Yes, we own an ice cream maker so yes we can make our own ice cream. (If you got to this post thinking you were going to make this ice cream from scratch you won't find it here.)
And I'm sure if I looked I could find some gourmet business out there that packs and sells Banana Chocolate Ice Cream with some coconut.
But sometimes you just want to try a recipe out and that's what I did with this. Didn't feel like getting the ice cream maker out from it's winter storage place in the garage. And since I really like the Haagen Dazs Five Vanilla Ice Cream I thought adding my own fresh bananas and my favorite bittersweet chocolate would be a good idea.
I liked this. I liked the crunchy bite of the chocolate pieces. I liked the subtle taste of the toasted coconut. Next time I would make sure my banana was just a bit more ripe.
Super easy to make. I liked that I could take just regular vanilla ice cream (albeit a higher end version) and gussy it up a bit to make something special. Perfect idea if you don't own an ice cream maker (or yours is buried somewhere in the garage).
The recipe came from an October 2004 issue of Martha Stewart Living. It was one of those recipe cards that she includes in every issue.
BANANA CHOCOLATE CHUNK ICE CREAM
(Martha Stewart Living October 2004)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut
2 pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
5 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 small bananas, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven, tossing about halfway through, until pale golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
Remove ice cream from the freezer to soften at room temperature about five minutes.
Mix ice cream, chocolate, banana, and 1/2 cup toasted coconut in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined, about 1 minute. Press mixture into a 1-quart airtight container; freeze until firm, about 50 minutes. Serve scoops of ice cream sprinkled with remaining 2 tablespoons coconut.
Makes 1 quart.
Note: I used Angel Flake Coconut, I used Haagen Dazs Five Vanilla Ice Cream (any good quality vanilla ice cream would work), I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate.
Note: Though it doesn't say ripe bananas, I'd definitely use bananas more on the ripe side to give this more of a banana flavor.
Note: I wasn't really paying attention to the "chocolate chunk' part. I had much finer pieces of chocolate with just a "few" chunks thrown in.
Note: I just threw the mixture in a large tupperware container to put in the freezer. The original recipe shows it being stored in a nice glass container which you could actually serve the ice cream from.
Note: It took more than the 50 minutes for the ice cream to firm up.
Note: Mr. L doesn't really like coconut, so I didn't put any on top for serving (he didn't mind it actually in this ice cream because the coconut is very subtle in this dish). In hindsight I would have toasted less coconut and maybe shaved some chocolate on top when serving.
Basically, as the recipe states, you can mix pretty much any combination of ingredients into store bought ice cream: chopped nuts, chocolate chips, M&M's or different candies. And you don't have to start with vanilla, you could add stuff to chocolate chip ice cream or another flavor. I'm thinking some fresh strawberries, a few bananas, and some granola into strawberry ice cream?? The possibilities are endless.