Fuck you, Monday! You ain’t got nothing on vegan breakfast ice cream!
My very first Iron Chef Challenge, y’all! 2011 is the first year I’ve ever felt confident enough of my culinary abilities to join in, and I hope my Chocolate Chip Coffee Banana Ice Cream doesn’t disappoint.
As you’ve probably already guessed, the ingredients for this challenge are (drumroll please!) banana and coffee. I really wanted to cook up a batch of banana pancakes, topped with coffee-infused syrup (what can I say, I’m on a pancake kick!), but just didn’t have the time.
(We’re sealing the concrete floors this weekend! I know it sounds like a drag, but it’s so worth it in the end. When freshly sealed, the floors look like they have a candy-coated shell! So rad! And then someone – *cough* Mags *cough* – pees in the hallway and it’s all downhill from there.)
Instead I settled on coffee-flavored banana ice cream (as always, no ice cream machine required!), which fits in nicely with two of my themes (meant in the loosest sense of the word!) this mofo, namely ice cream and frugality.
I was a little skeptical of the banana-coffee flavor combo – especially since the taste of bananas can be overwhelming in these ice creams, what with bananas serving as the base and all! – but this is one delicious dessert. The bananas complement the coffee nicely, and how can you go wrong with chocolate?
Okay, so maybe coffee is a bit more than just an accent flavor, but the good news is that you can vary the strength of the coffee according to your tastes. Use two teaspoons for a light touch, or four (or more!) for a stronger brew. Decaf or no, it’s your call. But may I suggest this is as an early morning pick-me-up? Coffee and fruit, all in one convenient little bowl. So simple, yet so divine.
The artsy crop.
Chocolate Chip Coffee Banana Ice Cream
(Makes slightly more than one quart of ice cream.)
4-5 over-ripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup soy milk or – better yet – soy creamer
2 to 4 teaspoons instant coffee, depending on how strong you like your ice cream! (I used three.)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chocolate bark
In a small mug, whisk the soy milk with the instant coffee. Combine the frozen bananas, vanilla extract and coffee in a food processor and mix until smoothly blended. Sample the batter and, if it’s not sweet enough for you, add a tablespoon or two of sugar (or other vegan sweetener) and the chocolate chips or bark and process until blended. Try not to overprocess the batter, as this can result in soupy ice cream. If the soft serve is too much on the soft side, transfer it to a covered container and store in the freezer for an hour or until it’s thickened up a bit.
Optional: for more finely chopped chocolate chunks, process the chocolate chips or bark first, and then add the bananas and follow the directions from there.
Soft serve, freshly whipped.
(Ignore the icky Cool Whip container, mkay?
It’s a throwback from my pre-vegan days.
Reuse, then recycle!)