Monday, January 24, 2011

Banana ice cream with Dulce de Leche

With a chill wind whipping outside, ice cream may not be at the forefront of your mind currently. It certainly wasn't on my 'must make some soon' list. But last weekend, we had friends to stay and they kindly gave me a wonderful new cookery book dedicated to the art of creating iced desserts. This is surely the Bible of ice cream books.
Ice Creams, Sorbets and Gelati: The Definitive Guide

It seems to me that the authors of this hefty tome, Caroline and Robin Weir, have dedicated their life to ice cream. Not only does the book contain a quite staggering number of enticing recipes (over 400), it also indulges the reader in a history of ice cream and includes sections on equipment, accompaniments and the science behind ices. It is quite fascinating. Who could fail to be tempted by recipes such as 'Terry's Chocolate Orange Ice Cream', 'Grapefruit and Campari Sorbet', 'Pea and Mint Savoury Ice Cream' or 'Prune and Earl Grey Tea Granita'. Beautifully-illustrated not only with stunning ices but also with retro prints and ice cream adverts, this book really is a must for any ice cream lover.

At first I decided I'd pop it in the shelf to delve into at length once the weather started to improve. But then I noticed the browning bananas in the fruit bowl, destined for banana bread or muffins. Instead, I thought I would try a banana ice cream. There were several recipes to choose from, including a very tempting-sounding 'Roasted Banana Gelato' but I decided to start simple with a basic 'uncooked' recipe. This means that the ice cream does not have a custard base; rather, the ingredients are simply whizzed together in a food processor, chilled and then frozen. You don't have to have an ice-cream maker but I'm lucky enough to own one and I have to admit, it does make the process somewhat less labour-intensive.

The trick with this recipe is to be brave with your bananas. Be patient and wait until they are really brown and spotted on the outside. The riper the bananas, the better the flavour of the resulting ice cream! I made a couple of very minor adjustments to the recipe (due to the ingredients I happened to have to hand) and my version is below. The ice cream is a total triumph - so delicious. To make it a little more suitable for the chilly weather, I served  it with hot dulce de leche (Argentinian soft toffee made from boiled milk and sugar). I simply spooned a good dollop from a jar, heated it in a saucepan and poured it over the top. Delicious (though possibly  not so good for the January diet!).

Banana Ice Cream with Hot Dulce de Leche
Makes approx 1 litre


4 very ripe bananas
1 tbsp lemon juice
200g golden caster sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
250ml semi-skimmed milk
250ml whipping cream, chilled
A good dollop of dulce de leche per person!

1. Peel the bananas and cut into rough chunks. Put into a food processor or blender and whizz together with the lemon juice, sugar and vanilla. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour in the milk and whizz briefly to combine.

3. Pour the mixture into a large jug or bowl and cover with cling film - place the cling film directly on top of the mixture and up the sides of the jug or bowl to prevent the mixture from browning. Transfer to the fridge and chill for an hour.

4. Once chilled, combine with the chilled cream. If you have an ice-cream maker, transfer to machine and churn according to machine's instructions. If not, transfer mixture to freezerproof container and freeze for 1-1.5 hours. Remove from freezer and beat with electric beater/food processor before returning to freezer for another 1-1.5 hours. Repeat the beating process (this is to minimise ice crystals and make for a smooth ice) and return to freezer again. Repeat at least once more - after the final beating, the ice cream should be returned to the freezer for another hour to become firm enough to serve.

5. Serve with warmed dulce de leche.

Notes: this would also be good with hot bananas roasted with rum and brown sugar!



Peter M said...

Oh Baby...I don't care how cold it is outside, I want ice cream like this!

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...


You have got me with this one, I need to go shopping now and get some dulce de leche!

Lucy said...

Ooh this reminds me of banoffee pie! I am definitely tempted - delicious no matter what the outside temperature :)

lynn said...

Hubba hubba.....looks amazing!!!

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

I love bananas and caramel together. Some vanilla wafers as a garnish would be really good!

curele transmisie said...

For the past week I have been craving for some ice cream, but no flavor appealed to me like this one. Thank you for ending my suffering. I’m going to try this as soon as possible.

That's Ron said...

slurpp! yummy!

dining table said...

This is a really nice flavor for an ice cream! This is so lovely! I like it.