OK, so I’m here today to tell you about the most high-maintenance-but-so-worth-it dessert ever.
This milkshake. OMG, you guys. It is my newest favorite thing! I don’t even know how I came up with it. I THINK it started with craving a caramelized banana, and that somehow morphed into roasted banana ice cream…which of course was DESTINED to be in a milkshake with some salty chocolate and bruléed bananas. Naturally. It was a confusing albeit exciting train of thought. And I’m so glad I had it.
I don’t normally make high-maintenance desserts for myself. People often ask my husband “How are you not 500 lbs with a food blogger at home???” And the response is this: we don’t eat “blog food” regularly. We may have one of the super indulgent (read: FUN) dishes I share on here like once (maybe twice?) a week. The rest of the time, we’re eating soups and salads and bean burgers. If I DO make something super over-the-top and indulgent, it often goes into work with my husband the next day or is divvied up between family members. Milkshakes are truly a rarity. And I think that makes them all that much more exciting.
When I DO feel like investing the time and energy into something special, I tend to go all out. Hence the roasted banana ice cream from scratch. Hence the salted dark chocolate ganache. And finally…hence the bruléed-with-a-kitchen-torch bananas. I have two words: HELL YES. My arms start flailing around uncontrollably when I start talking about food I’m pumped for. There was a lot of flailing happening on the day I made these babies. Oh, and rum. Just kidding. Only a LITTLE bit of rum was involved for the shakes (which made for a fun morning photoshoot for me, haha).
The roasted banana ice cream is so.so.soooo.so good all on its own. I did plenty of “sampling” right out of the container. It’s SUPER banana-y, and that’s exactly what I wanted. If the milkshakes didn’t turn out so fabulously, I would tell you to just stop at the ice cream. But I can’t do that to you. It would be an injustice. ARM FLAIL!
After the ice cream masterpiece was completed, I went ahead and made some salty chocolate sauce that is truly to die for. Chocolate and banana is one of my favorite combos, and this is the epitome of that. It “makes” the milkshakes. Bananas are super sweet, as we all know. I LOVE a little salt to cut my sweet. The salty-sweet thing is probably the best thing on earth, and it’s EASY to accomplish. Buy a small container of good quality sea salt and garnish your desserts with it here and there. You will fall in love. ARM FLAIL!
I must be honest. Having an almost-7-month-old baby (OMG, I’m going to cry) at home makes it nearly impossible for one to make ice cream from scratch, salted chocolate sauce, bruléed bananas, and THEN milkshakes all at once. This recipe was a staged project for me. I made the ice cream one day, the chocolate sauce the next (I just reheated it later), and then when I knew I wanted to photograph them, I made the milkshakes. The bananas kinda have to happen close to serving time or else you’ll lose that crunchy sugar crust on top. And we can’t have that. That is the best part of all the things.
Except the rum.
If you are going to attempt this recipe, which I totally think everyone needs to do, just know that it’s a little high maintenance and will take some extra time. I swear to you, though, that milkshake right there is SO good, you won’t be worried about the time investment after your first sip. Toooootally worth it.
3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste)
3 cups heavy cream
1½ cups whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of fine salt
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons dark rum
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
2 medium ripe bananas, halved lengthwise and then cut in half again
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cups of the banana ice cream
¾ cup milk
¼ cup dark rum (optional but definitely recommended)
Salted chocolate sauce
Chopped walnuts or cashews, optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the banana halves on the baking sheet, cut side up, and sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until soft and beginning to caramelize. Cool completely, chop into bite-size pieces, and set aside.
Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a saucepot. Add the vanilla bean pod, cream, milk, sugar, and salt and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and discard the vanilla pod.
Beat the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stream in the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pot and place over low heat.
Cook the custard, stirring constantly, until thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon).
Remove from heat and strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk in the rum and half of the roasted banana pieces and cover the mixture with plastic wrap. Chill for a couple hours in the fridge. Stir the mixture well to make sure the bananas are still mixed throughout and then process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Gently stir in the remaining half of the bananas and then spoon the mixture into an airtight container. Freeze until firm. Soften for a few minutes before scooping.
Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan and once warm, stir in the chocolate. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is glossy. Sprinkle in the sea salt and taste for saltiness. Adjust as needed. Keep warm until ready to serve the milkshakes.
Just before you are ready to serve the milkshakes, place the slices of banana on a heat-safe surface, like a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the slices evenly and then, using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar over the banana until caramelized and golden. Alternatively, you could place the baking sheet under the broiler for a few minutes, but make sure you watch it the entire time because it can burn very quickly.
Place the ice cream, milk, and rum (if using) in a blender and blend until mostly smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with the salted chocolate sauce, whipped cream, warm bruléed bananas, and chopped nuts. Serve immediately.