Saturday, July 9, 2011

Malted Chocolate "Soft Serve"/Smug-virtuous "Ice Cream"

I eat things that are not cake/brownies/bread. Hard to believe?

In fact, the thing that I'm always searching the foodblogosphere for, is the perfect post-gym snack. Something other than a smoothie/banana/whole-grain toast. Even though all of the above is delicious and a half.

Sadly enough, my search always yields densely calorie-and-nutrition packed bars made of dates, coconut and nuts. Working out in the gym does not equal training for a half-marathon!! It can mean wearing the new Reebok trackpants you got on 40% off, slow-walking on a treadmill and gossiping away to glory. It can, OK?

If your gossip session does not take you down the natural path to Kiwi Kiss for Fro Yo (because talk is cheap, but delicious frozen yogurt is expensive), go home. Facebook and a home-made snack are decent substitutes.

Home made snack options? Tzatziki and baked pita chips. Yum. Hummus and a plate full of veggie strips. Double Yum. But if the fro-yo craving strikes really hard, reach into your freezer for the frozen fruit.

So you know how I'm always asking you to not throw away ripe bananas and make breathtakingly gorgeous banana bread or a nutrition-packed smoothie instead? Turns out there are a couple of other things you can do with over-ripe bananas.

Like Soft Serve! The whole internet was buzzing about it a while back. Softee ice-cream (think Milky Way circa 1995), made with only one real ingredient. Bananas. Yes.

Incidentally, freezing bananas is an art. Here's how it goes.

Step one. Peel banana and cut into slices.
Step two. Freeze all the slices on a tray.
Step three. Put all of the frozen banana slices into an airtight box/Ziploc bag and freeze until you need it.

I froze the bananas for 5 hours, and it was OK, but the next time, I'm using rock-solid-frozen bananas.
Make sure you use ripe (over-ripe is even better) bananas, or you get the slightly bitter, paste-like taste.

And if you want to mask the fact that it is bang-bang-banana, put in different flavours (additional calories, additional taste). Here are 13 options.

1)Peanut butter and Grape Jam/Jelly.
2)A teaspoon of instant espresso powder: Coffee Soft Serve.
3)Chocolate chips.
4)Fruit such as frozen strawberries can be blended in.
5)Peanut chikki/caramel smashed to bits as topping.
6)A teaspoon of cocoa powder: Chocolate Soft Serve.
7)2 teaspoons of cocoa powder: Dark Chocolate Soft Serve.
8)Serve with hot fudge sauce made with 1 tsp cocoa, 1 tsp honey and a little hot water to bring to consistency.
9)Served as ice-cream sandwiches: soft serve between two graham crackers/Digestive biscuits.
10)Fruit salad: A scoop of soft serve, chopped fruit and honey! Perfect for Ramadan!
11)As a parfait: Soft serve, granola and fruit layered in glasses and topped with brown sugar or more muesli.
12)Indian style: Soft serve-flavoured with elaichi(cardamom) with bits of mango and crushed almonds. Kulfi/Lassi leanings.

And 13: The way I made it. And I'm convinced is the best of the lot.

Sharjah Banana "Soft Serve"/Malted Soft Serve


2-3 medium bananas, frozen well
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp malt powder (5-star Bournvita!)
1 tsp milk (I used Nestle Slim)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
a handful of salted, roasted peanuts


Pulse/blitz the frozen banana in a food processor or mixie for a minute or so.

When you've got something that looks like the picture, stop. That is your base for the soft serve. You can eat it as it. Or posh it up with all the options that I've mentioned, or come up with your own wacky combos.

Add in the cocoa powder, malt, milk and pulse once more.

Using almond milk or whole milk heightens the creaminess. You can use
Soy if you're Lactose-Intolerant or a Vegan!

Scoop out the "softee" into a bowl. Top with salted peanuts and a couple of maltesers/whoppers or even Dairy Milk Shots. Serve with hot fudge sauce, if you're cool like that.

Don't tell me the whole purpose is defeated by the add-ons. Not unless you want to be dragged into a Proust-y conversation on what life is and the purpose of it.

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