Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Amy's Vegan Banana Split




I have to admit, the banana splits I have eaten in the past have far from impressed me.  I can remember having one at Dairy Queen and wishing I had simply ordered a mudslide...as the fruit sauces were overly sweet and the whipped cream probably came from a can...not to mention the nasty artificial marschino cherry perched atop.  Maybe I just hadn't had a banana split, but my opinion of them was they were not that great.  That is until I was watching a show on the cooking Channel on sweets and I saw a revamped classic banana split at a New York city restaurant.  The chef had totally played around with it coating the bananas in chocolate, including cake, and macadamia nut brittle and ice cream flavors like buttered popcorn and mango...I don't remember all of it but it looked and sounded amazing!  It got me to thinking, why can't I create my own banana split with ingredients and flavors I love?!

So I got to work creating it!  I started with the ice creams.  Classic banana split has vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.  But...none of these would do for mine.  I instead decided on maple peanut butter, chocolate cacao nib, and rasberry chipotle.  It took me a week to make all of the ice creams, because I only have one machine, but it was so worth it!  

Although the ice creams would have been good on their own, this was a banana split, not a bowl full of ice cream.  So of course I made sauces as well!  For the sauces, I would not be using the classic pineapple, chocolate syrup and strawberry...but instead maple peanut butter sauce, dark chocolate sauce, and fresh raspberry sauce.  I figured I would pair the sauces with the ice creams like in the classic so that was one thing that remained the same! 

I could have stopped there, but I liked the idea of something crunchy in the dessert, so I made some salted peanut brittle to throw in among the ice creams!  Lastly, I didn't want to use dairy whipped cream so I made whipped coconut milk which I much prefer.  It is so much sweeter, and even more so once I laced it with vanilla beans.  Now, about that cherry on top...you will not find one on my banana split because I hate marschino cherries and their artficial color and hurt your teeth sweetness.  Instead I chose to top mine off with fresh raspberries, which I love! 

Once it was all assembled in one of my Grandmother's antique rose bowls, it was quite lovely!  Almost too pretty to eat, the ice creams all lined up on top of the bananas with their matching sauces and the billowy whipped cream on top dotted with berries! 

But...not too pretty because of course I dove in and devoured it.  It was amazing and it forever changed my opinion of banana split.  How do I describe the taste and texture...it was a lot to take in, all of it heavenly all together but I will try, by breaking it down.  The peanut butter ice cream was sweet and nutty with a hint of maple and a silky mouthfeel, and it went perfect with the maple peanut butter sauce which was gooey and sweet! 

The chocolate ice cream was intense like dark chocolate with the crunchy cacao nibs throughout and the decadent fugde sauce was a wonderful texture to add to it! 

The rasberry ice cream was sweet and slightly spicy and it paired well with  the slightly tart fresh raspberry sauce! 
The crunchy peanut brittle was like sweet salty goodness among all of the soft ice cream and the whipped cream tied it all together!  It melted a little and the bananas soaked up the goodness...the best part being the combining of the ice creams and melted coconut cream at the bottom of the bowl all together! 
It was amazing...and although it took a while to create, it was so worth it!  Yeah, I could have bought ice cream at the store and made it easier on myself but that is not how I operate.  If you wish to try any of the ice creams or toppings for yourself, or maybe the whole shabang, here is the recipe!

Recipes For All of the Components:
Maple Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Makes about 4+ cups

1 cup lite organic coconut milk
2 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine takes about an hour, and is still a little soupy like the consistency of a malt, but firms up in the freezer later). Once processed, pour into a freezable container with a lid and place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results.
Chocolate Cacao Nib Ice Cream
Makes about 4 cups of ice cream
1 cup lite coconut milk
2 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
1 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup cacao nibs

To make ice cream, combine all ingredients in a food processor except cacao nibs, and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine takes about an hour, and is still a little soupy like the consistency of a malt, but firms up in the freezer later). Mix in cacao nibs and pour into a freezable container with a lid and place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results.
Raspberry Chipotle Chili Ice Cream
Makes 5 cups
3 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
1 12 oz bag frozen raspberries
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp dried chipotle powder
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients except pepper flakes in a blender, and process until well blended. Stir in pepper flakes, and pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine takes about an hour, and is still a little soupy like the consistency of a malt, but firms up in the freezer later). Once processed, pour into freezable container with a lid, and place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results.

Maple Peanut Butter Sauce:
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For maple peanut butter sauce, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. If a thinner sauce is desired, add a little more maple syrup.

Chocolate Sauce:
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbsp agave nectar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut oil
pinch of sea salt

For chocolate sauce, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.  If too thick, add a little more agave, if too thin add a little more cocoa to your liking.

Raspberry Sauce:
1 12 oz pkg raspberries
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To make raspberry sauce, puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Keep in the fridge. 

Vanilla Whipped Coconut Cream:
1/2 cup chilled full fat coconut milk (from the top of the can)
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
seeds of half a vanilla bean

To make whipped coconut cream, chill a medium bowl and beaters until very cold.  When chilled, add the chilled coconut milk to the bowl and beat at high speed until stiff peaks, a few minutes.  Add agave nectar vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds and beat until incorporated.  Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Salted Maple Peanut Brittle:
1 1/2 cups maple sugar (or granulated)
2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups roasted peanuts
Fleur de sel
Lay out a piece of foil and spray with non-stick spray. Heat sugar over high heat in a non-stick skillet with 2 tsp sea salt, until sugar begins to melt. Stir with a rubber spatula to evenly melt sugar and add peanuts. Stir to coat, and pour onto foil, spreading into a thin layer. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and let cool completely. Break into pieces (about a cup broken into very small pieces to be stirred into ice cream), you will have extra for serving and snacking.
For Serving Banana Split:
Makes 2
Fresh Raspberries
2 Bananas, halved lengthwise

To assemble, place one banana (two halves) in each bowl.  Scoop two scoops of each of the three ice creams into each.  Top the ice cream off with each of the toppings, pairing the peanut butter sauce with the peanut butter ice cream and so on.  Top off with some of the peanut brittle, then the whipped coconut cream, and lastly some raspberries.  Enjoy!  (And you will have plenty of extra ice cream for future enjoyment)

11 comments:

  1. This sounds so wild! The chocolate cocoa nib ice cream has me really intrigued! I love finally eating something that I have spent SO long imagining and working on.

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  2. You've outdone yourself with this one. High 5!!!

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  3. This is an amazing display of your wonderful talent. A sweet recipe not only for one type of ice cream, but three. Also, each and every one of these is creative and unique. I am not vegan and I am loving this! Have a great day!Buzz Buzz

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  4. Love the maple peanut butter sauce!

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  5. Can you please come over and make this for me? I agree, I'm usually very disappointed when I order a split. Yours, however, is stunning! Thanks for sharing, sweet girl.

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  6. Holy cow - what a treat! I love banana splits, and I can't even begin to determine which component in your version I love best. Fantastic!

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  7. I love your vegan desserts! The ice creams are grand! (and you have fun, don't you?)

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  8. My husband would love love love this. Consider it bookmarked.

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  9. What a great healthy alternative - and more people friwendly :D
    Dying to dig my teeth in I swear!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Double Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

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  10. Wow, what a dessert! Great take on a classic.

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