banana “ice cream” with peanut butter and chocolate chips

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I took a break from blogging to visit my family in Canada. I didn’t stop cooking, though; I hosted two dinners. The first menu was Jamaican themed, the second was a low-carb menu. Dessert was off-theme, though, for what is the meal without something decadent to finish;  I made pavlova with fresh berries and cream. Here is another decadent dessert that isn’t calorie laden:  whipped frozen banana with peanut butter and chocolate chips. It looks like ice cream, doesn’t it?

Whipped Frozen Banana “Ice Cream” with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips
4 very ripe frozen whole bananas
Greek style yogurt
Honey
Creamy peanut butter
Chocolate chips

Slice the frozen bananas into rounds. Put them into the bowl of a food processor and process until fine. Add yogurt and honey to taste, then process until creamy.
Scrape into a bowl. Add peanut butter and chocolate chips to taste. Combine by hand so that the banana is streaked with peanut butter. Freeze 1-2 hours, then scoop into bowls and eat.  Yum. Makes 2-4 servings.

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lychee ice cream, kitchenaid version

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I adapted the KitchenAid ice cream maker base for French Vanilla ice cream and added lychee fruit to it. Here’s what I learned: the ice cream maker freeze bowl needs to be very frozen–at least 24 hours. Also, the ice cream base needs to be cooked on low heat to a temperature of 160˚F. Any hotter and the eggs will cook. I saved it by straining the base. Here’s how it turned out: creamy, lightly sweet, and fresh–just as I remembered home-made ice cream should taste. It uses a lot of egg yolks, that’s the drawback, so it looks like I will have to make a pavlova with the egg whites! That’s not such a terrible thing to do, actually…

French Vanilla Ice Cream (adapted from KitchenAid)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 8-12 hours
Freezing time: 10-15 minutes

600 ml (2 1/2 cups) half and half (50% cream 50% milk)
8 egg yolks
230 g (1 cup) superfine sugar
600 ml (2 1/2 cups) whipping cream
4 teaspoons vanilla
a pinch of salt
1 tin of lychee fruit, chilled, drained and chopped. Discard syrup

In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat half-and-half to 160˚F, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and very gradually add the hot half-and-half; mix until blended and sugar has dissolved.

Return half-and-half egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat until it reaches a temperature of 160˚F. Transfer mixture back to the mixer bowl and add the whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly for at least 8 hours.

Assemble the ice cream attachment and turn on to Speed 1. Using a large measuring cup with a spout, slowly pour the ice cream base into the freeze bowl while the machine is turning. Continue on Speed 1 until the ice cream reaches the desired consistency in 10-15 minutes. About 3-5 minutes before freeze time, add the chopped fruit. It’s okay to turn off the machine for this step. Spoon the fruit evenly about the dasher. Continue churning until the fruit is blended into the ice cream.

Using a plastic spoon or spatula, spoon out the ice cream into dishes to eat right away, or spoon it into a shallow plastic tub and cover it. Let ice cream harden in the freezer 2-4 hours before serving.

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