Food Emperor

Caramel bananas with lemon balm ice cream

By December 23, 2016 Cooking, Sweet

Have you ever had deep fried bananas? Have you ever tried dulce de leche (Spanish caramel)? Have you ever eaten lemon balm flavored ice cream? If you have, you must already know that this recipe will make you a very happy person. If you haven’t, then you might not yet understand that this recipe will make you a very happy person.

I’m telling you. Bananas and caramel go great together. And because we’re deep frying them, I was thinking a fresh flavor for the ice cream goes well with them. Sure, I could have made a lemon ice cream or some other acidic creation but then I remembered that lemon balm is amazing. So be careful, you might shit yourself from joy.

This recipe yields about 6 portions, but you can prepare everything in advanced hence eat it yourself for six days in a row.

Let’s start with the caramel and bananas

Dulce de leche basically means “milk sweetness” (ok, it means jam made from milk, but my Spanish is bad). It’s sweetened milk that has been reduced (letting water evaporate) and then with heat you produce a maillard reaction in the sugars. It darkens and thickens the sweet milk, resulting in a wonderful texture and flavour.

The way that takes time and your full attention…

  • 1 l whole milk
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Mix it all together.
  2. Boil for 2 hours while stirring  constantly
  3. It will darken. Now keep boiling until it has reached the darkness you want, I’d say medium brown.

The way that takes time but no attention…

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  1. Put the un-opened can into a pot of water
  2. Boil it for about 2 hours
  3. Wait until can has completely cooled.
  4. Open the can, only to find… Dulce de leche.

The way that takes almost no time and no attention

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  1. Put the un-opened can into a pressure cooker and fill upp with enough water to cover the can.
  2. Boil under pressure for 45 minutes.
  3. Wait until can has completely cooled.
  4. Open the can, only to find… Dulce de leche.

As I was saying, the bananas…

  • 3 bananas, firm yet sweet. The best ones are the ones that just turned from green to yellow a second ago. Make sure they’re not too crooked!
  • A plate of potato starch, corn starch or regular flour
  • A plate with two eggs, beaten.
  • A plate of  bread crumbs.
  • A plate of regular sugar
  • Dulce de leche (which you should have by now)
  1. Start by peeling the bananas and cut of the ending so they’re flat. Now cut each banana into 3 pieces.
  2. Use a potato peeling (the straight model) or a small knife to cut out the centers of the banana pieces. Make sure to hold the banana firmly in your hand when you do this, or else the banana will break. If you don’t get what I mean, watch the video again.
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  3. Put the bananas on a tray with some parchment paper (they don’t stick to it when frozen, which helps) and fill them up with dulce de leche. I use a plastic baggy, fill it up with the wonderful caramel, cut of a corner and then squeeze out the goodness.
  4. Cover the bananas with some clinch film and freeze them rock hard.
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  5. (I recommend you start the ice cream process now)
  6. Fill a large pan with oil. Pick an oil that works well for deep frying in high temperatures (such as rapeseed or peanut oil)
  7. Use a thermometer to make sure the oil reaches 170-180 degrees. Under that, and you’ll have mushy bananas before you have a crispy coating. Above that, and you might burn down your home.
  8. Take out the frozen bananas, coat them in starch, eggs and bread crumbs. Then back to starch, eggs and bread crumbs. So double coated bananas!
  9. Fry them 90 seconds. If you’re using a cast iron pan (like I do) rather than a deep fryer that pushes the stuff down deeply into the hot oil, you might want to turn them after 45 seconds to make sure they get brown all over. Don’t put in too many at once or your oil will cool to much.
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  10. If you transfer the fried bananas into the sugar immediately after taking them out of the oil, the sugar crumbles up from oil and heat and doesn’t distribute evenly around the bananas. So let them cool a little before you roll them in sugar.

Lemon balm ice cream

I’ll tell you about a method for making ice cream where you basically just shake a bag surrounded with ice and salt.

  • 6 g of lemon balm
  • 2,5 dl full cream
  • 2 dl full milk
  • 1 dl sugar
  • pinch of salt (that’s about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1,5 tbsp of lemon juice (that’s from about 1/4 lemon)
  • And for the amazing ice cream making method, you need lots of ice, lots of salt, two small plastic food grade bags and one large plastic bag. By food graded, I mean bags that you can store food in and that keep tight.
  1. Mix the lemon balm with some of the sugar in a mixer/chopper until it resembles a coarse green paste.
  2. Transfer the lemon balm mix into a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Stir it all thoroughly, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably over night. The fats will acquire the flavours from the lemon balm.
  3. Put a lot of ice and salt into a bag. The salt will make the ice melt, and it will lower the temperature.
  4. Pour the ice cream base through a sieve into another bag, push out most of the air, and tie the bag completely. Don’t let that goodness sipper out! Use a sieve, because the flavour is already in there and you don’t want to chew tiny pieces of lemon balm when you eat ice cream.
  5. Put the bag in bag into a large bag. And shake it. Shake it vigorously for 15 minutes!
  6. You now have this very soft and creamy ice cream, but you want to firm it up a little. So put it into the freezer for about an hour, and you’re all set to serve.

Serving…

Two pieces of banana with a scoop of ice cream. I sprinkled it all with some dried lemon balm, but you can do whatever you like. If you’ve gotten this far, it’s impossible to fuck it up now.

 

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