Brandied Banana Ice-Cream Baskets:
For me summer is the time of year when, instead of cooking too much, I concentrate on dishes that are simple, use a very few good ingredients and can be put together in minutes. The last thing I want to do when the sun is shining is to spend time stirring a bubbling cauldron of stew or beating egg-whites into submission. Or even churning ice-cream. So, when I discovered one-ingredient banana ice-cream I was completely intrigued. It is achingly simple – just frozen bananas pulverised and then re-frozen to the perfect texture. Don’t believe me? Here’s the recipe…
- 2 Large Banana Preferably very ripe
- Slice the bananas into 1/4 inch chunks and lay them out on a tray or plate that will fit in your freezer.
- Freeze your banana chunks for a couple of hours until firm.
- Blitz the frozen banana in a blender or liquidiser until you have something the texture of baby food.
- If you like you can swirl through other flavourings at this stage. Some people eat the ice-cream like this but I prefer to put the slushy banana mixture into a tub and re-freeze for at least another hour to get a real 'ice-cream' texture
Now, the end result is really good just as it is. But, once you’ve discovered how to make this ice-cream, you’ll WANT to make more of it. Luckily, the mixture holds up well to additions. Just think of the things you like with bananas…peanut butter (stir through a spoonful of chunky peanut butter), chocolate (add good quality cocoa powder), red fruits (stir in some good jam or jelly – or if you prefer a little fruit compote). Being something of a floozie, my own preference is to x-rate the ice completely by adding in alcohol. Rum works well with bananas and on another occasion I’m thinking of banana ice-cream with rum baked pineapple. But, this time since I had some salted butterscotch sauce left over from making my coffee walnut ice-cream sundae, I added a good slug of cognac to that, stirred some through the ice-cream and then poured yet more over the top. It’s important to use good quality alcohol here, something like courvoisier that you’d be happy to drink, because you are not cooking it at all. Served in a (shhh) shop bought brandy-snap basket, it made an excellent dessert. Adding a little walnut praline (again left-over from sundae making) lifted the dish to dinner party standard. The recipes for butterscotch sauce and praline are both included in the Coffee Walnut Sundae feature. Now, if I was in a really enthusiastic mood I’d have made the brandy snap baskets. But it’s Summer. And you know what, I’d rather be on the roof terrace than in the kitchen. So…