By Freya Bellin
In light of the recent heat wave in New York, I’ve been avoiding the oven at all costs. Instead, I’ve found an excellent way to cool down: frozen chocolate covered bananas. Frozen banana becomes very creamy, just like ice cream, and the bittersweet chocolate mixture is a perfect complement. Add the texture of chopped nuts, and you have a well-balanced, simple dessert.
When preparing the banana skewers for this recipe, make sure the bananas are frozen completely before you try to dip them in chocolate. Once frozen, they are dense enough to remain on the stick in one piece, but until they’re totally solid they fall apart when picked up. In order to thoroughly coat the banana with chocolate (which, believe me, you’ll want to do), you may need to spoon the chocolate onto the banana, rather than dipping. And you can get creative with the add-ons. As mentioned below, coconut, crushed cookies, or any nut make great toppings. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.
Frozen Chocolate Bananas
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes
Your first instinct might be to make these for kids, but adults love them too. Bananas, especially slightly overripe ones, freeze into hard but creamy sticks with the texture of Creamsicles. If you’re serving a crowd, make several chocolate bananas and several chocolate pineapples (see the variation) and set out assorted nuts, coconut, and crushed cookies so that your guests can dress their own.
4 ripe (but not brown) bananas, bottoms trimmed, but unpeeled
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup chopped peanuts or cashews, optional
1. Impale each banana lengthwise with a wooden skewer; freeze for at least 15 minutes or wrap tightly in plastic or foil and freeze for up to a week.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, a small saucepan over very low heat, or the microwave. Whisk in the cream and transfer the chocolate mixture to a shallow bowl. If you’re using nuts, put them on a plate next to the melted chocolate.
3. Peel the bananas, dip them first in the chocolate, then in the nuts. Eat immediately or put them in a wax-paper-lined airtight container and freeze them for up to a day or so.
Frozen Chocolate Pineapple. Shredded, unsweetened coconut is a nice topping here. Instead of the bananas, trim, peel, and core a small pineapple, then cut it lengthwise into 8 spears. Proceed with the recipe from Step 1.