First and foremost, let me confess…
The sinfully rich looking creaminess you see above is not really gelato, and it’s not ice cream either.
Guys and Dolls…This is BETTER!
This is a virtually sugar-free, dairy free, healthy dessert that can be made within five minutes and will have your taste buds (and the little voice inside your head…or is that…just me? ;-)) convinced that you are sinning BIG TIME.
As you know from my juicing adventure, Sam and I have committed to eating healthier, which means getting creative and producing alternatives to typical desserts. After dinner we either skip dessert entirely or have some fresh fruit plain, or with some vanilla yogurt. Nevertheless, that doesn’t always satiate the craving for a sweet, creamy gelato/ice cream.
I guarantee that if you love gelato and ice cream the way I do, you will L-O-V-E this Mango-Banana (pseudo) Gelato.
It’s basically a mango and banana (already pre-cut and frozen) with just a little vanilla yogurt (I used soy yogurt) and a handful of walnuts pureed in a food processor.
I tell you, the mango and banana combination totally works! As Sam and I indulged last night, we kept commenting on how delicious our “gelato” was and how it easily competes with the real thing (like the one we had not too long ago), without all the extra fat and sugar. I don’t know about you, but for us, it doesn’t get any better than that.
In the past I’ve pureed frozen bananas (I got the idea from here), which is really good on its own. But of course, I had to take it to another level and added either mangos or (fresh, not frozen) strawberries to the frozen bananas with a little agave nectar, a few semi-sweet chocolate chips or sprinkled with cocoa powder. However, this one is by far the best. I can’t wait to continue experimenting with other fruits and nuts, nut butters, etc. (using the frozen bananas as a base for the “cream” factor).
You owe it to yourself, regardless if you’re trying to eat healthy or not (you can even have it for breakfast), to give this a try, and if you do, please feel free to share your thoughts.
My only concern now is, will my ice-cream maker feel lonely??
Thanks and have a great day!
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – La Rochefoucauld
Yields two servings
1 pre-cut frozen mango (skin removed)
1 pre-cut frozen large ripe banana (skin removed)
1/4 cup vanilla soy or greek yogurt
small handful of walnuts (or any nut)
Place first three ingredients into your food processor (or blender) and pulse continuously (scraping down sides as needed) until you start to get a lovely creamy texture, then add nuts and pulse for about 20 seconds. By the way, the frozen pieces of fruit may clump up, and it’ll feel like it’s not going anywhere, but don’t lose faith. Just continue to pulse. I sometimes pulse in 10-20 second increments a few times and then as if by magic, it all comes together beautifully.
Last night as we were preparing dinner, the conversation went a little something like this…
Hmm, I’m in the mood to bake something, but I don’t know what.
Yeah babe…But something simple.
How about, vanilla cupcakes with a chocolate frosting? Wait no…How about I make the frosting with chocolate malt powder?
YEAH…that sounds good!
So at close to 9:00pm Sam and I were in the kitchen washing dishes, listening to some tunes, exchanging a few kisses and preparing/anticipating the Chocolate Malt Frosted Cupcakes.
Because it was kinda late and I was wanting to be done quickly, I just popped open a box of white cake mix (I keep them in stock for quickies), into which I added two teaspoons of vanilla extract. The chocolate malt frosting was tweaked from a recipe for a milk chocolate cookie malt cream filling that I had saved from the Food and Wine website to make sometime in the near future.
By the time all was said and done, it was about 10:40ish pm and past our bedtime (we’re early birds). So, being the classy individuals that we are, we devoured one cupcake each over the sink and prepped for bed.
They were pretty yummy and worth the wait. The frosting had that lovely chocolate malt shake taste that I remember having as a kid. However, we would have liked the flavor to have been a bit more prominent, so next time I think I’ll add more chocolate malt powder and a little less sugar.
Chocolate Malt Frosted Cupcakes
(Yielded 12 cupcakes and one 6×2 cake)
Frosting inspired by Mathew Rice
- Box of white or yellow cake mix
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (for cake)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup chocolate malt powder, such as Ovaltine
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (my addition)
- About 1 teaspoon cocoa powder to dust on frosted cupcakes (my addition)
Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake pan with buttered and floured baking cups, also butter and flour cake pan. Prepare cake mix according to instructions, be sure to add the vanilla extract to the mix.
For frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the chocolate malt powder at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Scrape sides as needed and add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat at low speed just until combined, gradually add whipping cream and increase to med-high speed for about 1 minute.
Decorate your cupcakes/cake (once cooled) as your heart desires, dust with cocoa powder and enjoy :-).
“All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!” ~ Charles Schulz
This past weekend was all about “saving” the foods that would soon expire if I continued to use them as props in my fridge and counter.
