This ice cream is so good (so, so good). There’s the icy smooth, luscious banana base and then the crunchy depth of caramelized white chocolate freckles, like dulce de leche. This was a huge hit with the Pleasant Hill Grain staff. Next time you have a few ripe bananas, pop your Cuisinart bowl in the freezer and get ready to add a new favorite to your ice cream repertoire!
Banana Ice Cream with Caramelized White Chocolate Freckles
Makes about 1 quart
Ice Cream Base
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1-1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (we substituted maple syrup)
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and seeds and bean reserved OR 3 teaspoons high-quality vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 recipe Caramelized White Chocolate Bombe Shell, warmed (see recipe below)
The day before mixing your ice cream, place a Cuisinart ice cream bowl in the coldest part of your freezer.
- In a small bowl, mix approximately 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch, until a smooth slurry forms.
- In another small bowl, mix cream cheese and salt until smooth.
- Fill a large bowl with water and lots of ice.
- In a 4-quart saucepan combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla seeds and bean (or extract) over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a rolling boil. Boil 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
- Return to medium-high heat and bring back to a boil, as you stir with a heatproof spatula. After about a minute, it will be slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
- A little at a time, whisk the hot milk mixture with the cream cheese mixture.
- When smoothly incorporated, add cinnamon and cayenne and stir.
- Pour this mixture into a gallon zip lock bag, and seal. Submerge in ice bath bowl for at least 30 minutes, until cold (add more ice as needed.)
- Remove the vanilla bean, if used.
- Pour ice cream mixture into the pre-frozen freezer bowl of your Cuisinart ice cream maker, turn it on, and let the automatic mixing paddle do the work for you.
- Spin until frozen.
- When the ice cream is almost ready, melt the caramelized white chocolate bombe.
- When the ice cream is frozen, drizzle the warm chocolate into the top opening of the ice cream machine and let it mix until the “freckles” are fully incorporated.
- Pack into airtight, freezer-safe glass storage container and press parchment over the surface, then seal with lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer for about 4 hours, or until firm.
Caramelized White Chocolate Bombe Shell
This is a slightly different take on Jeni’s Chocolate Bombshell. Makes enough to coat 6-8 scoops of ice cream.
- 12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup refined coconut oil
- Combine the white chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan, and melt, stirring often, over medium low heat until mixture is melted and smooth.
- Continue cooking, still stirring continuously, under the mixture turns a deep amber color (this will take about 12-15 minutes). If you don’t stir constantly, the mixture will burn as the color deepens. If it seems like the mixture is caramelizing too quickly, remove the pan from the heat.
- When the mixture has deepened to your preferred shade, remove from heat and let cool.
- Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge. It will keep for up to 1 month.
- To return the shell to a pour able consistency, place the jar in a warm place like the windowsill for 30 minutes or let hot water run over the sealed glass jar (coconut oil returns to liquid at 76° F). Microwaving on low for 20 seconds at a time and stirring often also works, but you’ll need to be very careful not to overheat.