So after the incredibly ambitious and decadently delicious Mint Julep ice cream, I attempted Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream. Unfortunately, it was pretty much a failure. I burned the caramel, which made it difficult to coat the hazelnuts properly. But the big mistake was in the custard. The final product ended up with weird lumps in it. The taste was phenomenal - very, very rich. Also, the discarded hazelnut pieces made a kind of amazing dessert caviar that we just ate on its own. You could hardly call the experience a loss. But as ice cream, it was not good.
But that's okay! Because I can try to make it again, or I can try something else. I don't know if any of you guys care at all about the world of homemade ice cream, but the more I see of it, the more I am amazed. The possibilities of ice cream seem limitless to me. We have all been wasting so much time eating stuff from the store. Thirty-one flavors is just not enough. I want more options, and I shall have them in my own home. The only trouble is, I never want to make any one flavor again. No matter how amazing it was, the potential of all the other flavors in the wide world of food overcomes me.
While Josh was not that excited about the ice cream machine when I bought it, he is starting to catch my enthusiasm. A couple of weeks ago, he got a craving for ice cream. I tried to feel him out to figure out what he wanted, but he was sort of all over the place, as if he didn't even know. Finally, I realized that what he wanted was The Bunny.
That didn't make any sense to you, so I'll explain it. Hold on to your seats, we're about to veer wildly off-topic. There is a Veggietales retelling of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego about a candy factory where they make chocolate bunnies (it makes sense in the video, I promise). The evil boss of the chocolate factory wants to force the good, overworked employees to eat chocolate bunnies, when we all know they should be eating their vegetables. He sings, as animated pickles are wont to do. The first song is about how he ate the bunny. Then he does a reprise, saying that he ate the bunny, and it was good, but now he has a tummyache. He should have listened to his mama and eaten his vegetables.
I can tell that the above explanation didn't make any dadgum sense, so here is a video. It is of poor quality, but perhaps it will help.
So. At some point in our illustrious history, Josh and I ate banana splits for dinner - neopolitan ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and cherries on top of a banana cut down the length. It was delicious. We got tummyaches. We sang the revised Bunny Song. We did not learn our lesson, because we did it a couple more times, too. This is our decadent, child-free, twenty-something lifestyle. We don't go off to Vegas on a whim, we don't go to cocaine parties, we don't have one-night stands, but we occasionally eat sundaes for supper.
The other night, Josh, still being a decadent and child-free twenty-something, wanted The Bunny. Which is fine, but kind of a tall order for my little Cuisinart ice cream maker. It doesn't do neopolitan. It does strawberry, it does chocolate, it does vanilla, but not all at once. It would take three days to make all that, because you have to freeze the ice cream maker's bowl before you churn. Also, I got the sense that he just wanted to eat junk. He didn't necessarily want The Actual Bunny, but just The Figurative Bunny, which is odd, because The Bunny is pretty darn figurative already.
I suggested a compromise. What if we made Banana Ice Cream? Then he could put the chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and cherries on top of it. He agreed, in a sullen sort of way. He accused me of hijacking his banana split idea and just taking it where I wanted to go. It's a valid complaint. But that did not stop me.
As he was eating the banana ice cream, however, he meekly told me that I had been right after all. The banana ice cream had met his Bunny-wanting and satisfied it. Booyah.
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
Guys, this recipe is way easier than the Mint Julep one. You don't have to use the stove at all. Just the oven and a food processor. You can do that. It's still delicious. The one tricksy part is the caster sugar. Don't buy that stuff, it's just superfine white sugar. You can put regular white sugar in the food processor and give it a whirl for about a minute. Voila - caster sugar.
This ice cream is like bananas melting in your mouth and tripping happily down into your tummy. In my limited experience, homemade ice cream is really about using fresh ingredients. You'll feel like you never knew bananas until that moment.
I am thinking of making some sort of Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake, which sounds like just a bunch of dessert words strung together. But think of it - a Nilla wafer crust, a layer of banana ice cream, a layer of bananas, topped with whipped cream. Why has no one done this yet?