Part of the inventory of edibles were some leftover Fuji apples from last week’s delicious Waldorf Salad. Whereas I could have cooked the apples to accompany the dynamic rosemary-garlic pork tenderloin I made (I’ll have to share this one at a later date).
Instead…I followed my heart’s true desire and made gelato.
But first, let me ask you…
Do you like caramel?
Do you like apples cooked in cinnamon and sugar?
What about caramelized toasted walnuts?
That’s a double yes!
Well then ladies and gentlemen…..
You will L-O-V-E this!!!
Although I had never caramelized anything in my life…I let myself loose and the results were just divine!
The inspiration came from this recipe, and in typical SamCyn fashion, I changed things up a bit and ended up with a Burnt Caramel & Apple Walnut Gelato.
Sam and I were immediately seduced by the creamy, subtly sweet, nutty, smokey flavors of this gelato. We both agreed, this was a sophisticated flavored gelato…Definitely not one for the “kiddies”.
I gave some to my six-year old niece to try and she loved it.
Which proves one of two things:
1. My niece has got sophisticated taste buds.
2. We just don’t know what we’re talking about :-).
Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer
Burnt Caramel & Apple Walnut Gelato
Serves 1 1/2 pints
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 medium-sized apples, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 capful of dark rum (optional, makes the gelato easier to scoop right out of the freezer).
- Heat ¼ cup of sugar in a deep pot over medium heat until it begins to melt and turn golden. Add apples, walnuts and cinnamon and saute until well coated and caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining sugar in the same pot over medium heat until it melts and turns dark brown, about 2 to 4 minutes (do not stir sugar during this process, except to evenly melt the sugar). Slowly whisk in cream until well combined. Whisk in milk, add vanilla bean and salt; cook until very hot, about 2 more minutes.
- Beat eggs yolks in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Slowly whisk ½ cup of cream mixture into the yolks. While constantly whisking, slowly pour egg-cream mixture back into pot with milk-cream mixture. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Transfer to a container, stir in the rum (if using) and cool completely in the refrigerator or by using an ice bath. Using a sharp paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean pod into the gelato mixture and discard pod. Churn according to the directions on your ice cream maker, during the last five minutes or so of churning, stir in the caramelized apples and walnuts. then store in a tightly sealed container and freeze until firm.
Happy New Year and Blessings to All!
I hope your holidays were surrounded with the love and laughter of your family, friends and most importantly GOOD FOOD ;-).
My goodness, it’s been FOREVER since I’ve posted about one of our “Edible Adventures” and let me tell you… there have been a lot. Unfortunately, I just didn’t get around to photographing & posting.
The last couple of weeks our home was filled with lots of great food, which we have done our best to consume before either freezing or God forbid dispose 😦 (I feel so guilty throwing food away).
Part of that inventory were a few Navel Oranges that were just begging to be devoured…and if I was a good, disciplined woman, I would have peeled those babies and had them for breakfast and lunch.
In addition, I was feeling experimental 🙂
Therefore, I decided to make Orange Chocolate Almond Gelato (which Sam refers to as Fruity Pebbles).
Based on my love of dark chocolate and almonds (any type of nut, really), I customized Martha Stewart’s recipe for Blood Orange Gelato.
Makes about 1 quart
- 2 cups whole milk
- Zest of 1 blood orange, plus 1 cup freshly squeezed blood-orange juice (about 4 oranges)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Substituted Navel Oranges
- 4 oz. of Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate
- 1 cup of toasted almonds
- 2 tablespoons of Grey Goose Citron Vodka (optional, this keeps the gelato from getting rock hard, thus easier/quicker to scoop out right out the freezer).
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk and orange zest. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let steep 30 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, cook orange juice over medium-low heat until reduced by three-fourths, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let orange syrup cool completely.
- Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Return milk to a simmer.
- Add half of warm milk to egg-yolk mixture; whisk until blended. Return new mixture to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove saucepan from heat; immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a sieve (I purposely left in some of the zest), stir in orange syrup and vodka and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- Melt chocolate and spread over toasted almonds on parchment paper. Place in fridge until chocolate hardens completely. Chop up the chocolate almonds (small enough so that you don’t damage your ice-cream maker).
- Freeze in ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, add chocolate almonds towards the last 5 minutes of churning. Store in an airtight plastic container up to 2 weeks.
Can you say YUMMY-LICIOUS??
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, there are a lot of steps in making this baby, but I’ve got to tell you… it is SO WORTH IT.
Sam says it tastes like Fruity Pebbles (I’m glad I made something that brings him back to his childhood), I just love the combination of the sweet tasting oranges, mixed with milk and cream, along with the contrast of bittersweet chocolate and almonds.
Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos. ~Don Kardong
Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is. ~Author Unknown