Category Archives: Ice Cream

Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches

Bakewell Junction

Banana bread is one of my favorite uses for overripe bananas and I combined my classic recipe with homemade butter pecan ice cream to bring you a decadent treat. The banana bread and ice cream are both delicious on their own but together, well, it’s a heavenly match!

Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches

It’s time once again for the Improv Cooking Challenge. This month’s two “secret” ingredients were bread and butter. In contrast to the cheese and crackers challenge last month, which I found a bit tough since I’m not a huge cheese eater, this one was a challenge because I LOVE bread and I had a difficult time deciding whether to make a traditional bread with a fancy butter or do something a little more out there. I ended up with “out there” with banana BREAD and BUTTER pecan ice cream which was definitely worth it.

I started off making my favorite banana bread recipe. This is my mom’s recipe and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it but it always comes out perfect. I often use chocolate chips instead of nuts but this time I went with chopped pecans to play into the flavors of the ice cream. Definitely use overripe bananas, the browner the better. They tend to be sweeter and help to create a moist flavorful loaf of bread.

Banana Bread

Then I moved onto the butter pecan ice cream. I made a nutty brown butter by melting unsalted butter until golden and fragrant. I added in dark brown sugar and cooked over low heat until it liquified, then I poured in half-and-half. I cannot overemphasize the importance of constantly stirring during this entire process because it is very easy for this mixture to burn and when the cold half-and-half is poured in, the melted sugar can solidify quickly, resulting in hard caramel pieces which is not what you’re looking for in this recipe.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Once it was all combined, I poured the mixture slowly into two beaten eggs in a mixing bowl, still stirring constantly to avoid scrambled eggs. I returned the mixture to the saucepan, then stirred until it began to thicken. I strained the mixture (it’s hard to totally avoid scrambled eggs and this process takes them out from your final product) then stirred in light cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. I poured the mixture into my ice cream maker and froze it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, adding in pecan halves toward the end of the freezing process. This butter pecan ice cream has deep caramel undertones and a creamy texture with a delightful crunch from the pecan pieces.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I then put together the ice cream sandwiches, carefully slicing the cooled banana bread and sandwiching slightly softened butter pecan ice cream between each piece. The sweetness of the bananas combined with the deep caramel flavor of the ice cream and the texture of the pecans was perfect. The dessert is reminiscent of bananas foster, just colder! Both the banana bread and the butter pecan ice cream are each perfect all on their own and I’ve certainly made them separately in the past, but for the ‘bread and butter” challenge, they were the ideal combination and such a tasty treat!

Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches

______________________________

Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches (ice cream recipe adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, and More)

Yield: 1 loaf of banana bread and approximately 1 quart of ice cream

For banana bread:

nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 average sized bananas)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup chocolate chips or finely chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the bananas and sugar. Add in the egg and butter and stir to blend. Combine the liquid and dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Add in the chopped nuts or chocolate chips.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes until the bread starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

__________

For the butter pecan ice cream:

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 cups light cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Directions:

1. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until it becomes golden brown and smells mildly nutty. Add in the brown sugar and continue stirring constantly over low heat until it melts, taking care not to let it burn. Then add in the half-and-half and bring to a simmer.

3. Slowly beat the half-and-half mixture into the beaten eggs, stirring constantly to avoid scrambling. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over heat, still stirring constantly, until it thickens into a custard. Be careful to avoid boiling.

4. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl. Let custard cool slightly, then stir in the cream, vanilla, and almond extract.

5. Depending on your ice cream maker, you may need to refrigerate the mixture until cold/overnight at this point. Then pour into the bowl of your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add in the nuts toward the end of the freezing process.

__________

For the ice cream sandwiches:

Let the banana bread fully cool. Spread slightly softened butter pecan ice cream between two slices. Revel in deliciousness!

______________________________

Check out more bread and butter recipes here:

Advertisements

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve been working on several treats to fit the theme of the day. You’ve already read about Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream and “Go Red” for Heart Health Snack Mix and there are more coming up this week. But this one here is the piece de resistance. Since I’m currently living south of the Mason-Dixon, what could be a more iconic red dessert than red velvet cake?

