There's been a lot of banana activity in our house this week so I can definitely say it's been bananas here! Most banana recipes require you to use overripe bananas and I patiently waited for a little less than a week to get them all mushy and sweet. A few of the bananas are going to go into some banana bread that I need to take to a housewarming this weekend and one went into this banana ice cream that I think you will love.
One of my favorite English desserts is the Banoffee pie that is made of bananas, cream and toffee. It's a simple yet decadent combination and definitely a delicious comfort food that is spectacular. This ice cream is my spin on this wonderful dessert, there's fresh banana fruit mixed with whole milk and cream, a little sweet honey and vanilla to add flavor and then there are tiny bits of homemade cinnamon toffee brittle that give you a crunchy surprise of warm sweet flavor.
Yup, homemade toffee brittle flavored with cinnamon! Toffee brittle is very easy to prepare and all you need a couple of simple ingredients and a strong instrument to crack the candy. Having a candy thermometer does help to confirm that you've reached the hard crack stage of the brittle before you can take it off the flame. But if you don't have one, take a clean teaspoon and scoop out a small amount of the hot mass and spread it on a chilled plate or surface. If it solidifies into a hard brittle-like mass easily then you have reached the right temperature.
For the banana puree, I simply mash the fruit with a fork till it is completely smooth but you can also use a food processor if you prefer. I crack most of the toffee brittle into tiny bite sized granules that are less than 1/8th of an inch in size, the rest I crack into larger bits to garnish the ice cream.
banana ice cream with cinnamon toffee
cinnamon toffee brittle
yields: approximately 1 1/2 cups
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Add the butter, sugar, water, and salt into a thick bottomed stock pot. Place on a medium-high flame and stir constantly till the temperature of the mixture reaches the "hard crack stage" or 300F. This takes about 15 minutes. The mixture will be brownish in color.
2. Immediately fold in the cinnamon and pour the hot liquid onto a clean ungreased baking sheet. Allow the mixture to spread by carefully moving the pan, you can also spread the mixture with an offset spatula. The toffee will begin to harden as it cools and sets. Allow the toffee to cool completely till hard for about one or two hours.
3. Once the toffee brittle is set, you can crack it gently to form chips with a strong weighted object like a muddler or hammer. Store the candy in an airtight container. I make a few large chips to top the ice cream but the rest of the chips I will crack them to get tiny bits to fold into the ice cream.
Note: I like to remove the excess grease by blotting the completely cooled toffee brittle surface with clean kitchen paper towels.
banana ice cream
yields: about 1 generous quart
2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup (4 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup pureed banana, overripe
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch
1 tablespoon madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cinnamon toffee chips (tiny sized chips) - you can be a little generous here
1. Bring the 2 cups of milk, heavy cream, sugar, and honey in a heavy thick bottomed saucepan to a boil on a medium flame. Reduce the flame to a gentle simmer. Add the pureed banana and cook for 2 minutes.
2. In a small bowl mix the cornflour with the two tablespoons of milk to form a slurry. Quickly whisk the slurry into the milk and bring the milk to a boil. Stir constantly and cook for 2 minutes until the milk begins to thicken like custard. Remove the saucepan from the stove and mix in the vanilla extract.
3. Transfer the hot liquid into a clean gallon sized ziploc bag. Seal the bag and allow the mixture to cool completely in an ice water bath for at least 30 minutes. The mixture should be at around 40F before you can add it to the ice cream maker.
4. Pour the liquid into a pre-frozen ice cream maker canister of your ice cream maker. Churn until the ice cream begins to come off from the sides of the canister. This will take about 30 minutes.
5. Layer half of the ice cream in a freezer-safe airtight storage container sprinkle with half of the toffee chips. Layer the remaining ice cream on top and then sprinkle the rest of the toffee chips. Cover the surface of the ice cream with parchment paper. Place the lid on the container and freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours before serving. You can serve the ice cream with larger toffee chips atop each scoop.