Monday, June 23, 2014

Caramelized Pecan Banana "Ice Cream" with Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl

 
It's June. Which means it is wonderfully warm out. This means it is my favorite season. My favorite month. My favorite time of year (why do ya think I chose this time period to get married?)! It also means that soon we're gonna have some hot days. And, at the very least, we have some pretty warm ones! While some people may look at this as a downside, I'm all about it. There's a whole category for food that I don't really crave until the temperature goes up: including frozen bananas, popsicles, lots of fruit, and-of course-ICE CREAM!
But ya know, I can't go around eating oodles and oodles of ice cream (cue Michael probably yelling at the screen "But you'll eat oodles of cookies!" SHUSH!)-so, you wanna know a really cool trick?

BANANAS.

No, not as in this S*** is bananas (although it is), but as in-bananas. As ice cream.

WHAAAAA?
Technically, I sort of blogged about using bananas (and strawberries) as ice cream before. But I did not give it nearly enough attention.

So allow me to sum up and then expand upon:

Summary: you process some frozen bananas in a food processor or blender and it obtains an ice cream-like consistency.

Expansion: You can also add other stuff to take it to the NEXT LEVEL. Such as peanut butter. Or chocolate. Or bacon (WHAT? TELL ME YOU DIDN'T THINK ABOUT IT!). Or maybe caramelized pecans and a chocolate hazelnut swirl.

...no? Just me?
Not anymore! Now it's all of us!

Caramelized pecans....ohhh where have you BEEN all my life? And we already know about my love for choc-hazelnutty goodness. So adding them to this banana ice cream is just genius. It's creamy and crunchy and sweet and perfect. And a little less fatty than grabbing a pint of Haagen Dazs :P


 Caramelized Pecan Banana "Ice Cream" with Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl

Author: Kayle, "The Cooking Actress"
(Banana ice cream idea from various sources across the internet, and caramelized pecan method from Our Best Bites.)

Serves 2.
Ingredients:
  • 2 frozen bananas (cut into small chunks)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter 
  • approx. 2-4 tbsp. chocolate hazelnut butter or spread (such as nutella)
Preparation:
  • To caramelize the pecans: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small, nonstick, skillet. Heat over medium/medium-high heat and stir until it is combined and bubbly. Add the pecans and stir to evenly coat. Continue to cook for 4-7 minutes, until they begin to smell toasted. Transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet, spreading into a single layer, and bake, removing to stir every 1-2 minutes, until they're golden brown. Be careful not to burn, keep a close eye! Remove and allow to cool completely.
  • In a food processor place frozen banana pieces and process until the mixture forms a ball and resembles a very thick ice cream. 
  • Add in caramelized pecans and pulse a few times to distribute/chop them. 
  • Transfer to a container or into 2 bowls and swirl desired amount of chocolate hazelnut butter/spread into the "ice cream".
  • Serve! (If desired, use a few reserved caramelized pecan pieces to garnish)
<3<3<3
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