Chocolate Covered Banana Cream Pops
So, there seems to some sort of weird thing with bananas and the TV show Arrested Development. Since I don’t watch the show, I have no clue what the connection is. But, when you talk about anything having to do with bananas, I’m there. I know, a lot of people aren’t banana fans. Something to do with texture. To me, that’s blasphemous! For me, bananas only make everything better. I absolutely love this fruit, in ice cream, milkshakes, cakes, as snacks, eaten fresh, there’s no limit to my love for bananas. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was born in the Year of the Monkey according to the Chinese zodiac? Who knows.
I think one of the new fads in desserts these days is making your own homemade popsicles at home. There’s so many different companies out there that not only make molds, but all sorts of tools and gadgets to help make over-the-top pops that have shapes and pictures and so on. But, of course, a mold isn’t really necessary for making a pop, you could make an old-fashioned pop with a small Dixie cup and some wooden popsicle sticks. I fall somewhere in between the extreme of going all out with all sorts of fancy gadgets and the low-tech version of having no gadgets, by giving in and buying this very simple 4 popsicle mold that I picked up for just under $5. Now, the fun comes in experimenting and trying out new popsicle flavors and combinations, and believe me, the possibilities are limitless.
Put together the popsicle craze and my love for bananas, and it was only natural that I chose to make chocolate covered banana cream pops. The thing I love about making my own popsicles is that you can see and control exactly what goes into the food you make. Unlike when you by premade store-bought items and have no idea what kind of chemical preservatives and how much sugar they put into the food. For the banana cream pops, only 4 ingredients are required: bananas, heavy whipping cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract.
For the chocolate, all you need is a little bit of butter and some chocolate chips.
Since the chocolate sauce takes the longest, its easiest to get started making and melting the chocolate. Into a double boiler, with about an inch of water in the bottom pan that is just barely simmering, add a tablespoon or 2 of butter and a few ounces of chocolate chips into a bowl that fits snugly over the bottom pan, but without touching the water. At this point, take a spatula and start stirring constantly. The steam coming off of the simmering water will heat the bottom of the top bowl, and that will begin to melt the chocolate chips and the butter. The stirring incorporates the melting chocolate and butter together so to form a chocolate sauce, and prevents the chocolate from scorching.
Once all of the butter has melted, and the chocolate chips are beginning to melt and liquefy, take the top bowl off of the heat, and continue stirring. There’s enough heat generated that the remainder of the chocolate chips will melt that the bowl doesn’t need to remain connected to the heat source. Easy as that, you have liquid chocolate sauce.
Time to start making the banana cream for the popsicle molds. Cut 1 to 1-1/2 bananas up into manageable 1″ pieces so that it is easier for the blender to liquefy it. Add the banana chunks into a blender.
To the blender, add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. If that is too rich and thick, you can also substitute with half cream and half milk.
Then add about 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
Finally, add in about 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. The vanilla will help to enhance the sugar sweet flavor of the bananas. Don’t add too much vanilla extract that the vanilla overpowers the bananas. This is a banana cream pop, not a vanilla cream pop.
When everything is in the blender, let the blender go on high speed for about 1 minute until everything is liquefied and there are no chunks of banana remaining. Essentially you should end up with a thick milkshake consistency.
This is the mixture that you’re going to pour into our popsicle molds. Fill the molds up to the max fill line with the banana cream mixture. As you can see from this picture, I spread some of the chocolate sauce into the molds prior to pouring the banana cream mixture, hoping that when I unmolded the cream pop that the chocolate would come off too and actually cover the cream pop and act as a chocolate shell. Unfortunately, that was unsuccessful as the chocolate actually just adhered to the mold when the popsicle unmolded.
However, I did say this was a chocolate-covered banana cream pop and I did indeed infuse chocolate into the cream pop. I had a feeling that the chocolate sauce that I lined the mold with might not actually adhere to the cream pop, so to hedge my bests, I actually took the remaining chocolate sauce and added dollops of the chocolate right into the creamy banana mixture after I had filled the molds. Using a fork, I took some of the chocolate and added a few dollops at a time of chocolate right into the center of the creamy banana sauce. Then I took a wooden skewer and created swirls through the creamy banana mixture so that the chocolate I had just dropped in would sink into the mold and mix with the banana cream.
When the chocolate has been added to the banana cream, you’re ready to put the tops onto the molds, or in this case, it’s the top that holds the stick of the popsicle. When you actually unmold your cream pop, these tops actually become the handles, or the bottoms, of your popsicle. The mold needs to go into the freezer for a few hours, or overnight, until it is frozen all the way through.
When you’re ready to enjoy the banana cream pops, just run the outside of the plastic mold under warm water in your sink for 15-30 seconds to loosen the ice crystals that have formed. Grasp the handle of the popsicle and jiggle until it comes loose. As you can see, the chocolate I smeared on the outside of the mold didn’t loosen from the mold when I unmolded the popsicle. But, see those dark brown bits sprinkled throughout the popsicle, that’s the chocolate that was spread throughout the inside of the banana cream mixture before I froze the popsicles.
One bite of the popsicle and it’s creamy, rich and full of banana flavor, and then you get the crunch from the bits of frozen chocolate spread throughout the popsicle. And it really tastes like a frozen, chocolate covered banana. Simple ingredients, simple to make, and perfect for those hot summer days. It’s so much fun to make your own popsicles at home and experiment with a wide variety of flavors, toppings and combinations. But, chocolate covered banana cream pops take the cake for me!
Recipe heavily adapted from I Wash You Dry