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

I’ve made red velvet before, with okay results. The color is usually gorgeous but sometimes it’s just too dry for my liking. Making a molten lava cake definitely bypasses that issue! The ooey gooey cake batter just flowed, once releasing the individual cakes from their ramekins.

For me, though, the frosting makes the cake, not just for red velvet cakes, but for all cakes. It’s not infrequent that I’ll lick the frosting off a cupcake, just to chuck the rest of cake because it’s too dry or bland. So I knew I had to highlight the classic cream cheese frosting flavors that red velvet is also known for. As you know, I love making my own ice cream and trying out new flavors. And the cool creamy consistency of ice cream is the perfect match for molten lava cake batter!

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

So here’s a recipe for rich amazingly delicious Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes to be paired with Cream Cheese Ice Cream. Both are easy and not too time consuming to prepare, though I recommend making the ice cream in advance since it can be tough for ice cream freezers to work well in a warm kitchen, which might happen when heating up your oven to bake the cakes. If you make them concurrently, plan out your timing well, because you want to serve the cakes as soon as they’re ready and not be waiting around for ice cream to freeze while the molten lava solidifies!

Melt together white chocolate and butter, then add sugar and cocoa powder. Slow add in to beaten eggs.

Melt together white chocolate and butter, then add sugar and cocoa powder. Slow add in to beaten eggs.

Add in red food coloring and flour

Add in red food coloring and flour

Divide into 4 ramekins

Divide into 4 ramekins

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes

Run a knife around the edges then carefully invert the ramekin onto a dish. Let sit for 2 minutes then remove

Run a knife around the edges then carefully invert the ramekin onto a dish. Let sit for 2 minutes then remove

This is a gorgeous treat to cap off your Valentine’s Day dinner. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

______________________________

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes with Cream Cheese Ice Cream (adapted from thespiffycookie.com and Epicurious.com)

Yield: 4 individual serving cakes and 1 quart ice cream

For the cakes:

6 ounces white baking chocolate

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons red food coloring

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate and butter until smooth. This will take approximately 2 minutes; stop the microwave to stir every 20-30 seconds to avoid burning. While the chocolate and butter are melting, use the remaining butter to thoroughly grease the ramekins.

2. Add in the cocoa powder and sugar and stir until combined.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add in a small amount of the chocolate mixture and stir together to allow the eggs to warm slowly (temper) to avoid scrambling. Repeat 2-3 more times then add in the remaining chocolate batter and stir until fully combined.

4. Stir in the red food coloring, flour, and pinch of salt. Divide the batter among 4 well greased 3/4-1 cup ramekins.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges right away. Invert each ramekin onto an individual serving plate and let sit for 2 minutes, then carefully lift up the ramekin. Top with cream cheese ice cream (or whipped cream) to serve.

For the ice cream:

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

8 ounces neufchatel cheese (lowfat cream cheese), softened

1 cup skim milk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixture with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, sugar, and salt until smooth. Then pour in the heavy cream and beat on low speed until just combined. You can also do this step with a blender or food processor.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freezer according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container to store. Let come slightly to room temperature before topping the Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes.

______________________________

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Wondermom Wannabe

Bring some heat to your Valentine’s Day with this Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! I know it’s the middle of winter, but in my opinion, ice cream is a key part of a balanced diet year round. One of my best friends and I have a (not so) secret dream of opening up an ice cream shop someday. Granted right now we live on opposite coasts and are employed in a totally different line of work but we still talk about our future ice cream shop almost every time we chat. So each time I try out a new ice cream flavor I can chalk it up to future job training, right?

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Anyway, I first made Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream a few years ago. It was actually my dessert entry for a chili cook off and I won for that category. This ice cream is smooth and very rich. Cinnamon adds most of the spice but if you really want to feel the heat, you can also add a crushed dried pequin chili pepper. Almonds and chocolate chips add texture to this otherwise silky dessert.

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

I started off by melting bittersweet and unsweetened baking chocolate in a double boiler while simultaneously bringing milk and cream to a boil in a large saucepan. I added the just boiled milk and cream to egg yolks beat with brown sugar, while whisking constantly to avoid scrambled eggs! Once combined I poured it all back into the saucepan and stirred constantly until it reached 170F on a candy thermometer, creating a custard, which I strained through a fine sieve.

