Fried Banana Split
For the chocolate sauce: Combine the chocolate and 1/4 cup water in a heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the sauce is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in small pinch cayenne pepper. Set aside.
For the bananas: Place the brown sugar in a pie dish or on a plate. Toss the bananas in the brown sugar until nicely coated. Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter becomes golden brown. Add the bananas to the hot pan cut-side down. Turn the bananas over as soon as they are golden brown and the sugar forms a crunchy coat on the bananas, about 30 seconds per side (do not allow bananas to become soft and mushy). Divide the bananas between 2 shallow bowls or plates. Spoon the chocolate sauce over the bananas. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds, and serve immediately.
Cook's Notes: To toast the almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.
An alternate way to melt the chocolate is to combine the chocolate and water in a small metal bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, and stir the chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from over the water and set aside.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis