Sunday, August 09, 2009

Banana Vice Cream

I used to LOVE ice cream. My parents actually tricked me into walking with ice cream. My grandmother used to let me eat it for breakfast (sorry, mom). I used to eat it all the time. It was also the food that first got me to notice that maybe there was a problem with too much dairy. After I became a vegetarian, I had a huge shake one day. Before I even finished it, I started feeling 'cold-y' (scratchy, sore throat, pounding head, etc). I got really sick. It happened again later after another milk shake and I started cutting out the dairy - including ice cream.

Which was too bad because I had just bought a really nice ice cream maker - the kind that you don't need to pre-freeze. You just throw the batter in and turn it on. I had also bought a gourmet ice cream recipe book, Perfect Scoop. It's good - great, in fact. I may still use it for the Italian Ice recipes and I may try to veganize the recipes. But, for now, I'm sticking with this bad boy.

Vice Cream is an all vegan, ice cream cookbook. It even has recipes for raw ice cream if that's your thing. I've had this book for awhile but never seem to remember to make ice cream. But my sweetheart does. He asked for Banana ice cream. I don't know why. And, as it turns out, neither does he. He said he's never had it before but thought it would be interesting. So, after putting it off for weeks, I finally chose this weekend (the hottest so far this year) to try it out. And, over all, I'd say it's pretty good.

The base is made out of cashews and maple syrup. I was very doubtful. Until I took the lid off the processor. The batter tasted very much like the custard batters I used to make for French Ice Cream. The syrup provided a buttery, rich taste and the cashews made it silky smooth. I threw in a couple of bananas and some vanilla extract and poured the whole thing in the ice cream maker.

Then I started reading the book and realized I should only use achohol free extracts to assist with freezing (duh!). I had not. But it froze anyhow. Still, next time I'll use achohol free.
I also thought that, should I make Banana Vice Cream again, I should use either black-ish bananas or roast them for a deeper flavor. My mother always taught me to bake with blackened bananas. She said it was for better flavor but, as I age, I wonder if it isn't because they're so much cheaper.

After about an hour, it was done and we each had a bowl. It was good. The texture was shockingly rich, creamy, smooth - very much like dairy ice cream. I doubt a dairy eater could tell the difference. The taste was banana. Perhaps this wasn't the best flavor by which to judge a cookbook. Bananas in real life are usually served with something else: Peanut butter, chocolate or pie. This ice cream was no different. It did taste good but a scoop of chocolate or peanut butter ice cream would have really helped it. So I guess I know what I'm making today! Also, next time I'll cut back a bit on the syrup. It did provide the buttery tasting background but my sweetheart also took his first bite and announced 'Pancakes!'. NOT the response I was looking for.

I HIGHLY suggest trying out some of these recipes. But maybe start with Chocolate.

Makes: About one quart
Find it: On page 34 of Vice Cream by Jeff Rogers
Taste: Like rich, velvety Banana ice cream.

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