My review of his book appeared today in print and after toiling away with my usual breads for the review, I thought I would post on a simple dish here: an ice cream. Although Ruhlman makes the ice cream for his Banana Split using a crème anglaise recipe, I have decided to use store-bought. With the many varieties available, there will be one to suit every taste. If you do want to make your own ice cream though, I suggest this recipe. It is one of the creamiest and most delicious I have ever tasted – and it doesn't require an ice cream maker!
The butterscotch sauce, though, requires some care; first of all, because you're melting sugar and that always comes with some risks (especially if you're as accident-prone as I am) and also since timing is important. Leave the caramelising sugar just a few seconds too long on the heat and it burns and is ruined. When made right, it is a wonderful sauce and I am already planning to drizzle it on some pancakes tomorrow morning.
A classic banana split comes with three scoops of ice cream – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry – in a long dish, with three types of toppings as well as nuts, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Ruhlman makes his own version with the butterscotch and chocolate sauces, and I have opted for coconut ice cream (Bounty, actually) and a piece of glacé pineapple for garnish. Very tropical. All it needs is a little paper umbrella.
OLD-FASHIONED BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE
From Michael Ruhlman's Ratio
Makes about 1½ cups
125g unsalted butter
250g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or an enamelled cast iron pot, combine the butter and sugar over medium heat and cook until sugar has melted completely and the mixture has taken on a thick frothy appearance (lava-like), 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Whisk in the cream until it is thoroughly incorporated. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
2 cups ice cream of preferred flavour(s)
4 ripe bananas
1 recipe butterscotch, warm (recipe above)
1 recipe ganache, warm (recipe follows)
125ml cream, whipped to stiff peaks with 2 tablespoons sugar
4-8 maraschino cherries
- Scoop portions of ice cream into 4 bowls (or 6 or 8). Split the bananas down the middle (and halve them if you wish) and arrange half to 1 banana per bowl. Pour about 55g each of the butterscotch and chocolate sauce over the bananas and ice cream. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry (or a piece of glacé pineapple, as I've used here),
Makes about 2 cups
250g delicious bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Bring the cream just to a simmer, pour it over the chocolate, wait 5 minutes for the chocolate to soften, then whisk the cream and chocolate until they're completely combined. Serve immediately or chill until you're ready to serve.