4 firm but ripe bananas, peeled
½ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup desiccated coconut
canola oil for cooking
icing sugar for dusting
ice cream and maple syrup to serve
Heat 2 cm of canola oil in a deep medium-sized saucepan to 180˚C on a sugar thermometer or until a piece of bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 30 seconds.
Put the flour in a shallow dish and whisk the egg and vanilla together in another dish. Put the breadcrumbs and coconut in a third dish and rub between your fingers to combine well.
Cut the bananas into 2-3 shorter lengths. Coat first in the flour then dip into the egg, letting the excess drip off. Roll in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing it on firmly to adhere.
To cook: Carefully place 3-4 pieces of banana in the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes until golden and crisp, turning once halfway through. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels. Place in a warm oven and repeat with the remaining bananas.
To serve: Place the fritters in bowls and dust with icing sugar. Serve with scoops of ice cream and drizzle with maple syrup.
Pantry note: Panko crumbs are flakey Japanese dried bread crumbs that create a deliciously crunchy crust. Readily available from Asian food stores and some supermarkets.