Introduction: Banana Split Edible Art on a Stick
Food shouldn't suck, even if it's on a stick.
This dessert on a stick might have a lot of steps, but it elevates the humble banana split into art, which is where it really belongs.
Step 1: Scoop the Ice Cream Balls
Scoop out little balls of ice cream. I used vanilla bean, but you can use whatever flavor you want. Use a high quality ice cream without too much air volume.
Stick the ice cream balls back in the freezer.
Step 2: Make the Whipped Cream Rosettes
Squirt some whipped cream onto parchment. You can whip the cream yourself, add some sugar, and place it in a piping bag with a star tip, or you can use a canister like I did.
Place the rosettes in the freezer.
Step 3: Make the Shell Coating
Chop up some chocolate. Melt it with some virgin coconut oil.
I used intense dark chocolate with cacao nibs. I didn't measure.
I stirred it every 15 seconds it was in the microwave.
Step 4: Make the Caramel Balls
Put equal parts honey and cream in a sauce pan. I wasn't making very many, so I used 1/4 cup of each.
Stir the honey and cream over medium heat. Add some salt. Salt is good in caramel.
As the caramel thickens, drip a bit on a cold plate (or in some ice water) to check the consistency. You'll want this slightly softer than regular caramels since it'll be frozen and you don't want anyone to break a tooth.
When it's as thick as you like it, pour it in a container to cool.
When it's cool, scoop out a little caramel and roll it into a ball. Make a ball of caramel for each skewer.
Step 5: Make Fudge Balls
Okay, they're not really fudge. They're ganache. Most people won't know the difference.
Ganache works well for these because it won't get too hard when it's frozen.
Put some chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I used chocolate chips. Add some cream... a little less cream than chocolate chips. Microwave until the chocolate chips melt. The cream can boil over, so watch for that.
Stir cream and chocolate with a fork until it becomes smooth.
Let it cool in the fridge, then scoop out bits of ganache. They'll be soft, so stick them in the freezer for a couple minutes until you can roll them into little balls. Put them back in the freezer.
Step 6: Make Sugar Drizzles
Add a little granulated sugar to a pan. Add a tiny amount of corn syrup (it keeps the sugar from crystallizing). Add enough water to dissolve the sugar.
Stir and heat over medium. When the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan every once in awhile to make sure it's still mixed.
After the sugar turns from clear to golden, remove the pan from the heat.
Take a spoon and drizzle hot sugar in circles on parchment paper. Be careful; molten sugar is HOT and sticky. Don't get any on you.
Step 7: Make Chocolate Drizzles
I don't bother tempering chocolate. I added a little bit of vegetable oil to some chocolate chips.
Melt in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds.
Scoop the chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip the tip of the bag.
Drizzle chocolate in a circular pattern on parchment.
Place the parchment on a pan in the freezer. These will be soft at room temperature because of the oil. Do not use butter instead of oil; butter has some water in it and will cause the chocolate to seize.
Step 8: Torch Bananas
Cut a banana into short pieces. cut the short pieces in half through the banana.
Leave the peel on and press sugar into the cut half.
Using a torch, caramelize the sugar until it melts and turns golden. It'll harden as it cools. Remove the peels.
Step 9: Assemble the Edible Art!
You can use any order you like, or more than one of each item on each skewer; this is just how I assembled them.
Shove an ice cream ball on the skewer. Coat it with the chocolate shell. If it's not hardening fast enough, put it in the freezer for a minute.
Slide a caramel ball onto the skewer right next to the ice cream. Follow with a sugar drizzle, a chunk of banana, a chocolate drizzle, a fudge ball, a whipped cream rosette, and a bit of fruit.
Some people like maraschino cherries. I think they're disgusting. I prefer fresh strawberry instead. Serve immediately.
If you need to wait a bit before serving, get a nice big lump of clay and stick it on a sheet pan. Assemble the sticks except for the strawberry. Stick the bottoms of the sticks in the clay and put it in the freezer; the clay should hold the sticks upright so the drizzles don't get crushed. In this case, slide the strawberry on right before serving.