Banana custard croquettes with dark chocolate sauce

Serves 6

Bananas and custard are a great nursery pudding and when made into croquettes like this it allows the grown-ups to have a taste of their childhood memories.

For the croquettes

One-third of a vanilla pod
400ml single cream
5 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
20g flour
20g cornflour
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
2tbsp plain flour
2 free-range eggs, beaten
20g fresh white breadcrumbs mixed with 20g desiccated coconut
Vegetable or corn oil for frying

For the chocolate sauce

120g good-quality dark chocolate
120ml single cream

Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a point of a knife. Put the cream, vanilla pod and seeds into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and flour together. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and pour the latter on to the egg mixture; mix well with a whisk.

Return to the pan and cook gently over a low heat for 4-5 minutes (a simmer plate is ideal for this), stirring and whisking constantly until the custard thickens, then remove from the heat, and give a final mix with a whisk and transfer to a clean bowl, covering the surface with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming.

Once cool, mix in the bananas, then take six pieces of clingfilm about as square as the width of the roll itself. Spoon a sixth of the mixture into the centre of the clingfilm and gather up the edges and twist to form a ball. Place on a tray and freeze for about an hour or so to firm up.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce by placing the pieces of chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl, place it over a pan of simmering water and stir every so often until the chocolate has melted into the cream and the sauce is hot. Turn the heat off and cover the bowl with clingfilm to stay warm until required.

Have three dishes ready, one with the flour, one with the beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumb mixture. Remove the clingfilm from the croquettes then pass them carefully through the flour, shaking off any excess, then the egg and finally the breadcrumb mixture. Leave them in the fridge for about an hour or until required.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Fry the croquettes for 3-4 minutes, turning them with a slotted spoon until golden, then remove and drain on some kitchen paper. To serve, spoon the chocolate sauce into warmed serving bowls and place the croquettes on top.