These caramelized sweet ripe plantains are cooked in a syrup of panela or piloncillo brown sugar, sweet wine, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and Tabasco Chipotle sauce. Caramelized plantains are a popular dish throughout Latin America. There are many different variations including platanos al caldero, platanos calados, platanos en tentacion, and dulce de platanos; but the main idea is the same: delicious ripe plantains cooked with sugar and spices.
My recipe for caramelized plantains is inspired by this idea, with the small twist of adding some spicy Tabasco Chipotle sauce. It’s no secret that I love spicy hot sauce, and I have to say that Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce is one of my absolute favorites. My kids also love it and we can easily finish a whole (5 oz) bottle per week in our house. I’ve always loved the flavor combination of sweet ripe plantains with hot sauce, so the idea to incorporate the Chipotle sauce into the syrup for the caramelized plantains was a no-brainer.
The plantains should be very ripe for this recipe, with the skin completely or almost completely black. You can either cut the plantains in halves or in thick slices. I also added sweet wine, either Moscato wine or a Riesling work great, instead of the usual water, to the preparation for the caramelized ripe plantains. If you don’t want to use sweet wine you can replace it with sparkling grape juice or go back to basics and use water.
I recommend using panela, also known as piloncillo, which is hard brown sugar cane. You can usually find it in most Latin grocery stores and it comes in blocks or cones. You can use regular brown sugar in case you can’t find it. I prepared the syrup separate, then browned the plantains in butter, added the spiced syrup, and let the ripe plantains finish cooking and caramelizing in the syrup.
You can also prepare this recipe using bananas, but reduce the cooking time of the bananas in the syrup by half. I served the caramelized plantains as a dessert, with homemade coconut rum ice cream, you can also serve them drizzled with some fresh cream. In Latin America, caramelized sweet plantains are also sometimes served as a snack, an appetizer, or a side dish.
Step by step preparation photos for caramelized sweet plantains
*Disclosure: Thanks to Tabasco for sponsoring this post. All photos, recipes, opinions, and ideas are 100% my own.