Monday, December 16, 2013

salty caramel ice cream + julia's banana bread

ice cream is my favorite dessert in the world.

for someone who thinks about flavors as much as i do, the jeni's book is most definitely inspiring.
i definitely nod to myself each time i look through it.

i chose salty caramel to make first.
it's close your eyes good. it's gone now and i miss having it in my arms.

having 2 pints of ice cream was an excuse to make a banana loaf to pile it on.
having a banana loaf was an excuse to keep shoveling back salty caramel ice cream.
damn you life and your vicious cycles

julia's banana bread. not mine, this julia is far more tan.
julia's banana bread is a green hut on the side of the road in hawaii.
they only sell banana bread.
the recipe was published in bon appetit about a year ago and i've finally gotten to it.

the recipe couldn't be simpler. no butter, just oil for fat.

julia's banana bread is Exactly what banana bread IS, yo.
no nuts, no glazes. dense and sturdy, tender, full of squiggly banana flecks.

banana bread. salty caramel ice cream.
this was an easy win.

Salty Caramel Ice Cream
from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tbsp) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Dump sugar into a medium pot and place over low-medium heat. Stand over the pan of sugar with a heatproof spatula ready, but do not touch the sugar until there is a full layer of melted and browning liquid sugar on the bottom with a smaller layer of unmelted white sugar on the top. When the edges of the melted sugar begin to darken, use the spatula to bring them into the center to help melt the unmelted sugar. Continue stirring and pushing the sugar around until it is all melted and evenly amber in color — like an old penny. When little bubbles begin to explode with dark smoke, give the sugar another moment and then remove from the heat. Immediately but slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the cream and corn syrup mixture into the burning-hot sugar. Be careful! It will pop and spit! Stir until it is incorporated, then add a bit more cream and stir, then continue until it is all in.
Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Heat the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is melted and golden amber in color (see note above). Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will fizzle, pop, and spurt. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.
Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. If any caramel flecks remain, pour the mixture through a sieve.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Pour into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.
Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Julia's Banana Bread
from Julia's Banana Bread Treehouse in Kahakuloa, HI, recipe here

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
3/4 cup vegetable oil

preheat oven to 350 degreesF. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a large medium bowl. whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combine. scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. 

bake until a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. run a knife around inside of pan to release bread. turn out onto rack and cool completely. will keep  stored at room temperature of for 3 days. 

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