Bri must be smiling….
She knows I’d LOVE to find an excuse to eat organic gourmet ice cream for breakfast! But, REALLY…I didn’t. It’s just the way I time ice cream prep, often running our Cuisinart ice cream freezer first thing in the morning, so the soft frozen ice cream will have a chance to harden during the day for an after-dinner indulgence.
The bananas Bill buys vast quantities of have been ripening rather quickly the past few weeks. He prefers them unspotted on the slightly unripe, green-tasting side. (Who knows why?) Anyway, the bananas keep ripening way past his preference level and I just HAD to do something with them.
Decided to make one of our favorite ice creams: Banana Rum. As usual, my starting point is a recipe from ‘The Ultimate Ice Cream Book’ by Bruce Weinstein embellished with my own variations and, as always, eggless.
* 1/2 cup organic cane or turbinado sugar
NOTE: For a special variation, added in a Tablespoon of sugar mixed with a drop of Nutmeg Essential Oil. Could have added another drop for a more distinct flavor.
* 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
* 2 Tablespoons organic cornstarch
* 1-1/4 cups half ‘n half
* 2 large VERY RIPE bananas
1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 1 teaspoon double strength vanilla (Penzy’s)
* 1/8 cup dark rum
1. HOLD 1/2 cup of half ‘n half aside for mixing with the cornstarch.
2. PUT the rest of the half ‘n half into a medium saucepan with the sugar & salt. HEAT ’til slight bubbles appear at the edges of the pan, stirring so the sugar and salt blend in.
3. PUT cornstarch into a small bowl. ADD half ‘n half slowly, mixing well, so there are no lumps. Once the cornstarch is blended, add that liquid to the warmed half ‘n half.
4. COOK over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mix is smooth and thickened to a visibly silky texture. Turn off heat.
5. ADD 1/8 cup dark rum & vanilla. STIR to mix. Let cool to lukewarm.
6. MASH the ripe bananas in a bowl with a fork or in a blender ’til utterly smooth.
7. ADD to the lukewarm half ‘n half mixture. ADD the liquid heavy cream. STIR well.
8. COOL lidded saucepan of prepared custard in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
NOTE: I always do this part in the evening, letting the ice cream mixture cool to room temperature before refrigerating it overnight.
First thing the next morning, I set up my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, getting the frozen canister out of the freezer and setting it on the motor knob.
9. Carefully pour in the chilled ice cream mixture, so it doesn’t splash (and freeze) on the rim or edges of the canister. Set the mixing paddle into the mix and pop on the clear lid.
10. Turn on the ice cream maker, then set your kitchen timer for 25 minutes. Occasionally, the freezing process takes 35 minutes, but rarely. Once you’ve made several batches, you’ll be able to tell when the ice cream’s done and soft-frozen by the sound of the motor as the mixture thickens and freezes.
11. Transfer the soft-frozen ice cream to freezer safe containers. And chill all day. The ice cream will be firm-frozen by mid-afternoon or by dinner time.
NOTE: A soft rubber spatula comes in handy so you don’t scratch the canister’s non-stick coating. Enjoy licking off the beater & canister drippings before clean-up!
Once you experience how EASY it is to make your own organic gourmet ice creams…and discover what a fantastic difference concocting your own makes…your culinary creativity will blossom! And you’ll be hooked.
~ Dried banana chips make a nice garnish & add a crunchy contrast.
~ A drizzle of dark rum heightens the flavor subtly if you don’t overdo it.
NOTE: If I had thought of it in advance, making a reduction of the rum into a syrup might have been quite nice….and instead of lightly glazing the ice cream and puddling underneath, may have clung to the surface a bit more for an even handsomer presentation.
* * * * *
If you’re a food blogger, the process doesn’t end yet with that longed for delicious scoop (or two) of homemade ice cream…
NOW, the main feature shot for your ice cream blog post has to be styled AND photographed. In professional food photography, the photo set-up is done with a stand-in called ‘The Hero.’ Professional photographers usually work with a photographic assistant and a creative food stylist as well. No such luck here at home.
Even Bri used to recruit (ie. charm, wrangle, coerce) Marc, into being her set-up-stylist-photographer. Only a year into FWB blogging myself, I usually ‘wing-it’ alone with impromptu plating set-ups; hand-held, available light shots enhanced with cookie sheet reflectors or mirrors to brighten secondary shadows.
Ice cream, especially homemade ice cream without commercial fixers, melts quickly…and is a demanding subject, I’m still working on mastering. So, I used a ‘hero’ this time.
Appetizing! Don’t you think? Grabbed our cat’s hair & lint covered fleece animal print balls (perfectly sized pseudo ‘ice cream scoops’), plopped them into a different glass than the one I was planning to use for the final shot. Honestly, I did…. and checked some initial exposure readings.
Then took several shots: vertical & horizontal format, with a short depth of field vs. more over all focus. The daylight was changing quickly as the sun came up and illuminated my photography area differently.
Have included several of my favorite shots to illustrate how photos taken only a few moments apart can vary….and to get your opinions on them.
In this shot (above) the sun wasn’t shining onto the food directly. I used an aluminum cookie sheet (on the left side) to catch the sunlight and direct it back onto the food.
In this next photo, it’s only natural daylight…without a reflector, which I couldn’t prop & hold while taking the overhead shot.
Marc made a great suggestion: to hold the cookie sheet reflector down low and bounce the sunlight back up to illuminate the shadowed areas I was missing by keeping the reflector on the same level as the food grouping.
I frequently ask my family for friendly critiques and their votes to help me select the final photos for my posts. Both Marc and David liked this last one best. Marc thought I should have used yellow unspotted bananas, instead of the ripe ones this recipe specifically asks for. Bill, my hubby, preferred the intro feature shot, but criticized the softness of the ice cream after I drizzled rum on it. He wanted to see more of the ice cream crystals.
