It's Secret Recipe Club time again; time to reveal Shelley of C Mom Cook as my assigned blogger for October and feature a recipe (or two) from her blog. With SRC membership around 150, it's always exciting to see which blog is mine for the month, a familiar site or one totally new-to-me. I was pleased to be assigned C Mom Cook, I know this blog from Shelley's participation in so many other food challenges (SourdoughSurprises, DaringBakers, DaringCooks, BreadBakingDay, TwelveLoaves and of course SRC). As the mother of two active children I've often wondered where she finds the time to be such an adventurous cook?! Shelley notes in her blog:
"I love food and almost everything involved with it - preparing it, eating it, sharing it. I am a stay at home mom to two wonderful children and it is my goal to share this love of food and the appreciation of the process with them as they grow... I love to try new recipes and learn new things, and to impart my love of fresh, homemade foods to my family."Check out her blog, you're sure to find more than one recipe to tempt you. I bookmarked several savory recipes, but my recent experience with cardamom ice cream drew me to a dessert, Chocolate Banana Faux Ice Cream. What's better than a bowl of ice cream? that's easy, ice cream with a topping. Pan-Fried Cinnamon Sugar Bananas, a riff on Bananas Foster, joined the party. I couldn't resist the temptation to add a boozy finish with a hint of orange zest, just for fun.
Why the additions? The Flavor Bible, a data-packed reference book by Page & Dornenburg, suggests cinnamon, sugar, rum and oranges as good flavor pairings with bananas. After hearing the author's presentation at #IFBC 2014, I reserved their book at the local library. Now I'm having fun playing with new flavor combinations and tweaking recipes, sweet banana topping and chocolate banana ice cream included.
The taste test got off to a rocky start - really rocky. The frozen dessert was as hard as a rock and could not be scooped, even with a heated metal scooper, until it sat out on the counter for 4 or 5 minutes. The faux ice cream had a slightly grainy texture, freezer induced I suppose since the mix came out of the blender quite stiff but silky smooth. The not-too-sweet frozen chocolate, banana and orange blend was pleasant enough, but served by itself was not a huge hit. No one wanted a second sample. Fast forward to another serving topped with the warm and buttery, brown sugar coated bananas and my taste testers were happier. After the topping was finished with a flambé of rum and a sprinkle of fresh orange zest, voila! magic happened. That topping would make even cardboard taste good - just saying.
Topping a la Bananas Fosteradapted from C Mom Cook
2 ripe but still firm large bananas, cut into 1/2" coins
4 ounces butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces dark rum (optional)
freshly grated orange zest (optional)
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir together until the sugar melts. Add the banana rounds and cook over medium-high heat until warmed and lightly caramelized on both sides, flipping only once so the bananas don't fall apart.
Optional finish: remove the pan from the heat and drizzle in the rum. Return pan to the heat and ignite with a lighter or very long match. Stand back and flambé the bananas, but watch out for the flame. Let the flame die down while the alcohol cooks out, usually 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with the optional grated orange zest.
Serve over ice cream... or crepes, waffles or a slice of cake.
Chocolate-Banana Faux "Ice Cream"adapted from C Mom Cook
4 very ripe large bananas, sliced into thick rounds &
8 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
Place the banana rounds, cocoa powder, honey and orange extract in a blender. Blend until totally lump-free. It may take a while, but keep whirring and scraping down the sides until the mix is very smooth.
Pour into an airtight, freezer-safe container; cover and freeze until firm, usually 1-2 hours.
Note: my freezer froze it rock hard overnight, initially too hard to scoop until it sat out on the counter for several minutes.