Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chocolate-Banana… Er...

The "hot" weather is breaking; I don't think it'll get much above 80F here again this year. I admit there were times when I was actually reluctant to bake bread in my non-airconditioned attic apartment. The heat also made the breakfast bananas ripen too fast... and that led to a lovely new treat that uses neither the stove nor oven.This is not a mousse. Mousses use egg yolks and whipped whites. It’s not a custard; that requires baking cream and eggs in a water bath. It’s not really a pudding either since there’s no milk or starch involved. It's great frozen, but there's no sugar syrup so I wouldn't call it a sorbet. At cool room temp or in the fridge it sets to the consistency of a good cream pie filling, but it’s no pastry cream and uses none of the pastry staples: egg, cream, butter or flour… I think it’s almost vegan.
I have no idea what it should be called. All I know is it’s shockingly easy and as long as you like bananas, you’ll love the result. It's versatile, too. You can increase the recipe by 50% to fill a 9” pre-baked pie shell or crumb crust.* You can use it to fill a layer cake, Boston Cream Pie-style. You can freeze it in one container and scoop it like ice cream or freeze it in those popcicle molds and make them into healthy fudgecicles.So many possibilities!

Recipe: Chocolate [Peanut Butter] Banana… Dessert

The nut butter is optional but fun for variations... cashews and rum would make the whole thing South American-ish. As you can see in the picture, it does have a slightly grainy texture from the bananas. You can press it through a sieve if you'd like it more smooth, but then you get less fiber.

4 bananas
2 oz dark chocolate (preferably 60% or more)
1 tablespoon peanut butter [optional]
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 tablespoon liquor; I like rum or kaluha in this)
pinch of salt

Combine bananas and chocolate in a microwave-safe container and nuke until chocolate is mostly melted,~2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.
Combine in a small saucepan over medium-low heat (no water bath needed), stirring frequently until chocolate is mostly melted, ~5-7 minutes.

Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender . Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Pour into 4-6 containers of your choice and refrigerate or freeze until set.

*It takes 6 bananas, 3 oz chocolate, and ~2 tablespoons cocoa to fill a 9” pie crust.

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