Monday, July 18, 2011

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Banana Ice Cream

When I have ice cream for breakfast and lunch, instead of a regular balanced nutritious meal, yes, it must mean I went bananas, but also that this ice cream must be sinful. Just when I thought that a couple days ago I had made the best Vanilla Cardamon Ice Cream, and believe me it is, I am bringing these two out of order, in reverse. The latter Madagascar Vanilla Bean Banana first and the former in a later post. I am convinced the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Banana Ice Cream is the best ever. This batch is incredible, probably better than any I have ever had, banana or otherwise.
I was out, but Jonathan told me, that Sagie שגיא and his friend John came by and snuck some ice cream  before heading out to watch the US Women National Soccer Team in the World Cup Finals at Grevey's. They apparently were raving about the ice cream. It was dangerous to tell me on the cell while I was driving.

With ripe bananas on my hands, I didn't feel much like making banana bread. I was mostly concerned about the bananas oxidizing once they are mushed, cubed or sliced. I didn't feel like adding lemon to the bananas to prevent them from discoloring. It would completely change the flavor, not to my liking. So I put a question out to my twitter friends asking how to avoid discoloring.
@thebravetart, @FarmgirlGourmet and @GuiltyKitchen came to the rescue with links and suggestions and @HungryRabbitNYC also joined the fun and of course had to ask what Stella's banana booze of choice to add to ice cream was? Stella said to me "you can get a shot of banana liquor, all the better, but no harm no foul if you can't. :)" and to answer Ken's question she added "I've used Peel's Bananacello and 99 Bananas with good success. Prefer the Bananacello though." Now while I don't like booze in my ice cream with the exception of rum raisin, I know I am in the minority in this matter, so feel free to use it in my recipe or the ones by Stella, Heather and Elizabeth linked below.
Stella had a couple of incredible suggestions that made this ice cream so successful. She suggested slicing the bananas and steeping them with the vanilla bean and ice cream custard base overnight, then straining the entire mixture the next day with no solids to be seen in sight. I mashed the bananas through the sieve, didn't want to lose any bit of their essence. The ice cream is pure perfection!

My goal throughout this past year of playing with my ice cream maker is to achieve a consistency, texture and flavor (sweetness balance mostly) that appeals to me. I reached a conclusion that 3/4 cup of sugar for ice cream  is spot on, though for sorbet I use less. Throughout my experimentation I upped the egg yolks from 4 to 5 and after whisking on low medium heat for 10 minutes the milk and yolk base becomes a beautiful custard. I also like my ice cream a bit airier so although the motion of the ice cream maker whisks air into the ice cream mixture while churning, I wanted to give it a further lift and beat the whipping cream prior to incorporating it into the custard base. I think it makes a difference, but not an absolute necessity extra step.

The bananas add some creaminess but mostly liquids (water) to the base. In general I like my ice cream a tad lighter so I use 1 cup whipping cream to 2 cups milk, but by all means use 1:1 ratio (1 1/2 cups milk to 1 1/2 cups whipping cream) like in my coffee ice cream post. The texture will be even richer.

When the lovely Abby Dodge announced her first #baketogether challenge Chocolate Truffle Tart – YOUR WAY somehow I translated it into The Accidental Chocolate Pudding, which incidentally is a great rich chocolate ice cream base. I was way off base. When the second challenge Summer Strawberry Sorbet ~ YOUR WAY #BakeTogether came around I was more in line and turned in this post. So happy to be part of this great virtual community #baketogether or as I call it this time #churntogether.

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 Madagascar vanilla bean, split in the middle
5 egg yolks
3 ripe bananas, sliced

Directions:
Add the milk and sugar into a sauce pan. Scrape the seeds with a knife out of split vanilla bean and add both split vanilla and seeds into milk and sugar.On low/medium and mix until the sugar dissolves and keep on low/medium heat.

Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl. When you see bubbles appearing around the edges of the pan pour a couple small scoops of milk into egg yolks while whisking to temper egg yolks. Add the yolk/milk mixture into the milk pan and continue whisking on low/medium heat until a light custard is formed. This process takes about ten minutes.

At this point take custard off the heat and let cool. You can add the whipping cream at this point to the pan. Add the sliced  bananas and after cooling let it steep in the refrigerator overnight.

Next day strain through a sieve. Mash the bananas through the sieve until all of them strain through. Discard the vanilla bean and churn in ice cream maker as directed by manufacturer. *(see note below) Takes about 20-30 minutes to reach soft serve consistency. Scoop into an ice cream container with a tight lid and freeze for at least a few hours or until solid before serving.

What I do: I whip the whipping cream into a soft peak the next morning. I do not add it unwhipped into custard before going to steep overnight. Then I incorporate whipped cream into strains milk/vanilla/banana custard base. Then proceed to churn according to manufacturer's directions.

