Sunday, April 8, 2012

Banana Coconut and Almond Ice-Cream

You may have noticed a dearth of dessert recipes on this blog. It was brought to my attention by one of my followers. “Tough crowd” I thought. But actually, it’s a fair point. I’ve been quite open about the fact that I suck at baking and am terrified by the precision that deserts require. It doesn’t fit at all well with my mad scientist approach to cooking.
However ice-cream is a different story. You have to stick to basic proportions but it’s not nearly as rigid and unforgiving as baking and lets you to go, “hmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I added this…” without the whole thing imploding before your eyes. Like replacing some of the ordinary cream with coconut milk. It seemed like a fitting thing to do. Coconuts are everywhere in Thailand a key flavour in sweet and savory dishes.
Coconut seller at Klong Toey market in Bangkok

    1. Peel and chop the bananas into even sized pieces. Put them into a plastic tub and into the freezer until frozen.
    2. Make sure you refrigerate the coconut milk and cream until you are ready to make the ice-cream – the secret of getting your ice-cream to set is making sure all the ingredients are cold already when they go into the ice-cream maker.
    3. With a food processor, mortar and pestle or a good knife and chopping board, chop or crush the almonds fairly finely, leaving a few bigger chunks for texture.
    4. Put the frozen bananas into a blender or food processor and blend until they are a smooth paste. Add all of the other ingredients except for the almonds and blend briefly until creamy. Don’t blend for too long as this will warm the mixture up.
    5. Add the almonds and stir in (don’t blend – you don’t want them to be broken up too finely)
    6. Churn in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer instructions
    7. The ice-cream should come out fairly solid. If it isn’t, place in a plastic tub and in the freezer for half an hour.

One of the principles of Mango Ginger recipes is that they don’t require you to use specialist ingredients or equipment. I am aware that an ice-cream maker is a fairly specialist piece of equipment. But my experience with it has been so wonderful that I’m allowing myself to break my own rule. Not only will it give you hours of fun, but making ice-cream is one of those things where the ratio of effort required to level of awe from your guests is definitely in the cook’s favour.

Lots of ice-cream recipes suggest making a custard first. But this one doesn’t need it – good quality, thick double cream does the trick. And trust me on the salted almonds, it’s only a tiny hint in the end but it really works. I was so happy with this I am even considering facing my fear of making desserts head-on!

Time: 25 mins plus freezing time (may vary according to your ice-cream maker)
Rating: Couldn't be simpler
Serves: 3-4 (or 1 if you are my husband) 


3 ripe bananas
1 tbsp sugar
175ml coconut milk
200ml double cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
40g roasted salted almonds



  1. Mmmm, I want some! I too am not a big dessert maker but make a notable exception with ice creams and sorbets! Our ice cream maker is probably my favorite gadget (and it's true - making homemade ice cream seems so impressive to people). Perhaps I'll make your ice cream as my first one since moving here.

  2. I have all the item sitting right in front of me in my pantry....time to try out your recipe!!! Thanks for the post!!

    1. Thanks for coming to visit! Hope you enjoy it :-)