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Chocolate cake


JULY-AUGUST 2002
RECIPES



Special Section: Checking out Chicago

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas

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Frozen Choclate-Covered Bananas

Tips: I didn't exactly invent these; they've been around for years. But they're easy enough for kids to help with, they're fun to make, and they're a cool summer treat. Select unbruised bananas, and make sure they are golden yellow with at least a few brown "sugar spots" on the skins, though if they are dead ripe they can be difficult to work with. You'll need flat, wide, wooden popsicle sticks, too; I found a pack of 150 in a party store for just over a dollar (I haven't tried using lollipop sticks here, so I don't know if they'll work).

The chocolate you use can be semisweet chips or chopped-up bars (Hershey's makes a Mildly Sweet bar that's a perfect size for one recipe). For coating your chocolate-dipped bananas, use finely chopped, dry-roasted peanuts; toasted and cooled sweetened coconut shreds; or chocolate sprinkles. If served directly from the freezer, these are hard to eat, so be sure to follow the serving instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large, ripe banans
  • 7 ounces semisweet OR bittersweet chocolate, chopped or as chips
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. solid vegetable shortening(ie;Crisco)

Coating:
About 1 cup finely chopped, dry-roasted peanuts OR toasted and cooled sweetened coconut shreds OR chocolate sprinkles.

Peel one banana and cut it in half crosswise. Insert a flat, wide, wooden popsicle stick into the cut end of each half as far as is comfortably possible (you don't want it to poke out through the side of the banana half, though. Wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze at least one hour (or overnight). Repeat with remaining bananas. While bananas freeze, line a 13 by 9 inch pan with aluminum foil, and place in refrigerator or freezer to chill.

Combine chopped chocolate and shortening in small heatproof bowl. Place over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water; dry bottom of bowl. If necessary, transfer to dish with shallow sides.

Have coating of choice ready in dish with shallow sides. Remove two banana halves at a time from the freezer. One at a time, remove plastic wrap from halves. Holding by popsicle stick, dip into melted chocolate mixture, using a small spoon to help you coat all surfaces of the banana half. Work quickly here, as the cold banana will quickly set the chocolate. Use the back of the spoon to help scrape off any excess chocolate, then dip chocolate-covered banana into coating, using your fingers to help coat chocolate surface on all sides before it sets (don't worry if some areas of the chocolate harden before they're coated-it's not that big a deal). Place the finished banana half flat on the foil lining of the 13 by 9 pan. Repeat procedure with remaining banana halves. If chocolate mixture becomes too thick while you're working with it, replace over simmering water and stir until it is entirely re-melted before continuing.

Freeze coated bananas at least twenty minutes before serving or wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. To store, place plastic-wrapped banana halves in large plastic bag and seal tightly. To serve, remove from freezer and allow to stand at room temperature, still in plastic wrap, 20 to 30 minutes before eating. These will last for up to 5 days in the freezer once they're made.

Yields: 6 banana halves, 6 servings


© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; “mirror” or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

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