Roasted banana sorbet

The weather in London has been very good indeed over the weekend. Sun, blue skies, and proper heat. Now for a little confession: whilst I love the sun and the blue skies, I’m not so much a fan of the heat that comes along with it. I flap at the thought of humidity/heat, and cannot bear the thought of life without the fan/airconditioning.

My British friends always find it odd that I can’t take the heat (I did grow up in a tropical ‘always summer’ country after all).. to which I respond: ‘We move from air conditioned house, to air conditioned car, to air conditioned building’. Though come to think of it we had no air conditioning in school, and we sometimes even wore baju kurung. Thinking back, I have no idea how on earth I managed that.

One of the ways I deal with the heat is by eating copious amounts of frozen desserts – ice cream, sorbet, gelato, granita… I’ll take them all, thank you very much. I used to stock my freezer with many tubs of store bought ice cream, but ever since I got my ice cream maker I prefer to make my own. Because let’s face it, I can’t walk into Waitrose and get Milo ice cream now can I?

I saw this recipe for roasted banana sorbet in the Eleven Madison Park cookbook, and was quite intrigued. For those of you who don’t know, Eleven Madison Park is a 3 Michelin star restaurant in New York, and is currently No 10 on the Worlds Top 50 restaurants. It is also one of my favourite restaurants, ever. I’d cooked a couple of pork dishes from the book prior to this which turned out well, so thought I’d give their sorbet recipe a try.

This turned out rather well, but because there wasn’t any cream/milk/butter/egg yolks in it the sorbet wasn’t super creamy like how ice cream/gelato is. I actually liked this, because it made it very light and refreshing. The flavour of banana is also intensified from the roasting.. in fact it reminded me of goreng pisang (deep fried battered bananas, a Malaysian snack).

What I might experiment with next time is to use milk in place of the water – I suspect this would make it slightly creamier, without needing to use cream or egg yolks. And maybe add a dash of condensed milk. Hmmmmm.

Photo taken with instagram

I topped the ice cream with some crushed peanut & sesame brittle – because I always need a little crunch to go with everything I eat. I’m obsessed with texture!

Do try this recipe out if you’re feeling a little hot and bothered, and feel like you need to cool down. It works, really! 🙂

Ah, the difficulties of photographing frozen desserts in warm weather…

Roasted banana sorbet
Adapted from the Eleven Madison Park cookbook
Makes 2 cups

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup sugar (you may need more or less, depending on how sweet your bananas are)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Place the unpeeled bananas on a parchment lined baking tray, and roast until the skins turn brown and the juices have run out. This should take approximately 20-30minutes.
2. Peel the bananas. Place bananas in a large bowl, and add the water, sugar and salt.
3. Puree the banana mixture using a hand held blender, or food processor. If you wish, you can strain the mixture to ensure it is smooth. I choose not to do this as I like small banana chunks in my sorbet.
4. Add the lemon juice to the banana mixture. You may add less lemon juice if you prefer a sweeter sorbet.
5. Chill the banana mixture in the fridge for 3-4 hours, until it is thoroughly chilled.
6. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturers instructions.
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Milo ice cream

Every so often, I make something that makes me REALLY excited and happy. If you recall, I received an ice cream maker from the Fairy Hobmother not so long ago, and I was itching to make some ice cream. And so I did.

The first batch of ice cream I made was a vanilla and raspberry swirl ice cream… which I ate straight out of the ice cream maker as I could not bear to wait a few extra hours to allow it to solidify further (the ice cream comes out of the ice cream maker in a ‘soft serve’ type texture you see).

Photo courtesy of nestle.com.my

Two days later, I decided it was time to make some ice cream yet again, and this time experimented with incorporating Milo into the ice cream custard mixture. For those of you who don’t know what Milo is… where have you been?!! Kidding. 😛 I daresay any person who’s from South East Asia (and I even dare to say Australia) grew up with Milo, which is a chocolate and malt powder which is mixed with milk/water (and a touch of condensed milk *cough*) to make up one of the best ‘hot chocolate’ drinks EVER.

The Milo truck used to come by our school all the time, giving out cups of ice cold Milo on a hot humid day (let’s face it, when is it not hot and humid in Malaysia?)… fond memories. 🙂 According to the Milo website, Milo contains ACTIGEN-E®, a combination of 8 vitamins and 4 minerals that helps to optimize the release of energy from food. These are the B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Biotin); Vitamin C; Calcium; Magnesium; Iron; and Phosphorus. This is supposed to give one the energy to get through the day’s activities uninterrupted. (I tend to drink it before I sleep though, so I can’t vouch for this energy thing).

Most of you Malaysians and Singaporeans out there may also remember all those Milo ads on the television with their tag line of “It’s marvelous what Milo can do for you!”. I suspect it’s not as “marvelous” for you when you eat it out of the tin with a spoon on a regular basis (like me), but you know what, it’s so good that I can’t stop myself from doing it.

So yes. I MADE MILO ICE CREAM! I churned the ice cream at 11.30pm, and could not bring myself to eat ice cream just before going to bed. Also, I did want it to solidify a bit more so it could reach the right ice cream consistency. So this meant that whilst at work the next day, all I could think about was my Milo ice cream. I kid you not when I say the journey home from work never took so long (and it only takes me 20 minutes), as I was so excited about trying it. Ah, the little pleasures in life. 😉

The moment I got home, I rushed to the kitchen, opened the freezer, dipped a spoon into the ice cream, and….. BLISS. I absolutely loved how it tasted, and had to stop myself from eating up the whole tub pre-dinner.

Later that day, I was more civilized and served the ice cream in teeny little bowls I bought when I was in New York, and topped the ice cream with… you guessed it, MORE Milo. What can I say, I’m obsessed.

I adapted David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice cream recipe to make this, and I must say it is an excellent recipe. It made for a very creamy and decadent custard base, which is the key to a good ice cream. I can’t wait to try out some of his other recipes, and I can imagine that each and every one is just as good. He wouldn’t have such a bestseller ice cream book otherwise!

I actually made 2 versions of the Milo ice cream – one was a pure Milo ice cream (i.e. all brown), and also a mix of vanilla and Milo ice cream (i.e. a mix of a white and brown). I suspect it’s not that obvious because of the copious amounts of Milo I sprinkled over the tops of the ice cream…

I believe I will be eating a whole lot of ice cream in the near future. Thank goodness it’s summer, which gives me a slightly more valid reason to do so. 😀

Milo ice cream
Adapted from a recipe in The Perfect Scoop

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Milo
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract (alternatively, use seeds from half a vanilla bean)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks

1. Set up an ice bath by placing ice and water into a large bowl.
2. Pour the double cream into a bowl, and place this bowl into the ice bath.
3. Warm the milk, salt, sugar, Milo and vanilla bean extract in a pot over medium heat.
4. In a separate bowl, stir the egg yolks together. Gradually pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
5. Pour the egg yolk/cream mixture back into the pot, and cook over low heat, stirring the whole time. Cook until the mixture thickens to a custard consistency –  it is ready when you can draw a clean line through it on the back of a spoon, using your finger.
6. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir constantly over the ice bath until cool.
7. Refrigerate the custard/cream mixture until thoroughly chilled. Some recommend doing this overnight, I only left it to chill for 4-5 hours.
8. Churn the chilled mixture in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturers instructions.

p.s. If you don’t have an ice cream maker but still want to revel in homemade ice cream goodness, try this recipe for semifreddo. It’s a no churn recipe that gives rise to something very similar to ice cream, and is just as delicious.