Hello, my name is Meg, and I have an addiction to ice cream and frozen desserts.
I love ice cream and the sweet nostalgia it induces so much that I served it at my wedding.
Going on the ice cream tasting appointment to select the flavors was probably the MOST FUN thing my mom and I did during the wedding planning process.
In each new city I visit, one of the first things I search for is the best ice cream in town.
I am a banana lover, and it is really hard to find good banana ice cream at the store or in ice cream shops, leaving me to make it myself!
But I’m up for the task.
So today’s post is an adaptation of Alton Brown’s recipe featured on his show Good Eats.
That guy really knows what he’s talking about. I love his knowledge and enthusiasm for the science of cooking and his humorous approach toward food.
I used the inside of a whole vanilla bean as the recipe calls for, which yields a true gourmet taste and a mixture specked with pretty flecks of vanilla bean seeds.
But if you don’t want to splurge on the vanilla bean (each bean costs like 12 bucks a pop), or get caught smuggling it out of the grocery store, you can certainly substitute the vanilla bean seeds for 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
As Alton states, what’s special about this recipe is the complex chemical composition of the bananas perfectly replaces the eggs that usually hold an ice cream together and provide it with a smooth “mouth feel.”
I adapted Alton’s recipe by adding just a bitty 1/4 teaspoon of salt to cut the sweetness, as well as a half-cup of chopped Lindt Swiss Bittersweet Fine Dark Chocolate, available at high-end grocery stores and on Amazon.
I made the full-fat version, but you could easily substitute half of the heavy cream for whole or low-fat milk and it would still be good.
This end result tastes like a big, creamy, frozen banana with tiny chunks of gourmet chocolate shavings – um, YUM?!
Just make sure you plan out when you’re going to make and serve this ice cream! Amidst your busy schedule, it will take a few days to complete this ice cream from start to finish!
-Peaches and Cake
Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Adapted from Alton Brown, 2003 – aired on Food Network’s Good Eats
See the Good Eats episode about this recipe: Part 1 and Part 2
Makes a little over a quart of ice cream
- 6 ripe bananas (about 2.25 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream (if you prefer to cut the fat, use 3/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup whole or low-fat milk)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 3.5-ounce bar bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped, about ½ 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
- 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. 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. Process for 10 to 15 seconds. Add corn syrup and vanilla bean seeds and turn processor on. Slowly pour in the heavy cream (or heavy cream + milk mixture). 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. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.
- Serve with fresh sliced bananas or strawberries, if desired.
No ice cream maker? Blend the mixture on high for 30 seconds and then freeze. It won’t be quite the same, but as Alton says, “it’ll still be good eats.”