I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this in any previous posts, but I come from a long blood line of ice-cream lovers! My dad is not interested in any pudding besides a bowl of ice-cream, I’m still trying to work out if it is because he was a war baby or maybe just deprived as child…whatever the reason Christmas was always more about the ice-cream than the pudding. My poor Mum would have to ensure she had loads of freezer space to allow an extra tub of ice-cream, any flavour would do, just as long as Dad had a whole tub to himself (I’m not kidding!).
Being an ice-cream ‘take it or leave it’ kind of person, I could never understand the chaos we had every year around the ice-cream, but as I’ve got older I have started to enjoy the combination of the cold ice-cream melting into the warmth of a flambéd raisin packed Christmas pudding.
In trying to keep it healthy and tasty at the same time, I decided to make a Christmas nice-cream instead of a regular tub of ice-cream (sorry Dad!). Made with a load of frozen bananas, boozy raisins (optional) and crunchy nuts this nice-cream actually knocks the socks off a regular tub, even my banana hating family loved it…I’m sure it was all the brandy that they enjoyed the most!
This cake takes a good couple of hours to freeze if making it in a bundt cake tin or a bread loaf tin so I’d suggest making it the day before allowing it time to set. Once it has set firmly then I’d suggest removing it from the tin, covering it and refreezing it to reduce the stress of doing this whilst having guests hungrily wait for their pudding. It can always be taken out of the freezer about 10 min before serving to allow it to soften slightly (obviously depending on the outside temperature).
The addition of the boozy brandy soaked raisins is two fold, they add a gorgeous Christmas taste to the cake and also the alcohol slows down the freezing process which helps with the overall texture stopping it from going icy. I have not tried it without the brandy because it also helps to mask the banana flavour, in our home it’s essential as my guys gag at the thought of banana. It took a huge amount coertion to get them to even taste it, but once they did….they inhaled the the whole thing and asked for another one!
- 10 large ripe bananas
- 2 cups organic raisins
- 1 cup brandy (alcohol also helps the cake to freeze and not ice)
- zest of 1 large orange
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 160ml coconut cream (small tin from waitrose)
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Peel the bananas, break them up into about 3cm chunks and freeze them laying flat overnight in a ziplock bag.
- Soak the raisins in brandy overnight (can also be longer).
- Using a food processor, empty half of the bag of bananas and half of the coconut cream and blend until smooth, creamy and a soft serve ice-cream consistency - remember to scrape the sides down regularly.
- Transfer to a large bowl and place in the freezer.
- Repeat the process with the second batch of bananas and cream.
- Remove the first batch from the freezer and combine both batches together in the processor.
- Add the orange zest and tahini, and blend again until well mixed.
- Stir through the hazelnuts and raisins including the brandy.
- Pour into a bundt tin or loaf tin and freeze overnight.
- Remove from the freezer when properly set and hold for a few minutes in a sink of warm water (the water must only come up where the line of the nice-cream is, not over the edge of the tin).
- Keep an eye on the edges they will start to look a little runny and softened.
- Place a plate on top of the tin and quickly turn the tin over, you may need to jiggle it few times to release the nice-cream (if it does not come out then return to the basin of water for a few more second, then try again)
- Once released clean up any melted nice-cream and return to the freezer until ready to serve.
- Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil together and pour over the top of the cake either before serving or whilst serving.