fun with fruit: banana edition

Now, I must firstly admit that this post doesn’t really fit into my general theme of posts, but I think it is pretty cool. I must also admit that I spend far too much of my time looking at food on the internet, and while I am by no means one of those self-confessed health food fanatics (far from it!), I did think this was mighty cool!

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I know this looks like your ordinary sorbet-type dessert, I can assure you that it is a lot easier to make than any other ice cream recipe I have ever seen.

For this recipe you will need:
Bananas
and, bananas

Yip, this is a one-ingredient wonder. Nothing but bananas. Just bananas put in a blender and blended up. NO added sugar, milk, cream or anything. While this is incredibly easy, I did encounter a couple of logistical issues so I decided I would create a little bit of a ‘how-to’ guide to go with the recipe; some tips that I wish I had had before I started.

Firstly, take as many bananas as you like and chop them into thin slices, put them in a container or roasting bag and pop them in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. The ripeness of the bananas is completely up to you, I collected mine over a series of weeks so they were added to the freezer at varying degrees of ripeness. I think the riper the better in order to get that real banana-y flavour. TIP ONE: When choosing how many bananas to use, keep in mind the size of your blender or food processor. I didn’t really do this and had a few issues fitting them all in.

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TIP TWO: Take your bananas out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you start blending them. Even though you want them to still be quite frozen and hard when you start blending them, you also want them to be a bit easy to break into reasonably small chunks before putting them in. That’s TIP NUMBER THREE.

Once your bananas are in the blender, turn the blender on. If you have a large amount of bananas like I did, you might want to turn it off and mix them around to get an even blend, it would have been helpful to have someone helping me for this part as the food processor wasn’t the sturdiest of beasts (TIP FOUR).

Next step: Blend, and blend, and blend… and blend.

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The consistency will go from chunky to grainy to runny to creamy.

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Transfer into an ice cream container (that other person will also come in handy here) and put back in the freezer for a few hours; until it is firm like ice cream should be. I also mixed in a bit of my salted caramel sauce, which kinda defeats the whole ‘healthy’ aspect of it, but like I said; I am not health guru.

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Final step: Clean your kitchen. Clean the bench, clean the blender, clean the floor, and probably even clean the roof. Because I promise you, if you are anything like me, it will be in dire need of a big dose of spring cleaning!

sweet or salty?

Salted caramel is a pretty recent blip on my trend radar. I know that it is now a trend that everyone everywhere is embracing wholeheartedly- and rightly so because it is delicious! – but when I first arrived in Europe I had never tried it before and the idea of it really threw me. I quickly got used to it as it is everywhere, and very quickly it became one of my favourite flavours and one of the first things I think of when I think of French desserts.

For some strange and unexplainable reason, I don’t really like normal caramel, but add a pinch of rock salt and I cannot get enough of the sweet and salty combination. So a few weeks ago, during one of my regular domestic moments I thought I would try my hand at making my own. It is such a quick and easy thing to whip up and I definitely recommend it because it means that there aren’t all of those added preservatives and ingredients whose names look more like math equations than actual ingredients. However, this in no way means that this is a healthy recipe!

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To make a cup of sauce you will need:
1 cup/200grams of white sugar
6 tablespoons/90grams of butter
½ cup/120mls of full-fat double cream
2 heaped teaspoons of rock salt

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Place the sugar in a saucepan, heat and stir. As the sugar heats it will begin to stick together and form a consistency similar to crumble topping before completely liquefying. Simmer on a medium heat until it reaches a dark amber colour.

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Slice the butter into cubes and stir into the sugar until it is completely melted. Add the cream and simmer for another minute, stirring the entire time.

Take it off the heat and add the rock salt. A lot of recipes use less salt than I did, but I think it needs to be quite salty for the effect to really work; but whatever works to your own tastes.

Leave it to cool before using it, or pour into a heated glass jar if you are planning on storing it. It will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

The last step: lick the pot clean.

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This is perfect drizzled over ice cream, mixed into cookie dough or used to sweeten your morning oats or porridge.

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