Tag Archives: fruit dessert

The New Banana Split

I like cookies, brownies, cakes (in slices and in cups) but sometimes, I want to take a break from the butter and sugar, and eggs and go a little bit more natural.  By natural, I don’t mean baking with agave or honey, which I have done, or using whole wheat flour, which I do more and more, I mean just eating fruit.

This summer we have reaped the benefits of living within walking distance to a farmers’ market and enjoying peaches, blueberries, strawberries and melon by the bowlful.  But, this dish, this changed it all.  Let me introduce you to banana ice cream, which I found on The Kitchn, made with just bananas.
The bananas that are currently sitting on your counter top that are getting more and more freckles each day?  That is your only ingredient. Depending on the desired serving size, I have found 2 bananas enough for 3 people – but it’s just banana so there’s no downside in eating a lot!

Cut the bananas up into 1/2 inch slices and throw them in the freezer for at least 2 – hours.  I recently froze mine for 24 hours, and that was fine too.  The more frozen the better.

After they bananas slices are thoroughly frozen dump them all into your blender/food processor and go.  At first the bananas will look gravelly, and hard, and chunky, and not at all ice creamy -although my sister did point out that it resembled Dippin’ Dots, everyone’s local mall’s version of the ice cream of the future. 

No matter… Press on, keep grinding, and occasionally pausing to scrape down the sides with a spoon.  In a matter of moments, seriously 3-4 minutes tops, the banana gravel becomes beautiful whipped banana ice cream.

Now you can eat it right now in a bowl (or out of the mixer) if you want, and it is amazing.  Or you can add additional flavors.  Some favorites in my house right now are a teaspoon of chunky peanut butter, honey, or cinnamon, but why not some coconut flakes (if you like that, I don’t), or some cocoa powder, or chocolate syrup?

So far this hasn’t lasted past dessert, because we eat it all so quickly – but I would eat it for breakfast, or serve it with warm waffles/pancakes/french toast.  I need a brunch party, stat!

The Cake that Stole the Show, or Blueberry Harvest Cake

Blueberry Harvest Cake
Part of the joy of getting a pedicure is reading the magazines.  And I was extra joyful when I stumbled upon the August issue of Food & Wine Magazine.  With tributes to Tuscan Farm to Fork cooking and a feature on Greek Chef/Philosopher Michael Psilakis I was hooked.  

On Sunday, a few days after the pedicure, we were having Mark’s family over for lunch to wish his mom a “buon viaggio” before her trip to Italy.  This was our first time entertaining in our new house, and we toiled on the menu, prepared on Saturday, shopped our Farmer’s Market Sunday morning and cooked and cleaned just until showtime.  On a hot day, and a full menu the big debate was dessert, and then I remembered the magazine.

The Cake that Stole the Show, or Blueberry Harvest Cake 
adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, August 2010

All the ingredients ready to be delicious
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup of milk
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 1.5 cups of blueberries, fresh
Confectioners Sugar for dusting
Use a 9″ springform pan
Oven at 350 degrees

Whisk the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl whisk, by hand, the eggs with granulated sugar until fully combined and a smooth yellow color.  

Then pour in the vanilla, milk, and olive oil and continue whisking by hand.  Slowly and while whisking continuously, pour in the melted butter.  It’s a good idea to let the melted butter cool for a few moments as this cake would not taste good with scrambled olive oil eggs.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture, again by hand, it will be a beautiful golden yellow color.  Try to resist “taste-testing”, I usually cannot, but I know that I should.

Pick your favorite fruit.  The Food & Wine recipe calls for seedless red grapes, but since I live in DC and not Napa, and since blueberries are delicious right now, I adapted.

Fold the blueberries into the batter with a whisk and a gentle hand, being careful to not crush them along the way.

Pour into springform pan and bake for 15 minutes.  At fifteen minutes remove the cake from the oven and pop on a few more blueberries on the surface, and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.  Check to ensure it is fully baked with a toothpick – clean toothpick means it’s done!

After the cake has cooled sprinkled on some confectioner’s sugar and you could serve it with more fresh berries, like I did, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, a blueberry sauce or just plain, because it is just that moist and delicious!

Oh, so why the name?  Why the “Cake that Stole the Show”? because after a delicious Caprese salad, Aged Cheddar and Bacon Macaroni, perfectly seasoned baked chicken breast and a salad that would make any farmer proud – this cake was devoured.  And Mark very proudly boasted, this was the best cake ever, it “stole the show”.