Sunday, January 29, 2012

Banana-Cashew Ice Cream with Caramelized White Chocolate Freckles

It's no secret that I love to make ice cream.  I love to make ice cream because I love to eat it.  A lot.

Far too much time had passed since I had made any ice cream so I pulled out my current favorite ice cream cookbook, Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams at Home.  One of the things I love about this cookbook is that Jeni has divided the recipes into seasons:  winter, spring, summer, and fall.  Flipping through the pages, I was surprised to find that most of the recipes I have tried have been from the winter section.  Probably because chocolate is season-less.

I decided on banana ice cream because I had a couple of bananas on the counter getting black and I wanted to try one of Jeni's recipes using freckles.  There are a couple of recipes in the book for bombe, basically a magic shell type syrup that hardens once it makes contact with the cold ice cream and creates a shell that really is magical.  Jeni uses bombes both in and on her ice creams.  In the ice cream the liquid syrup separates into 'freckles', little specks of hardened chocolate.  Nothing better than that snap of chocolate followed by the soft creaminess of the ice cream.  Yum.

Jeni's technique for making ice cream is completely different than traditional recipes.  It seems complicated but really is quite simple and results in a super creamy ice cream that I love.  The banana flavor really stands out here as well as the caramelized white chocolate bits, or freckles.  I added some lightly salted cashews for crunch and they were the perfect nut for this flavor combination.

Whatever the season, you will go bananas for this banana ice cream!

Banana-Cashew Ice Cream with Caramelized White Chocolate Freckles
adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, Jeni Britton Bauer

Makes a little over 1 quart

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ripe bananas
1/2 recipe Caramelized White Chocolate Bombe Shell (recipe below)
1/2 cup lightly salted cashews

PREP  Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.  
  Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
  Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

COOK  Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
  Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  
  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.

CHILL  Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth.
  Cut the bananas into chunks and puree in a food processor or mash with a fork until smooth.  Blend the bananas into the hot cream mixture.
  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath.  Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

FREEZE  Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy.
  When the ice cream is almost ready, melt the white chocolate:  melt gently until it is warm, liquefied, and smooth.
  When the ice cream is ready, drizzle the warm white chocolate into the top of the canister and continue spinning until it is completely incorporated.  Add the cashews and spin just until they are incorporated.
  Pack the ice cream into a storage container with an airtight lid.  Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Caramelized White Chocolate Bombe Shell

12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup refined coconut oil

Combine the white chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until melted and smooth.  Then continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes a lovely deep amber, for 12 to 15 minutes.  Continue to stir constantly, or the chocolate will burn as the color deepens.  Remove from the heat if it seems the chocolate is caramelizing too rapidly.

Store covered in the refrigerator.  It will keep for up to one month.

To melt the white chocolate, scrape it into a bowl, set it in a larger bowl of hot tap water, and let stand, stirring occasionally, just until liquefied and smooth.

Can be used to add into ice creams or to cover ice cream, creating a shell.
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  1. Cream cheese in ice cream? How interesting! I love cashews. This is one we'll definitely have to try.

  2. I will definitely have to make this for my brother - it sounds like an amazing cacophony of flavors!

  3. What a fabulous combination of flavors!

  4. The ice cream look delicious. Bananas, cream cheese, cashews, and white chocolate. You can't go wrong with these ingredients. Must try this recipe:)

  5. Thanks for giving me an excuse to make ice cream :)

  6. Wow, that looks good. What an amazing combination of flavors!

  7. I have Jeni's ice cream book but haven't made any ice cream from it yet but it's a beautifully done cook book and I have enjoyed reading it. I actually saw your banana ice cream yesterday on Pinterest and pinned it onto my banana board so maybe this will be the first kind of ice cream I try from her book. It looks just amazing!

  8. I don't think you realise how pained I am that this dish is not in my lap - what a gorgeous flavour combo!
    Wonderful blog :D

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