Thursday, May 15, 2014

Banana-walnut ice cream

It's been wicked hot in the bay area, so I made midweek ice cream—not my usual routine.

Today's recipe is roasted banana ice cream, with walnuts added. I'd made a vegan version of the roasted banana recipe earlier, but I didn't like it and wanted to try the original recipe someday. Someday became now when my son specifically asked me to make banana ice cream next. He wanted walnuts, like in Chunky Monkey, so I mixed those in. Good idea.

Toasted walnuts cooling

To start off, despite the heat I roasted some bananas with butter and brown sugar. They smelled nice but didn't fill up the house with a big, delicious fragrance like the vegan version did. I thought of a few possible reasons for the roasting vegan bananas' stronger smell:
  1. The vegan roasting mix used vanilla (and lots of it—a tablespoon, to be precise).
  2. The vegan mix was more exposed, since it was in a flat pan, rather than a baking dish.
  3. The vegan recipe used more bananas.
#1 is probably the biggest reason. A web search for [heating vanilla] turned up loads of pages about using vanilla to get rid of household odors. (Don't bother searching for vanilla heat; it gives results for a coffee creamer that tastes like Red Hots. Ew.) However, the vanilla probably was mostly wasted in the ice cream—usually you avoid heating vanilla too much, since it tends to break down. 

Back to bananas: After roasting for 40 minutes, the banana mixture looked and smelled delicious—golden and bubbly. I blended it with the remaining ingredients until they were smooth, and put everything in the fridge for churning the next day. Interestingly, this recipe calls for milk and a little butter, but no eggs, half and half, or cream. I guess the bananas provide plenty of body.

I churned for an average amount of time, adding walnuts for the last few minutes, and the ice cream set up nicely.

Good consistency, right out of the churner

The taste was nice and banana-y, but a little one-note if you didn't eat it with the walnuts. Still, Nate & I managed to thoroughly clean off the stuff that clung to the side and bottom of the churner. We tried the ice cream with marshmallow sauce (meh) and with chocolate sauce (yum!).

Great with lean chocolate sauce

Banana isn't my favorite ice cream flavor, but I'd certainly make it again if someone asked me to. David Lebovitz has another recipe that I might try next time. Besides bananas, it uses coconut milk and an exotic sugar called jaggery. (Anyone know a good source for jaggery?)

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