Banana Chocolate Strudel with Caramelized Pineapple, Glazed Strawberries, Crème Anglaise and Strawberry Sauce

Author: Don Miller

This recipe made me fall in love with cooking and started my pursuit of being a Chef although I did not know it at the time. This was my grandmother’s recipe; she was a cook on an estate in Austria in the early part of the 20th century. In 1933, she came to America with her 3-year-old son and her three brothers. My father grew up, married my mother and I was born a son with four sisters.  On weekends my parents would drop me off at my grandmother’s house.  She had a huge brick home on Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  I naturally gravitated to the largest room in the house, the kitchen, because it was always busy with my grandmother making nut Kuchen, Stollen, all sorts of Austrian specialties, and of course Apple Strudel or a version of this strudel which I somewhat modernized.  The basic skill is still the same and I remember my grandmother saying to me as she held a folded newspaper in her hand and placed it under the stretched strudel dough, “Donnie it will only be good strudel if you can read the paper through the dough."  This left an indelible impression on me to this day. I hope you enjoy!

-Chef Miller

Strudel Dough

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients Instructions
  • 6 2/3 oz. - Bread flour
  • 2 2/3 tsp. - Salad oil
  • 1/2 cup - Water, tepid
  • 1 7/8 tbsp. - Salad oil
  • 3 oz. - Melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup - Graham cracker crumbs
  1. Combine flour, oil, and water in a mixer with a dough hook, mix until dough comes off the sides of the bowl, approx. 5 to 7 min.
  2. Remove dough from bowl and flatten out. Brush both sides with salad oil and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest for one hour.
  3. Reserve melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until stretching the dough.

Walnut-Chocolate Cake Batter

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients Instructions
  • 1 oz. - Butter
  • 1 oz. - Sugar
  • 2 - Egg Yolks
  • 2 oz. Chocolate
  • 1 1/3 tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • 1 oz. - Walnut Pieces
  • 1 slice - White Bread
  • 2 - Egg Whites
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add yolks and blend well.

  2. Combine melted chocolate and cream together to make ganache and add to the butter mixture above.

  3. Turn white bread into breadcrumb, add to above mixture, and add walnuts.

  4. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into above mixture.

Strawberry Sauce

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients Instructions
  • 1 cup - Strawberries

  • 2 oz. - Sugar

  • 1/8 fl. oz. - Lemon Juice

  1. In a small sauce pot, combine berries, sugar, and lemon juice.

  2. Cook until 215 degrees, strain.

Vanilla Custard Sauce (Crème Anglaise)

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients Instructions
  • 8 fl. oz. - Heavy Cream

  • 1 - Vanilla Bean, split

  • 2 ½ - Egg Yolks

  • 2 oz. - Sugar

  1. Using a heavy sauce pan, bring the cream and vanilla bean to a boil.  Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl.

  2. Temper the egg mixture with approximately 1/3 of the hot cream, and then return the entire mixture to the saucepan with the remaining cream.

  3. Cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the sauce to exceed 185 degrees or the mixture will curdle.

  4. As soon as the sauce thickens, remove it from the heat and pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Chill the sauce in an ice bath, then cover and keep refrigerated.

Roasted Pineapple

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients Instructions
  • 8 - Pineapple rings

  • 1 ½ oz. - Butter

  • 1 oz. - Brown Sugar

  • Pinch - Cinnamon

  • 4 oz. - Heavy Cream

  • 1 oz. - Powdered Sugar

  1. Combine brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a pan. Lay rings on top of mixture and bake until bubbly. Serve warm.

  2. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff. Do not over whip.

To Assemble

  1. Unwrap strudel dough on a 3 foot by 2 foot floured board or table.  Flour the top of your hands, gently stretch, and pull the dough over the board with the back of your hands, stretching until the dough covers the board so thin that you can almost see through it.  Splatter evenly some melted butter over it like rain sprinkling lightly.  Cover lightly with 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. With the remaining 1/2 cup cracker crumbs, line heavily down at one end of the stretched dough.  Trim the dough off  that will be hanging over the board or table.
  2. Pipe or spoon the chocolate cake batter over the top of the heavily laid down cracker crumbs from end to end of the dough. Line end to end the banana cut in 1/4 length wise over the cake batter.
  3. Gently roll up the strudel dough and filling and pinch off the ends.  Place on a greased cookie or sheet pan and brush the top and sides lightly with melted butter.  Bake strudel in a 375-degree oven until the dough is brown and the filling inside is baked like a cake.
  4. Cut into four equal portions and serve with pineapple, strawberry and vanilla sauce with whipped cream.