Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Doing it Asian-style

When I found out the theme for Sugar High Friday this month is classic desserts with an Asian twist, I was on it like white on rice. I've already made 3 or 4 desserts that fit this theme. Check out the DESSERTS link in the right side bar. My favorite is the Thai tea crème brulee.

One of my favorite sweet combinations is coconut milk and bananas. This can be found in many guises, such as coconut, sticky rice and banana steamed in banana leaf (or bamboo) or deep-fried bananas drizzled with coconut sauce, or bananas Foster with a dollop of coconut ice cream. I’m a simple girl and don't need anything nearly so fancy. Give me a bowl of slightly sweetened coconut milk seasoned with a pinch of salt, throw in a cut up banana and I’m happy. But wouldn't I be happier eating it as ice cream? Or how about banana split-style??

Coconut milk and Banana Chunk Ice Cream
makes a generous quart
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk (lite is fine)
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 6 oz sugar/ 3/4 cup (see note)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (see note)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 firm banana, well chilled
Note: Salt in ice cream? Absolutely!! Salt is commonly used in Thai desserts that contain coconut. I think it works beautifully to enhance the flavor of the coconut milk. Also, I'm going to try to remember to use weights for things like sugar, salt and flour because it makes everything more consistent.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and ½ cup of coconut milk just to the boiling point (but don't let it boil).

In the meantime, whisk the eggs with an electric mixer until they are pale and thick. Gradually add in the sugar and whisk well. Make sure to scrape down the sides occasionally.

Slowly add the scalded cream to the egg mixture while whisking vigorously. When it’s all incorporated, pour the custard back into the saucepan, add the salt and heat over medium heat to 175º. Strain the custard into a large bowl but do not push the debris through the strainer. Add the remaining coconut milk and vanilla. Give it a good stir, then cover and place in the fridge to chill.

Once it’s completely chilled, churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Before you start churning, put the whole, un-peeled banana in the freezer to chill. About 2 minutes before the ice cream is done, cut it into small dice and add it to the ice cream.

There was a lot of spoon fighting going on here.

Here are some other Asian-fied desserts that may pique your interest: Ube and Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream, Chocolate Matcha Marble Cupcakes, Matcha Cocoa Brownies, Lychee Mousse Cake, Tamarind Caramels. These are a few on the long, long list I'm waiting to try. It would go so much faster if other people made them and I just ate them.


Manggy said...

Darlene, I love bananas :) You know how I feel about coconut, haha! :D I would be definitely part of the fighting over the split!

tigerfish said...

Can I fight for it too? I'm putting aside image, reputation, whatsoever, just for your ice cream!

Dee said...

manggy, your relationship to the coconut is perplexing considering you come from an Asain country. It's almost like saying you don't like rice :-) But I won't hold it against you. Just means more ice cream for me!

tigerfish, you'd have to put up a good fight because Sonny is a master at spoon fighting, especially when it comes to dessert! LOL.

Anonymous said...

I'm a sucker for banana splits! It's the only way I'd eat raw bananas. I'm weird like that. Banana and coconut sound like a great combo!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I've got my spoon ready to join in the rush!

This reminds me of when I pan-fried bananas in butter and sugar with coconut flakes. It was sooo good. I think it'd be perfect spooned over ice cream. Or perhaps incorporated into an ice cream flavor?

dp said...

Marvin, Sonny doesn't like bananas either, but strangely he'll eat them with ice cream and chocolate sauce dizzled on top :-)

wandering chopsticks, you've given me an idea with that bananas in butter...I just happen to have some bananas left.

Deborah Dowd said...

Now that its getting a little warmer I am starting to crave ice cream (despite my diet). Thanks (?!) for tempting me.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That looks like an excellent dessert and a great twist on this dessert. Coconut banana sounds mouth watering to me right about now. I could go for a bowl in half of a coconut shell with some cold, coconut rum-heavy drink in the other half, and I'll just have to pretend I'm on some tropical vacation...

dp said...

Deborah, it's futile for me to resist. I'm a terrible dieter. Good luck!

Mike, I day dream about being on a tropical vacation everyday :-) I have to or I'll go batty with this weather here. Last weekend 75 and beautiful. Yesterday hail and didn't even hit 50.

test it comm said...

That banana split looks good. I really like the sound of banana and coconut ice cream.