I grew up in a household that was pretty pro ice-cream. A tub of vanilla or neopolitan had a secure spot in our freezer, usually making appearances on movie nights. Mum would line up little bowls while we eagerly waited for the ice-cream to defrost. Our freezer was particularly chilly, you see, and it wasn’t until eating ice-cream at friends’ houses that I discovered you didn’t, as a rule, need to leave the tub of ice-cream on the counter for 25 minutes before it became soft enough to scoop. Don’t you love those things you grow up thinking to be normal behaviour when really it’s just your family thing.
Regardless, if we were being treated to a neopolitan tub I would invariably hog the chocolate strip. I mean, who wanted strawberry? (recently I learnt that my husband did in fact favour the strawberry strip as a child…I guess it was meant to be). My brothers would do the honour of eating the strawberry serve but usually in the presence of both chocolate and vanilla, stirring the flavours together to make one giant, gloopy, brown mess. My younger brother has a tendency to mix things, food and beverages (funnily enough, he is now a bartender). At our local cinema we had a self-serve soda station, along which Jackson would systematically and joyfully move his cup from coke to sprite to fanta, creating one ghastly beverage. He was always an energetic child…
I was a little jealous of my brothers’ ice-cream concoctions, not in terms of flavour (bleh) but because I really like to play with my food. My whole family do. I think that’s why we were also a pro toppings household. Inverting, shaking then squeezing a stream of sweet dressing over ice-cream is one of life’s true joys. I believe we favoured Cottee’s chocolate topping, though would sometimes stock ice-magic. It was invariably chocolate-flavoured, this was something our house easily agreed upon, but occasionally we’d have caramel. Ben is bonkers for caramel – in koala candy form, salted and stuffed inside chocolate pudding, salted again but churned into ice-cream…and, of course, as a topping. Knowing my husband’s affection for caramel, I fashioned us a little sweet one day. Due to the fact that we’re still surviving Winter, my ice-cream bowl has been relegated to the shelf and in it’s place are tubs of stock. This means it takes at least a day of planning before I can make ice-cream. Luckily I have a tendency to freeze bananas for soft-serve purposes, so it was easy to figure out what to slather this caramel topping on. Though this sweet, sticky, thick salted tahini caramel is quite tasty straight from the pan….
Today is my fourth blogging anniversary. Four years ago I started photographing my food and writing about recipes, where I was travelling to, what I was eating and how I felt about it all. I’ve always kept a journal, this one just happens to be online and read by other food lovers. I love writing this blog, it’s deeply personal and wonderfully self-indulgent. It feels very natural to me. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve gained through this space. Thanks for finding it even remotely interesting. Really, I just don’t shut up about food. And truth be told, I’d keep going without readers. But it sure is nice to have company.
Back to the recipe….
This treat is simple, nourishing and incredibly fast to make. I’m dreaming up other uses for this topping (besides soft-serve and spooning), and right now my brain is screaming “French toast! Slather it on crispy French toast alongside mascarpone!”. All in good time. For now, banana soft serve will be just swell. You don’t even need to let it sit out on the counter for 25 minutes before eating.
Salted Tahini Caramel Topping with Banana Soft-Serve
Adapted from Wholefood Simply
Serves 2, with some caramel leftover depending on how eager you top
Ingredients for the topping
2 tablespoons Hulled Tahini
1 heaped teaspoon Honey
1 tablespoon Milk
A pinch of Sea Salt
Ingredients for the soft-serve
2 large frozen Bananas
2 heaped tablespoons thick Vanilla Bean Yoghurt* (I favour 5:AM Vanilla Bean yoghurt)
Pepitas to decorate.
* Alternatively you can use regular yoghurt and add some vanilla extract or pure maple syrup and vanilla bean to taste
1. Combine the tahini, honey and milk in a small saucepan. Gently warm the mixture over low heat, stirring until it is all combined and begins to thicken slightly. Add a little sea salt, then taste and add more as you wish. Turn off the heat and allow to cool and thicken further.
2. Blitz your frozen, sliced banana in a food processor with the yoghurt until smooth. Taste and adjust flavourings as desired (more yoghurt, some milk, a little maple syrup or vanilla, etc.)
3. Pour the mixture into a bowl, then spoon over the topping and pepitas. Eat immediately.