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Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

June 3, 2014

After having recently gone through a heat wave in Southern California that saw temperatures 20 degrees above average and tickling the 100 degree mark, nothing helps you to feel better instantly about the high heat is something cooling and soothing to eat.  Ice cream is perfect for these times when it’s sweltering outside.  Take a spoonful of ice cream and suddenly you just feel better.  The frozen ice cream feels good as it goes down, and momentarily, just for a split second, you can almost forget the heat as you just taste and enjoy the ice cream.  Of course, when you’re an ice cream lover like I am, you don’t need an excuse of triple digit heat to enjoy ice cream.  Heck, I’ve enjoyed ice cream outside when it’s been single digit, below freezing weather.  In my book, there’s no bad time for ice cream.

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Using my new ice cream maker, which I’ve already blogged about, I’ve made banana peanut butter cup ice cream and butterscotch-white-chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  After successfully adding banana-flavored ice cream in my banana peanut butter cup ice cream, I decided this time to make banana chocolate chip ice cream.  It super simple to do, and essentially is a slight variation on the banana peanut butter cup ice cream using almost the same ingredients, less the peanut butter.  Ingredients for the banana chocolate chip ice cream include eggs, milk, heavy whipping cream, ripe bananas, pure vanilla extract and granulated sugar.

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First things first, take one cup of heavy whipping cream and add it into a saucepan.  To that saucepan, add 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar.  Place the saucepan on the stove on medium heat.  You want to bring the mixture to a simmer and ensure that the sugar has completely dissolved into the heavy whipping cream.  Separately, add one cup of heavy whipping cream into a glass mixing bowl set in an ice bath.  You’ll need it later.

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Start with a couple of frozen bananas.  It’s much easier to work with frozen bananas rather than room temperature bananas.  It breaks down much faster.  Just pop your bananas in the freezer for 2-3 hours prior to making the banana ice cream base.

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Peel the bananas and slice them up into 1/2″ to 1″ thick pieces.  You want the slices to be manageable so that they can be blended in the food processor easily.

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To the bowl of sliced frozen bananas, squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the bananas.  The lemon juice will prevent the banana slices from turning brown.

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Add the banana slices into a food processor.  Pulse the food processor a few times to start the process of breaking down the banana slices.

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To the bowl of the food processor, add in about a tablespoon of honey.  This adds natural sweetness and helps to bring out the sugars in the banana.

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Start the food processor on low.  Slowly add one cup of milk into the food processor.  This adds liquid to the banana mash to help breakdown the banana slices.  Let the food processor go for a minute or so until the bananas are completely mashed and broken down.

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What you should end up with in the food processor is a thick, porridge-like consistency from the mixture of the bananas and the milk.

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When the heavy cream and sugar mixture in the saucepan starts to simmer, but not boil, add the mashed banana mixture right into the saucepan.  Stir everything together to combine.

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The last ingredient to add now is the eggs to thicken the custard.  In a separate bowl, crack two eggs and beat them lightly.  Temper the eggs with some of the heated banana cream mixture so that the eggs don’t curdle.  With the eggs have been tempered, add them into the saucepan with the bananas and the cream.  Continue stirring.  Leave the saucepan on the stove and allow the mixture to re-heat.  As it heats, the banana and cream mixture will start to thicken.  You want to allow the mixture to thicken until you can coat the back of a spoon with the mixture, run your finger down the spoon, and the mixture doesn’t re-fill in where you finger swiped the spoon.  When you’ve gotten to that point, then your banana ice cream base has finished cooking.

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Take a fine mesh sieve, and strain the cooked banana mixture through the sieve and directly into the glass bowl you set aside with the cup of heavy whipping cream sitting in the ice bath.  Push the banana mixture through the sieve.  The point of having the sieve there is in the event that there are still chunks of banana so that you end up with a smooth, creamy banana ice cream.

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Allow the banana ice cream base to sit in the glass bowl in the ice bath so that it can cool down to room temperature.  Once it’s back to room temperature, add in one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the banana ice cream base.  Stir to combine.  Your banana ice cream base now needs to be refrigerated over night.  Cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap making sure that the plastic wrap comes down to sit right on the ice cream base.  This ensures that the ice cream base doesn’t form a “skin” while chilling in the refrigerator because you’ve removed all of the air between the plastic wrap and the ice cream base.  It’s important that this be refrigerated overnight and chilled completely.

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Add the chilled banana ice cream base into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for making ice cream.  After 15-20 minutes, you should have a smooth, creamy, and wonderful banana ice cream.

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It’s time to add the chocolate chip part of the banana chocolate chip ice cream.  Right before your ice cream finishes churning, add in a couple of table spoons of miniature chocolate chips directly into the ice cream maker so that the ice cream maker mixes the chocolate chips right into the banana ice cream.

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When your ice cream is done, scoop the banana chocolate chip ice cream into an air tight container.  If you feel like the ice cream doesn’t have enough chocolate chips in it, you can add in more chocolate chips as you scoop the ice cream into the air tight container.  Just stir the mixture afterwards to evenly distribute the chocolate chips through the banana ice cream.  Store the air tight container in the freezer for a couple of hours so that the ice cream sets up and freezes.  Then, enjoy!  Banana chocolate chip ice cream.

My husband was a bit skeptical of me making banana chocolate chip ice cream.  In fact, he told me that the ice cream was all mine, he didn’t want any of it.  I was happy with the ice cream.  A wonderful, creamy banana ice cream with great, natural banana flavor and a hint of sweetness with bursts of miniature chocolate chips.  A great combination.  However, after seeing the ice cream sit in the freezer for a few days, my husband couldn’t help himself and just had to try my banana chocolate chip ice cream.  He took one spoonful and he was sold!  In fact, he ended up finishing off that carton of my ice cream concoction.  I’d say that’s a pretty resounding endorsement of my banana chocolate chip ice cream.

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