Monday, 14 July 2008

Ice Cream, You Scream - Cardamom Banana Ice Cream!

I am a huge fan of cardamom. If you haven't tried it - it is a woody, earthy spice that behaves much like cinnamon although does not taste like cinnamon. (I think it tastes better!)
It can be paired with sweet and savoury applications and once you try it you will be wondering why it is cinnamon that is so popular.

I first tried it years ago when a Pakistani friend brought me home a bowl of a sweet rice/nuts/ cardamom/edible gold leaf (or silver, I can't remember) dish that was delicious and really, really filling. The cardamom stood out in my memory and I have added it to my repertoire ever since.

In sweet applications I think that it pairs best with banana. They just seem to have a natural affinity. So for this Ice Cream, You Scream event, hosted by Nik Snacks, I chose to make a cardamom banana ice cream. You will notice that I write cardamom first - that is because I have prepared this ice cream so that the spice could be the star. If you are new to cardamom, or prefer subtle flavours, feel free to cut the cardamom down by half. The lime is there to wake up the flavours and also keep the banana from browning before it is added to the cream. The brown sugar gives good colour and added flavour to the ice cream.

I dedicate this ice cream to my fellow Canadian food blogger Jasmine from Confessions of a Cardamom Addict - for obvious reasons!

Cardamom Banana Ice Cream

3 egg yolks
¾ cup brown sugar, divided
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 ripe but not black bananas
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups whipping cream
2 tsp cardamom powder

In a small/medium bowl whisk yolks, ¼ cup brown sugar and vanilla, set aside.
In food processor blend bananas and lime juice.
In medium pot add milk, cream, ½ cup brown sugar, cardamom. Heat on medium, stirring, until almost bubbling.
When cream is up to temperature, add some to yolk mixture, spoonful by spoonful, whisking constantly until you have added about half a cup.
Reduce heat to medium/low, add yolk mixture to pot and heat 5 minutes more, stirring gently but constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in banana mixture.
Pour into a lidded container and refrigerate overnight.
Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. Freeze at least 4 hours before eating.