. :)

12:01 PM, September 03, 2008 Reply  

I posted another comment for you and I just found this recipe too, you're amazing! I can't wait to try this too.

6:04 AM, March 30, 2009 Reply  

I visited your blog a few days ago, and found this recipe. I am too a fan of bananas, but try to stay away from them because of their high glycemic index, but could not resist the temptation to this one. Great recipe, and great taste. Love the fact that it's low fat.


8:56 AM, May 29, 2009 Reply  

Aren't there photos from this banana dessert?

1:20 PM, June 26, 2009 Reply  

looks delicious,
I like banana too,
especially small banana, it's half long the normal banana

9:32 AM, October 08, 2009 Reply  

I always add small pieces of chocolate to the dough and although it takes great skill to turn off the oven just before the chocolate starts melting, it's worth that many tries

8:18 AM, November 02, 2009 Reply  

yum! bananas are great and cream is even better. have you ever tried the british dish banoffee pie?! i bet you'd love it, it mixes bananas and toffee.


12:59 PM, December 18, 2009 Reply  

Thank you so much for this. Banana is just the best thing ever. I am going to try this. Good things its not that hard to make. Thanks.

2:08 PM, March 13, 2010 Reply  

I simply love to eat bananas, and I must admit Banana Rum Napoleons is my weakness. I really enjoy eating it with my family and sharing a good time with my loved ones.

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