Banana ‘ice-cream’ with salted caramel sauce
I have to be perfectly honest and tell you that this ice cream is not the most gorgeous-looking you’ll come across – it has a beige-y colour which only gets darker over time. That said, it really is the easiest thing to make, and has a truly wonderful deep banana flavour and really luscious texture. I’ve finished it here with sparkly praline as I had some in the freezer, however when I’m short on time, I’ve been known to chop up a Violet Crumble bar and scatter it over the top. I must say it’s rather good, as the crunchy honeycomb makes a terrific counterpoint to the silky sauce and smooth ice cream. Just remember to start this recipe at least a day ahead to give the ‘ice-cream’ plenty of time to freeze. (If you like the idea of finishing with a sprinkle of praline, you’ll find a recipe for it with the Flourless Chocolate, Almond and Apple Cake.)
Serves 6 – 8
- Banana ‘ice-cream’
- 6 medium-sized very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup (310g) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300ml thickened cream, softly whipped
- 3 – 4 just-ripe bananas, extra, to serve
- Salted caramel sauce
- 1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
½ cup (125 ml) water
¾ cup (180 ml) pure cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
For the salted caramel sauce, pour the sugar and water into a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to the boil. Allow it to boil, undisturbed, washing down the sides occasionally with a brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals that may form. Once the syrup turns a light amber colour, watch it like a hawk – you want it to become a gorgeous, rich brown, but not so dark that it burns. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream. (Be mindful to protect your hands with long oven gloves or thick tea towels when you do this as the caramel may well spit and bubble up.) Return the pan to gentle heat and stir to dissolve the caramel into the cream. Finally, swirl in the vanilla extract and salt, then set the pan aside. Once the sauce is cool, pour it into a jar, seal it tightly and store it in the fridge; return it to cool room temperature before using. (As the sauce keeps well for at least a week in the fridge, you can make this well ahead of time.).
To make the ‘ice-cream’, put the banana slices into a food processor fitted with the steel blade and whiz them until they form a rather gloopy purée. Scrape them into a measuring jug – you should have about 2 cups (500 ml) purée- if you’re a bit short, purée another banana.
Scrape the purée back into the processor, and pour in the condensed milk and vanilla extract. Whiz everything together until smooth. Scrape the mixture into the softly whipped cream and gently fold the two together. Scoop it into a container, seal it tightly and put it into the freezer overnight (it keeps well for a couple of weeks, but will darken).
To serve the ice cream, layer scoops of it in chilled goblets or bowls with sliced bananas and salted caramel sauce. If liked, finish off with a sprinkling of coarsely chopped praline.