Before I met Keith I didn’t eat much fruit. I was a typical, sugar driven teenager. I’d ask him why he liked having apples so much when there was an unlimited supply of Mars bars in his house. With years my tastes changed and matured, I stopped enjoying eating rolled fondant on its own and I started to appreciate the truer flavour of fruit instead, amongst other things.
These days, for me to enjoy a dessert or a sweet treat, it has to be something else than just sweet. It has to be special. A true piece of pleasure and indulgence rather than just a lump of sugar and fat with chemicals in it that you shovel into your mouth without caring much. I think that’s part of growing up, learning to properly enjoy and really taste what you’re eating.
Going back to the first paragraph, as I started to eat more fruit I often thought about what my favourite fruit was. After several years of pondering on this important question, I realized that it’s hard to decide on a favourite because all types of fruit have their place. However, I ultimately decided that banana is my favourite. Ultimately comforting with it’s mushiness and sweetness, it’s also very versatile.
Growing up doesn’t have to equal being boring or a good bye to your childhood favourite flavours. It simply means that you put those flavour combinations you used to love and those desserts you had when you were small and make them into something better. Banana and chocolate for example, is a very childish combination. It’s sweet, rich and likeable by almost everyone (apart from my sister, she hates bananas). I decided to take those two ingredients and make them into an ice cream together with some salted peanuts for added interest. It is the best ice cream I’ve made so far.
The banana ice cream has a nice, rounded flavour that the semi dark chocolate complements well with it’s stronger and richer flavours, the salted peanuts are like little savoury chunks that adds an interesting twist and balances the sweetness of it all and the vanilla is always there in the background, lingering.
Banana ice cream with chocolate chunks and peanuts
Two big bananas, mine weighed 200 grammes
50 g whipping cream (or double cream)
50 g milk
250 g whipping cream (or double cream)
250 g milk
40 g glucose syrup or honey
75 g sugar
One fat vanilla pod
3 big egg yolks, mine weighed 46 grammes
To mix in the ice cream later on:
75 g course chopped semi dark chocolate (50-70%)
60 g salted peanuts
Put 250 g each of milk and cream in a saucepan together with the vanilla seeds and the glucose syrup. Bring to the boil and put the saucepan carefully in a basin with cold water and let the mixture cool for about half an hour. Whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar for about two minutes until it’s fluffy and pale in colour. As you whisk, pour the milk and cream mixture carefully into the egg and sugar mixture. Make sure that you pour the milk and the cream mixture into the egg and not the other way around or the egg mixture might curdle. After the two mixtures are combined, pour into the saucepan again and heat on medium heat while whisking until the mixture is 82 degrees C or it’s thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture into a bowl and put it into the water filled basin again to cool down, stirring every now and then to prevent a skin from forming.
Put 50 g each of milk and cream in a jug. Slice the bananas thickly and put the chunks in the jug with the milk and the cream. Use a mixer or a blender and blend until the mixture is free of lumps. Cover carefully with cling film or pour the puree in a tub. It’s important that no air gets to the puree because it oxidizes easily, turning brown. Put the puree in the fridge while you wait for the ice cream custard to cool down.
When both the custard and the puree are cold, mix them together thoroughly with an electric whisk. Cover with clingfilm and let it stand in the fridge over night.
The next day, churn it in your ice cream maker and put in the freezer. Best eaten as a Swedish style banana split; with sliced bananas, crushed meringues, chocolate sauce and whipped cream!