Shiho Yoshikawa is co-owner and executive chef at Sweet Rose Creamery, local purveyor of small-batch hand-crafted ice cream in gourmet flavors such as salted caramel, malted milk with mocha ripple, and blueberry muffin. But because she also has a 4-year-old son, sometimes she is looking for something with just a touch less sugar.
That’s when she turns to frozen bananas. “It’s healthy,” she says. “It’s frozen and fun.”
Freezing a banana completely changes the texture of the fruit, and this recipe offers lots of flexibility. Choose 70 percent cocoa for a bittersweet chocolate. “It’s snappier when you bite into it,” says Yoshikawa. Or go with a lower percentage for a sweeter, milkier chocolate. Coconut oil helps the chocolate solidify quickly.
Flavor the chocolate with orange or almond extract or another flavoring if you like (starting with one teaspoon for darker chocolate or half a teaspoon for milk chocolate). You can also add toppings. “I really, really love peanut or pecan,” Yoshikawa says. “If you want to be decadent, you can do a candy crunch on them.” You can even add colorful sprinkles.
You can also cut the bananas into any size you like. “It can be very small, like a bonbon, or it can be ginormous, like the whole thing!” says Yoshikawa.
Be sure your bananas are frozen solid (overnight is best) before you dip them in the chocolate or the chocolate will not adhere well. And have your toppings spread out and ready so you can roll the dipped bananas in them before the chocolate hardens. If the coating doesn’t stick the first time, you can always re-dip. “Either way, it’ll be fun,” says Yoshikawa. “It really can’t go wrong.”
Frozen Chocolate Dipped Bananas from Sweet Rose Creamery
Makes 10 whole or 20 halved bananas
24-ounce glass jar
Thick wooden skewers or thick lollipop sticks (you can purchase at a crafts store)
1 pound (453 grams) 70 percent chocolate, or whatever you prefer
½ cup coconut oil
Optional: Toasted nuts or seeds, sprinkles or extracts of your choice
Peel each banana and, if desired, cut into halves or thirds. Stick a skewer or lollipop stick into the middle of the banana. Wrap and freeze completely in the freezer.
Once the bananas are frozen, melt the coconut oil in a pot over the lowest setting on your burner. When melted, turn the heat off, add the chocolate and stir until it is completely melted and mixed well with the coconut oil.
Line a sheet pan with parchment. If you are using toppings, spread them out on a tray.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a skinny, tall jar or cup (make sure it can hold up to 3 cups and is deeper than the length of your banana).
Dip frozen bananas one at a time.
Each time you dip, lift up, shake off the excess, then hold until the chocolate stops dripping. If you are using toppings, swiftly place the chocolate-covered banana on top of the toppings and top with more topping. Let it sit for a bit so the toppings stick to the surface.
Place the bananas on the parchment-lined sheet pan and keep in the freezer until ready to eat. Stored air-tight, they will keep for one month.