It is hard to believe, but baby no.4 (lovingly known around here as G4) is 1 next week. Shocking how time can simultaneously pass so slowly and quickly.
In this whirlwind year, I have, however, managed to accumulate a fair number of cookbooks while spending relatively little time cooking. It was almost as though reading about all the food I wanted to cook somehow made up for the fact that my kitchen was basically in a state of neglect.
Anna Jones book, A Modern Way to Eat, was my hands down favourite of the lot. Thanks to Anna's beautiful layout and unfussy, mouth watering dishes, I have cooked my way through most of the book, introducing the team at home to new tastes and flavours without much reproach. (This in and of itself is a major achievement). The recipes in the book contain no meat or fish, and have many vegan options, but in no way would I consider this in the category of the vegetarian cookbooks of days gone by. If you are indeed a bona-fide carnivore or pescatarian, many of the ideas in the book make wonderful sides as well as complete meatless meals without nasty replacement food. (And her new book, A Modern Way to Cook is equally brilliant)
Don't think this book lacks desserts. There are many. But this ice cream in my opinion wins. It has no fussy custard base but still creamy, rich, packed with flavour. It also happens to be dairy free, egg free, gluten free, refined sugar free, moderately healthy, and simple to make.
And it is a firm favourite. I have been making it all summer and it is so delicious that I ate the entire first batch straight out of the ice cream maker before it hit the freezer. So I have increased the portions by half again (for those who read my blog regularly, you may see a trend..........)
I am aware that it is the end of the summer. And I am now sharing an ice cream recipe. But you should not reserve this only for sunshine feasts. Eat it all year round. Especially as comfort food during those gloomy winter months scooped onto a warm brownie. I know that is what I will be doing.
Roasted Banana and Coconut Ice Cream
very slightly adapted from Anna Jones A Modern Way to Eat
Note: I added cacao nibs to this recipe. Because I am a chocoholic. And caco nibs continue the healthy(ish)/virtuous theme. But feel free to use regular chocolate chips. They too work a dream.
4 large / 5 medium bananas
2-3 tbsp honey
1.5 cans coconut milk (600ml)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract (depending on how much you love vanilla. I use 2tsp)
1 tbsp lemon juice (approx 1/2 lemon)
pinch of salt
40g (1/4c) cacao nibs
Preheat oven to 180C/350F
Line a baking tray with parchment
Slice the bananas in 1-2cm (1/2-3/4inch) pieces and toss with the honey on the baking sheet
Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring once during baking until the bananas are browned, cooked through and the honey caramel is bubbling
Scrape the bananas and any caramel syrup from the baking dish into a blender or food processor with the coconut milk, vanilla, lemon, salt and blitz together until smoothe
Chill the mixture in the fridge until cool (about 4 hours or overnight)
Freeze in your ice cream maker. Towards the end of the churn add the cacao nibs and fold them through the mixture.
If you do not have an ice cream maker or attachment, mix the cacao nibs into the cooled custard and pour into a shallow baking tray and freeze, stirring with a spatula every 20 minutes or so until frozen.
For a more mousse like texture, eat straight out of the ice cream maker, otherwise transfer into a container and freeze until completely frozen.