I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to give up summer yet. (Possibly because summer in San Francisco doesn’t really start until September, so it feels as though it’s just begun at last . . . but I digress.) Sure, Labor Day has come and gone and the kids are back in school, but more than anything, I see all of that as all the more reason to whip out the four ingredients TOTAL needed to throw together these one-ingredient ice cream bonbons. We could all use these banana “ice cream” bites as a healthy after school (or work) snack, or simply as a means to eke out just a touch more of the season.
If you’re someone who loves frozen, chocolate covered bananas, but hates that they’re kind of a pain to eat because the banana itself is just so hard as soon as you remove it from the ice chest, these bonbons are for you. Folks who love handheld ice cream novelties featuring chocolate and/or nuts — say classic bonbons or Nestlé Drumsticks (or the Cornetto, I suppose) — you guessed it, these are for you, too. And if you’re avoiding dairy for any reason, you’ll love these bite-size treats — you get all of that ice cream-like goodness without all of the fuss or laundry list of ingredients of a lot of other dairy-free ice creams.
So next time you have nearly overripe bananas on hand, give this recipe a whirl instead of banana bread — I think you’ll be pleased!
One-Ingredient Ice Cream Bonbons
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours+
Makes: About 8 two-bite bonbons
- 4 ounces (113 grams, from about 1 medium) very soft, peeled banana, cut into 1/2″ thick coins
- 3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) canola oil
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) chopped salted peanuts (I love the blister peanuts from Trader Joe’s)
Make one-ingredient ice cream:
Place bowl of small food processor in the freezer. Line a small, rimmed metal baking sheet with wax paper. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on prepared pan. Place in freezer for 1 – 2 hours or until bananas are just about firm throughout.
Once bananas are firm, remove from the freezer (along with the food processor bowl). Put banana slices in bowl of a small food processor fitted with the blade attachment, and pulse until large chunks form. Scrape down bowl and run, scraping down bowl as needed, until mixture is very smooth and lightens in color. Place a fresh sheet of wax paper on the chilled baking sheet, use a 1 tablespoon scoop to portion out equal-size balls of “ice cream” onto baking sheet. Place in freezer to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Once ice cream balls are frozen, melt chocolate. Place the chocolate and canola oil in a small, heatproof bowl (preferably metal, I use a 2-quart stainless steel one by Endurance/RSVP) or in the top of a double boiler. In a small saucepan (I use a 2-quart pan) over medium heat, warm about 1” of water (make sure there’s at least 1/2” of space between the water and bottom of the bowl when it’s placed over the top) until it just barely reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to low and set bowl with chocolate over top. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, transfer chocolate to a clean room temperature bowl (about 1 – 2 cup capacity).
Remove the ice cream balls from the freezer, along with the chilled baking tray. Dip balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate (I use a fork to assist with coating and transferring the balls). Quickly transfer to the wax paper-lined baking tray and immediately sprinkle with chopped peanuts (wait too long and the chocolate will be solid and peanuts won’t stick!). Repeat with remaining balls. Transfer bonbons, uncovered, to the freezer to re-harden throughout before serving, at least 30 minutes. Once completely hardened, transfer bonbons to a freezer bag.