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Ingredients

  • 6 ripe bananas (about 2.25 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ΒΎ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 Β½ cups heavy cream (if you prefer to cut the fat, use 3/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup whole milk)
  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt
  • 1 3.5-ounce bar bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped, about Β½ cup (Lindt Swiss Bittersweet Fine Dark Chocolate is best, available at high-end grocery stores and Amazon.com)
  • For serving (optional): fresh bananas or strawberries, sliced

Direction

  • Let your bananas ripen. The riper the banana the sweeter the ice cream will be. To speed up the ripening process, stuff your bananas inside a paper bag to really ripen them before freezing.
  • Peel bananas and place in a plastic bag in freezer and freeze overnight.Β If using a removable core ice cream maker model, don’t forget to also put your ice cream freezer’s core in the freezer at the coldest setting.
  • Remove bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp paring knife and carefully scrape out the seeds inside. Set aside in a tiny prep bowl, and discard the skin.
  • Place bananas in bowl of food processor along with the lemon juice.Β  Process for 10 to 15 seconds.Β  Add corn syrup and vanilla bean seeds and turn processor on.Β  Slowly pour in the heavy cream (or heavy cream + milk mixture).Β  Process until smooth.
  • Transfer mixture to an airtight container, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, cover, and chill in the refrigerator until it reaches 38 to 40 degrees (about 2 hours or overnight). Chilling allows the flavors to mellow and the ice cream to be creamier. The colder the mixture is, the better, meaning less time churning, meaning smaller ice crystals and smoother ice cream.
  • When the time comes to take your ice cream for a churn, make sure the machine is running before you pour in the batter. Or the odds are the motor will bind up before your get anywhere.
  • Pour ice cream mixture into the running ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is going to set up really quickly, because it’s viscous, so don’t wander away. When your motor starts to struggle (about 15-20 minutes), you are done.
  • Meanwhile, chop the chocolate bar into tiny pieces with a sharp knife.
  • Once the ice cream has started to stiffen, add the chocolate pieces and continue mixing for about 15 more seconds (or fold in with a spatula).
  • Using a spatula, pack the ice cream into a plastic container.Β  Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid.Β  Freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.
  • Serve with fresh sliced bananas or strawberries, if desired.
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