Once strained, I stirred in the melted chocolate, cinnamon, and a touch of Kahlua, which is optional. Then I poured the mixture into the bowl of my ice cream machine and let the magic happen. I’m lucky enough to have a self-cooling machine, so I don’t have to let the mixture cool first (yay for less waiting for ice cream!) but depending on your ice cream machine you may need to let the mixture sit in your fridge to cool down for a bit before freezing.

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

At the very end of the freezing process, I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and toasted blanched almond slivers. This is where the crushed pequin chili pepper goes too if you’re using it. I skipped it this time around knowing that my toddler would be begging for a taste but I’ve used the pepper all the other times I’ve made the ice cream and it does add heat but is totally bearable since you have the cool creaminess of the frozen dessert to counteract the heat of the peppers. Just a note: make sure to wear gloves when crushing up the chili…the oil is no joke if you accidentally touch your face afterwards!

So spice up your Valentine’s Day, or any other day, with Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! XOXO!

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

______________________________

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Yield: approximately 1 1/2 quarts

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup skim milk

6 large egg yolks

1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)

1/3 cup toasted blanched almond slivers

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon crumbled pequin chilies (optional)–this is 1 chili pepper

Directions:

1. Melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.

2. In a large saucepan, combine the cream and the milk and bring just to a boil. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the brown sugar. Add the cream mixture to the egg yolks in a steady stream, whisking continuously, then return the mixture back to the saucepan.

3. Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it reaches 170F on a candy thermometer. Strain through a fine sieve, then whisk in the melted chocolate, the cinnamon, and the Kahlua if using.

4. Let the mixture cool and freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the final few minutes of the freezing process, add in the almonds, chocolate chips, and crumbled chili pepper if using. Transfer to a freezer-safe container to store.

______________________________

Snow Ice Cream

When life gives you a snow day, what do you do? You make snow ice cream, right?

Snow Ice Cream

I’ll preface this by saying I grew up in the Northeast US so snow was a normal part of life in the winter. Sure, we had plenty of snow days and 2 hour delays but it wasn’t really newsworthy. Well, maybe it was since the media is always looking for something to report but other than a few distinct blizzards, it is all a blur of sledding, shoveling snow, and drinking hot cocoa. However I moved away from New England almost a decade ago and haven’t really been involved in a snow situation since. So, living in the south, I was actually a bit excited to receive the gift of 8 inches of snow this week and of course having a couple of bonus days off from work is always a plus.

Snow Ice Cream

However being cooped up with a toddler can be a bit of a challenge. There is only so much Sesame Street you can should watch (though my son would beg to differ). We played with bubbles and read lots of books (having Dr. Seuss’ ABC book memorized isn’t a problem, right?). We took a walk in the snow to visit neighbors and again to pick up the mail and attempted to make a snow angel which was a bit of a fail. We watched the snowplows from the windows which fascinated my son. But the biggest success was bringing the snow inside. Yesterday it resulted in an impromptu snowball fight (in the kitchen thank goodness), instigated by my son, not me. Today I decided to step it up a notch and make snow ice cream. Yes the “recipes” are all over the Pinterest world so this isn’t too creative, but hey, when you haven’t seen snow for a decade and your toddler is getting cabin fever, what else can you do?

So I went outside and scooped up a large bowlful of clean snow. While I let my son have at most of it with spoons and measuring cups, I took 5 or 6 cups of it and put it in the bowl of my mixer, and added in a cup of skim milk, about 1/4 cup sugar, and some vanilla and creamed it all together with the paddle attachment.

You need to work fast and then eat even faster since the snow melts quickly but it’s worth the challenge. It tasted like delicious vanilla sorbet, a bit icier than standard ice cream but then again by the time I grabbed the snow today it had already melted a bit and then frozen again so it wasn’t quite as fluffy as it was earlier on. My son loved it! After eating his own bowl he moved on to mine and then my husband’s. For older kids I’d recommend mixing it with a spoon so they can be more involved and let them do all the measuring too but for us, this was a perfect activity on this snow day. And now, back to the grind tomorrow…

Snow Ice Cream

_____________________________

Snow Ice Cream

Yield: 4-5 servings

5-6 cups of clean unpacked snow

1 cup skim milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment mix together all of the ingredients until creamy. Serve and eat right away. Make your snow day a happy day!

______________________________

%d bloggers like this: