Blueberries, raspberries and all manner of stone fruits hog all the glory this time of year.
Who can resist?
But don’t forget our friend, the banana.
Who’s there for you in the dead of winter, when berries are pale and overpriced?
And whose sunny yellow color cheers up a dark kitchen any time of year?
The banana! That’s who!
So even though those other fruits are dazzling and flirty, I used bananas to make something truly awesome yesterday. Let’s call it Funky Monkey, just for fun.
But what it really is –
Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate and Salted Pecans.
Yes, it’s as delightful as it sounds.
Roasting the bananas with brown sugar brings out a depth of flavor you never knew existed. Add a streak of dark chocolate just as the ice cream finishes churning. Then stir in some salted pecans. You’ll get that irresistible sweet/salty/savory thing going.
The base of this recipe is from David Lebovitz‘s The Perfect Scoop, which as I have mentioned before, is the best ice cream making guide ever. I used his straciatella method for adding the chocolate, which goes like this:
Melt 5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, either in a saucepan set over a bowl of simmering water or carefully, in short intervals in a microwave. Drizzle a very thin stream of the warm chocolate into 1 quart of ice cream during the last possible moment of churning. If the chocolate clings too much to the dasher,
remove the ice cream from the machine and drizzle the chocolate in by hand, while you layer it in a storage container, breaking up any chunks while you stir.
This method results in streaks of chocolate, rather than chunks, making it a bit more elegant.
Plus it’s really cool.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker yet, what are you waiting for?
Funky Monkey Ice Cream, adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, salted or unsalted
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsps. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsps. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup salted pecans (I used some from Trader Joe’s)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the bananas into 1/2″ pieces, toss them with the brown sugar and butter and place them in a baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring once, until the bananas are browned and soft.
Scrape the bananas and any syrup from the baking dish into a food processor or blender. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Process until smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
At the end of the churning, when ice cream is thick and increased in volume, add the chocolate as described above. Remove ice cream from machine and stir in pecans.
It’ll be delicious right away, but if you want to store it in the freezer, be aware that it might be harder to scoop the next day. David offers some hints for softening homemade ice cream here.
I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds and that worked for me just fine.
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