I scream for ice cream. Except I don’t, really. Being an almost permanently cold person, I’m not the biggest fan of cold foods, and tend to opt instead for warmer sweet treats and snacks.
That being said, ice cream features strongly in my fond memories of childhood summers. The well-known ice cream van anthems – typically the Cornetto advert song – far in the distance would activate my conditioned tastebuds, and I’d begin salivating for a chunky Magnum or a double 99. I remember counting out my collection of pennies to pay for a milk lolly at the van, much to the impatience of the driver; and I will never forget the pleasure of coming home after school, digging in the freezer for a Fab, and slowly scraping the chocolate sprinkles off with my teeth. Holidays in France saw us most days buying ice cream from the men who ran along the beach with their cooler boxes, or at the magnificent little parlours offering a huge variety of flavours, from Toblerone to pistachio.
I believe my tastes in ice cream have matured a little since the days of Calippo Shots, Feasts, and whopping bowls of Neopolitan drenched in strawberry sauce. I prefer a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside a warm chocolate brownie, or strawberries. But what recently knocked my socks off was this incredibly simple banana and chocolate ice cream, made for me by a friend.
The recipe couldn’t be any simpler. Simply break three bananas into bite-sized pieces and put in the freezer (touching as little as possible, or they’ll freeze in clumps.) After at least four or five hours, take them out and pop them in a food processor with half a tablespoon of cacao powder. (You can use cocoa powder – but as the former is much stronger, you’ll need to at least double the quantity.) Blend it up until it’s got the consistency of ice cream, occasionally removing the lid to scrape along the sides to make sure it’s all well-incorporated. Don’t over-blend, or it’ll be too smooth. Then scoop out into two bowls (or into cones), sit in the sun, and enjoy.
And there you have it! It’s absolutely delicious, and probably the healthiest ice cream out there. You could throw in some berries or a squirt of maple syrup for some extra sweetness, but by itself this ice cream rivals any standard supermarket tub. Look out, ice cream van drivers.