I like them all, for subtle differences. Sooo…what do YOU think?
16 thoughts on “Banana Rum Ice Cream For Breakfast? YUM!!”
Cool posting and indulgent in every way, thanks for all the tips on food photography too.
When taking food pics I sucks. I am always learning from other blogs. Just got a new camera and I am totally confused 🙂
Love the banana ice cream and how can one not love it when there is rum in them.
Kella & Happy Cook ~ Food photography is NOT easy. Don’t feel too frustrated, we CAN learn. Those well known bloggers we admire are extremely talented folks with an eye for detail. And an understanding of how to work with light.
The other must have tool, besides as good a camera / lens, as you can afford is versatile photo processing software. I use Adobe Photoshop, a professional grade program that’s quite pricey (Bill & I are graphic & web designers), but a terrific consumer-priced program with much of the same capabilities is Corel Paintshop Pro X3 (here’s a 5 star CNET review of PSP X2, the prior version, with many readers’ comments). Check out the FREE trials to download if you don’t have a decent program.
What do I use photo processing software for?
~ Most often to make the highlights & light mid-tones brighter (without blasting them out), since I don’t use supplemental lighting for my photography.
~ To crop & rotate my images. (I tend to shoot slightly crooked, often 1-2 degrees off the horizontal….am working on changing this!)
~ To adjust the white point (ie. tonal color cast) when shooting under less-than-ideal lighting conditions: artificial indoor lighting, blue-toned natural lighting when our weather’s dreary, to remove the orange cast out of a few shots I tried with spot lighting, etc.
~ To retouch imperfections: spots, a mis-placed bubble or food drips on a pot / plate, etc.
Some of the food shots Marc’s taken for Bri’s posts are highly retouched & manipulated. He has occasionally combined two photographs ~ taken with different exposures ~into one with masking & blending functions, when the food is particularly challenging or the lighting difficult. Photography ‘purists’ may say this is a ‘no-no!’ But Marc and I both feel creativity has no rules. One may use tools in any way you want to get the final results you’re aiming for.
Anyway, it’s a deep subject worth several posts of it’s own. And at least as complicated as learning to use a good camera. Using a big cookie sheet as a reflector was a super tip (why did I not think of this myself!) learned from this article: Food Photography An Introduction. Some other helpful food photo articles can be found on well-known food blog sites like: Food Photography – 101 Cookbooks. Here’s a good article on how one can really make a photograph sing with digital darkroom enhancement. Enjoy exploring your creative tools!
And, yeah…..the Banana Rum Ice Cream’s really good!
Cynthe thanks for commenting further, keep well and keep cooking 🙂
well, jeez, i couldn’t even spell my own blog name right. it’s knitsmenwant.blogspot.com
Wow, that ice cream looks amazing. I am so glad you use my book as your starting point for your ice cream adventures. That’s what its for, a solid foundation for your own creativity. When I stop drooling over your creation, I’m going into my own kitchen and making up a batch.
Kella ~ Thanks for your ‘keep cooking’ encouragement. Have lots of ideas for posts, but enjoy cooking & baking more indulgent stuff than day-to-day meals. And I don’t really “need” indulgent foods in the house as I’m plump enough! Also, sure could use a kitchen clean-up angel or fairy godmother or some sort of magical being that could get all the clean-up done instantly and with ease. (sigh)
Happy Cook ~ I might be able to answer some of your camera questions. Certain things are basic to most cameras. Also, my approach to learning to use a new camera is to figure out what I need to or want to learn first, and to read only that part in the manual. And try several shots ’til I understand how to do it. That way it’s not overwhelming.
Bruce ~ Thanks for dropping by when I make ice cream posts. How much more FUN it would be if we could share scoops digitally! Enjoy your enthusiasm…and some of the crazy recipes you’ve thought up for your book. Will have to try my hand at oatmeal ice cream one of these days….then like you say, I really could rationalize it for breakfast.
I don’t believe for a minute that you used a different glass for Jaeci’s cat toys!
Well….fortunately, I have photos to prove I didn’t. Otherwise, I’m sure I couldn’t convince you! ;~}
whoa. that looks great. cynthe, have you tried roasting the bananas? it adds a nice caramel flavour.
Bee ~ Enjoy you peeking in on us. Roasting bananas sounds yummy! The ones I used were so soft….not sure what condition they would have been in after roasting! February escaped me….no food blog posts! Have had ideas. Lacking oomph.
Am gearing up to make ‘Meyer Lemon Marmalade’ this weekend. Bri & Marc’s Lemon Curd post won a lovely boxful in the Meyer Lemon LoveFest contest.
What a gorgeous and yummy ice cream! I’m scared to get into making ice cream myself, because if I make it, I know I’m gonna eat it all. For now, I’ll stick with jam. 🙂
I’m so glad you swung by my blog. I would truly love to meet one of these times when you and Bill drive through Fairfax. And that marmalade with Meyer lemons and rum? I just made a big batch last night and set aside a 4oz jar with your name on it!
Shae….YAY! Some lemon-rum marmalade for me. Ooooh, can’t wait to try it. I have 3 jam recipes waiting to be made, but haven’t been able to carve out the time to do them. Produce won’t wait long, so I have to get to them THIS week. I’ll figure out something special to bring as an exchange. Then let’s set up a day to meet.
Ice cream is a kick! Super easy and quick, especially with the Cuisinart Mixer. I don’t dare make any except when there are ice cream eaters around or I’d be in BIG trouble (unable to resist tastes). We have several incredible ice cream recipes on the blog. Check them out sometime. Thanks for coming by!