*Note: I am posting this note on 7/28 I made a second batch of this ice cream this time, the next day I tossed away vanilla bean, liquified mixture in a Cuisinart, strained mixture, added the whipped cream, mixed well and churned.
Related links:
Stella's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream + Variations · GF vanilla base for banana ice cream.
Heather suggested omitting the cinnamon and using her Cinnamon Ice Cream - My Father-in-Law's Fave! as a good base.
Elizabeth linked to her Banana Bread Ice Cream.
Thank you girls for bouncing off ideas and the discussion.
Extra special bonus link by Marnley out of the Caribbean Beat the Heat #3 - Banana Ice Cream.

27 comments :

  1. oh my god! This is love at first sight. Totally bookmarking it

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  2. oh my, the title alone makes me want to eat this ice cream!!! i seriously need to invest in an ice cream maker...

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  3. You are so sweet Shulie! Thanks for the link up and for making me drool on myself! This recipe looks AMAZING. Your photos are gorgeous....as always. Love ya darlin!

    ~H

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  4. I love the idea of adding air with shipped cream as I find that homemade ice cream is always so dense compared to the air-added store bought variety. Great idea and wow yummy! That sounds so delicious right now.

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  5. Darling, thanks for the special link, your ice cream looks gorgeous and I would definitely break my "diet" for it! Love it, thanks for sharing the great tips and tricks you've developed!

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  6. We came to the same conclusion - 5 egg yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar for ice cream. It works out for my taste buds every time. Gorgeous ice cream!

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  7. Ice cream for breakfast and lunch sounds perfect:) Your ice cream looks delicious and I like your whipped cream idea that you add in the next day. Sounds very creamy!

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  8. Oh this is soooo delicious ! I am getting so hungry for ice cream right now, after reading this. Must try this one. Thanks for sharing, Shulie!

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  9. Ice cream never looked so good! Thank you for this detailed post, every day is even hotter than the last one here in Santo Domingo. My ice cream machine is ready for action all the time. Vanilla cardamom ice cream sounds amazing, can't wait to see that post and try your recipe :D

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  10. As if I need any more reason to eat ice cream...not you make this gorgeously flavored and lower fat variation!

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  11. So you can serve me this when I come over. Gorgeous clicks. Love the pairing too.

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  12. New follower, very happy I found your lovely blog. Great recipe and wonderful photos.

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  13. love the shot of the vanilla beans in the jar ! also ice cream for breakfast & lunch sounds great ;-)

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  14. i want to try this! Homemade ice cream is my favourite treat.

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  15. What a lovely blog you have, Shulie! I'm so glad you stopped by so I could find you! Really loved all the unusual macaron recipes. :)
    And this post is a super idea for our ripe bananas...would much rather make this lovely ice cream rather than bread, especially in the summer! I can just taste it. Ice cream is my downfall.

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  16. Going bananas over this incredibly delightful ice cream! Now my ripe bananas will be out to much better use than just baking breads and muffins out of them. Have vanilla beans too..so banana ice cream here I come :)

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  17. my favorite ice cream ever is Ben & Jerry's 'Chunky Monkey' so i'm bananas for banana - as long as it's the real deal and NOT artificial bananas!!

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  18. Looks so yummy. Can you tell me which ice cream maker you have? I really want to buy one this summer.

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  19. Thank you everyone for your kind words. It was fun shoot but literally within seconds the light changed and it was too bright. You all probably know the challenges of shooting ice cream soup:). Somehow snuck in some good ones:). Paula, I got whatever Costco sold. Nothing fancy at the time they had a basic Cuisinart.

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  20. I am now staring at the bananas on my counter and willing them to ripen. I can not wait to try this, Shulie :)

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  21. Sounds like an amazing ice cream. I'll have to try whipping the cream.

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  22. I like bananas and should give ice cream another go. Knowing you, this won't be overly sweet, and will be perfect to my liking!

    Thank you, Shulie! Another winner!

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  23. I LOOOVVVEEE anything with banana. Ice cream for breakfast for me too!

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  24. TY Liren, churning another batch as we speak. With the heat the bananas ripen so fast. This time around I tossed the bean, liquified it and then strained. added whipped cream after straining. Easier that way if you got a cuisinart. Barbara, definitely should my son said he likes the airier consistency better. & thank you for dropping by. Annapet, when frozen the sugar isn't as distinct and pronounced. I have made ice cream with 1/2 cup sugar before and it was absolutely tasty and fine. Got to roll it on the tongue a bit to feel the sweetness that is why I upped it to 3/4 cups just to get it right. Try it let me know how you like it. TY girl!! TY Emily, Alison and Kelly, I am guilty of having couple of tablespoons at breakfast, but shhhh:).

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