Too good to be true? Here's the answer:
Banana tree in my backyard in Singapore- talk about local and organic
I was watching an episode of Saturday's Kitchen with James Martin, and he shared his "instant" banana ice cream recipe. The man's brilliant. I doubt he's the first one to come up with this; I've seen this quite a few times online. To make banana ice-cream, all you really need is bananas. My initial version of banana ice cream was basically just poking a chopstick into a peeled banana, coating with melted chocolate/nut butter/nuts (optional), sticking it into the freezer, and hurray desert! The creamy starchy bananas makes for instant ice cream once frozen.
But to pimp it up a bit, you can add a bit of vanilla, or a bit of rum, or nut butter, or a bit of buttermilk (James Martin), or natural yogurt for a bit of tang and then blend it for a scoop-style ice cream.The recipe below is just to serve as inspiration- make it as vegan, nutty, or booze-y as you like.
Instant Homemade Banana Ice Cream
2 large bananas (I used over-ripe ones- no waste, plus no need for extra sweetening)
couple of drops of vanilla essence
2-3 tbsp whole (i.e. full-fat please!) organic yogurt
1. Peel and cut up bananas. Spread out on a tray/parchment paper. Place in freezer for 2 hours.
2. Blend the frozen banana chunks, and then add in the vanilla and yogurt.
3. Once it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency, you can serve it as it is for a soft gelato-texture ice cream, or freeze for a further few hours for a firmer ice cream.
But of course you want to pimp it up more.
So while the bananas are freezing, caramelise some bananas and walnuts. To go with the tropical banana flavours, I used gula melaka (an unrefined palm/coconut sugar that comes in solid cylinders, it's a favourite sweetener here in Singapore, because of its beautiful dark golden colour and distinct toffee-ish sweetness), but you can use cane sugar too, like the previous ginger caramelised peaches.
Caramelised Bananas and Walnuts
2 bananas, halved lengthwise and chopped
handful of walnuts, soaked and toasted
half a round (2 tbsp?) of gula melaka, chopped up (it comes in solid cylinders)
knob of salted butter
2 tsp water
1. Heat the sugar with the water over a medium-low heat, till melted, then stir in the butter.
2. Increase to a medium heat, add the bananas, cut side down, and cook for 1 min, before flipping over for another 30s. You will see the difference in colour (look at photo above), as the bananas take on the toffee hue and flavour of the syrup.
3. Add walnuts and toss to make sure bananas and walnuts are all coated with the syrup.
4. Remove from heat and let the hot mixture cool a little before spooning over ice cream. (I was a bit impatient as you can see..)
The ice cream started to melt shortly after I drizzled the very warm caramel juices over, so it looks like a mess, or like a very hot day (which it was). I don't know how those food photographers do it. I tried my best, then gave up after a few quick clicks, mainly because I wanted to eat it before it turned into a pool.
Looks aside, there's nothing better than an ice cream melting slowly into a warm sauce, that sweet, slightly tangy, banana-flavoured creaminess seeping into and mingling with the nutty caramel, especially against the sticky sweet bananas and crunchy walnuts. And better yet, the knowledge that it's not bad for you. Two perfect excuses to devour it fast.