The banana split represents sweet excess at its best. The two sauces can be made ahead. The fudge sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week and gently reheated before use. On the other hand, the caramel sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
For Fudge Sauce :
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
For Caramel Sauce :
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 ripe bananas
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 4 scoops chocolate ice cream
- 4 scoops strawberry ice cream
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks and chilled
- 4 maraschino cherries, drained
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- For Fudge Sauce: In the top pan of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over (not touching) simmering water in a pan, combine the chocolate and butter and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the cream just until incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat, cover to keep warm and set aside.
- For Caramel Sauce: In a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the heavy cream and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the butter, reduce the heat to low and simmer until thick and caramellike, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover to keep warm and set aside.
- Peel the bananas and cut in half lengthwise. Lay each banana in an individual oval dish, cut side up. Arrange 1 scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream on each banana. Drizzle a little warm fudge sauce over the chocolate and strawberry ice cream and a little warm caramel sauce over the top of the vanilla ice cream. Top with a mound of the whipped cream, and then sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Finally, crown with a maraschino cherry and serve immediately. Serve the remaining fudge and caramel sauces on the side.