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Frozen Chocolate-Covered Banana Balls

Hello.  My name is Jessica and I am a Conchordoholic.

That’s my confession for those of you who don’t know me.  For most of you who do, you’re probably surprised that I haven’t mentioned Flight of the Conchords until now.  They’re two guys from New Zealand (I have become embarrassingly predictable) who sing funny things while playing guitars and such.  Of course there is much more to them than that, but that’s the Cliff’s Notes version.

On Sunday night, they were special guests on the 22nd premiere of The Simpsons, which is a pretty big deal.  In honor of that, I’m writing about an idea that crept into my mind a few weeks ago.

I’ve recently seen recipes for making “ice cream” simply out of frozen bananas in a couple places: Tracy from shutterbean blogged about it, and it’s also in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.  A couple months ago, I bought The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and was instantly drawn to his recipe for tartufi (chocolate-covered scoops of ice cream).  Naturally, I combined these two ideas into chocolate-covered banana ice cream balls because that’s just how my mind works. ;)

banana "ice cream"

Now, unless you’re a crazy fan like me, you’re probably wondering what the heck this has to do with FOTC.  In Drive By, (season 1, ep 6 of their HBO show), Bret and Jemaine run into problems with a fruit vendor who thinks he hates New Zealanders.  While said xenophobe is hurling insults at them, their friend, Dave, tells them to insult him back.  Not knowing what to say, the following happens:

"Banana Balls!"

Okay, it’s much better in context, but how can you not love ’em?

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Banana Balls

This is the 4th out of the 12 recipes I’ve posted so far that prominently features bananas.  What can I say…I <3 bananas?  When I was a kid, we used to freeze bananas on popsicle sticks and dip them into chocolate.  That’s exactly what these remind me of, but with a creamier inside. By the way, these require a lot of down time.  The bananas, ice cream, and ice cream balls all have to freeze for quite a while.  Good news is that it’s all super easy!

adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

The original recipe calls for light corn syrup, but in the spirit of Bret and Jemaine’s homeland (and because I had a lot left over from making these), I used golden syrup.  Plus, I’m not a big fan of corn syrup, so yay for avoiding it whenever possible!

banana “ice cream” (recipe below)
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (I used semi, which is a bit bitter for the banana)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup (or light corn syrup)

1. Line a plate with parchment paper.  With a standard ice cream scoop, scoop the ice cream onto the plate.  (I was able to get 7 scoops.)  The scoops need to be very solid for the next step, so I let them sit in the freezer overnight.

2. For the coating: Make a double broiler by simmering some water in a pot and setting a heatproof bowl on top.  Combine the chocolate, butter, and syrup in the bowl and stir until the mixture is melted.  Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

3. For dipping: Remove the banana scoops from the freezer.  Working quickly, dip a scoop into the chocolate and get it completely covered.  Using a fork, lift it out of the chocolate and tap off the excess chocolate.  Set back on plate and repeat with the remaining scoops.  Return dipped balls to the freezer until ready to eat…unless that time is now!

chocolate, butter, and golden syrup melted coating

Banana “Ice Cream”
(seen in various places)

This is more of a method than a recipe.  I mean, there’s only one ingredient in it!  It’s like magic.

2 bananas

Slice the bananas into one inch chunks. Place the chunks on a plate (so they don’t freeze together), cover, and freeze overnight. When they’re frozen, throw them in a blender or food processor and whiz until creamy. (The “ice break” setting actually worked the best for me!) Transfer to a small container and cover.  You’ll need to freeze it for at least a couple hours before scooping it!

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Banana Balls

This isn’t the first time I’ve created something edible inspired by these guys, and oddly enough, it’s also from this episode. I’m planning to post about it, but in the spring because it’s actually very appropriate for Easter!