Caramelized Banana Cheesecake with Ganache
Updated: Jan 12
Whether your bunch of bananas isn't at peak ripeness or you'd rather add an extra oomph of flavor to a classic cheesecake, try roasting your bananas with a blanket of dark brown sugar for an added depth of sweet, caramelized indulgence. Adding a quick chocolate ganache layer on top doesn't hurt this dessert's level of addictiveness either and can be a great holiday showstopper among other pies and cakes. Serves 8-10
3 ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for the crust
3 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each), room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
To prepare the bananas, set the oven at 400 degrees. In a small baking dish or sheet pan lined with foil, combine the chopped bananas and dark brown sugar with a fork. Gently mash the mixture, then place in the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
To prepare the crust, line a 9 inch springform pan halfway up the sides with aluminum foil to insulate for a water bath. In a large mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until fully mixed. Transfer mixture to the springform pan, gently pressing crumb mixture into even layer and slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool, and lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
To make the cheesecake batter, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fully smooth and slightly aerated, about 10 minutes.
Add the light brown sugar and granulated sugar to the cream cheese, whipping for additional 4 minutes until fully incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, then the milk, salt, and vanilla extract.
Take the cooled, roasted bananas and mash with a fork until desired consistency, with any large pieces mashed until almost smooth. Transfer to the cream cheese mixture and beat together until fully mixed, scraping down with a spatula as needed.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cooled crust, smoothing the top with a spatula. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, set the cheesecake on the center rack inside the oven, and pour 1 inch of hot water into the baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until center is just set or top is slightly golden in color. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature on a wire rack, then prepare the ganache topping, and refrigerate overnight before serving.
For the ganache, place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, warm the heavy cream over medium-low heat until just before a simmer. Remove from the stove and pour immediately over the chocolate. Cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
Garnish the cheesecake with the chocolate ganache mixture either prior to serving or in advance overnight to set. Remove cheesecake from pan, slice, and serve this delicious dessert!