Recipe: Easy Banana Mousse with Chocolate Curls

When I first read that bananas are popular in West Africa’s island country São Tomé and Príncipe, I envisioned them eaten raw on the surf-swept beaches… or perhaps sold battered and fried with a cloud of powdered sugar. While all this certainly does happen, I never imagined I’d see them folded inside of a fluffy mousse, decked out with indulgent curls of dark chocolate.

But I’m sure glad I did.

Fishing boats in Sao Tome & Principe. Photo by Bdickerson.

Fishing boats in Sao Tome & Principe. Photo by Bdickerson.

In my reading I learned that this mousse could be made any number of ways – with or without eggs (I even read one account of some part of a leaf being used to thicken the cream, perhaps they meant agar agar?) – but however you make this, the simpler the better.

The method I chose is a ready-in-15-minutes kind of mousse and there are so few ingredients it’s silly.

The key to the mousse are 1. really, really ripe bananas and 2. really, really ripe bananas. In fact, they are perfect when they fall into a smooth puree with the slightest of pressure from the back of a spoon.

From there, the rest is glory for you and yours. Just be sure to send a smile of thanks to São Tomé and Príncipe.

Recipe inspired by Chef Will, who had a similar dessert while visiting São Tomé and Príncipe. I added chocolate shavings in a nod to São Tomé and Príncipe’s amazing cocoa production. You could even fold more chocolate inside the dessert.

Makes 6 large portions or 10 small portions


2 cups heavy cream, plus extra for whipped cream garnish
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (depends on the ripeness of your bananas)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract

hunk of milk chocolate or dark chocolate for curls (milk chocolate is easier to curl) – a couple of ounces should do.


I secretly love that this simple, elegant mousse starts with a humble, spotty banana. What we have right here is the original Cinderella story.

Give the bananas a smooth mash with the back of the spoon. If chunks remain, it wasn’t ripe enough and you may need a food processor to smooth things out. No biggie.

Stir together with the vanilla extract. Dab a little on vanilla your wrists as you go.

Whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Add about 1/3 of the whipped cream to the banana mixture, stirring well to combine. Fold the banana mixture into the rest of the whipped cream and whip it a few times to help incorporate, if necessary.

Refrigerate in little glasses about 30 minutes, or until needed. Before serving, use a vegetable peeler to slowly shave chocolate curls on top of the mousse. The key is to go slowly. Also, milk chocolate is easier to curl than the more brittle dark chocolate.

Om nom nom. 

Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy with a view and a happy heart, wherever you may be…

São Tomé. Photo by jmaximo.

São Tomé. Photo by jmaximo.

… P.S. What’s the weather where you are?



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  1. I think I have everything for this in my kitchen right now! I love easy and yummy desserts.

  2. Back on the East Coast for the holidays and it is colder and wetter than the Tulsa. Did you change the
    table around permanently? Remember, we are doing SL together no matter what ;).
    Hope the gingerbread competition went well-saw some of them-missed doing it this yr, made a Christmas tree one with Jassy ysdy here.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year-see you in T-town next year.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Hi Ruby, Temperatures here finally dropped, too. The table was just a temporary fix to fit everyone and have enough seating. The gingerbread is going well! The judges are reviewing them now :) Sri Lanka will be fun. Have an awesome holiday and see you in 2012!

  3. It’s a banana fool! I’ve never thought to make one with bananas; I’ve only made it with raspberry or blackberry for a summer dessert. Will definitely have to remember bananas next time I’m in the mood for a fool =)

  4. Yumm! we use almost the same exact recipe to make banana ice cream in the summer – just stick it in the freezer… I usually add about a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, just to keep the banana from browning… :)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Yummy! In this case, the vanilla extract kept it nice and bright white. In fact, I had some leftovers that, 2 days later, still looked as good as new :)

  5. Ruby Libertus says:

    I know you probably don’t watch Miss Universe (esp since you don’t have a TV) but I love watching it-
    coz it is international and then you get to hear the contestants say the name of countries they are
    from that you hardly hear said usually like this country or Curacao.

  6. Christine Yvonne Groce says:

    This is my 1st time on this site and it looks amazing. I have 3 grown daughters and will tell them all about it. I think this will inspire me to cook more.

  7. Sasha,I love how simple it is.For quick fix,i simply folded the mashed banana,vanilla,sugar mix in whipped cream.It was great .

  8. Estelle says:

    Hi Sasha,

    I tried this yesterday for our guests…I really liked how easy it is to make and yet so tasty. Also my husband made it again today to bring to the Globe international student cafe’s “desserts from around the world” night :-)

  9. Hey Sasha,

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m making it for a class project on African Countries (Mine is Sao Tome and Principe, so this is perfect!) Thanks again!

  10. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and
    found that it’s truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.

    I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

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