I once worked on a godforsaken industrial estate with all the atmosphere of a Jovian moon.
The catering facilities were, at best, rudimentary and decidedly inferior, unless you had a thing about compressed gristle, margarine, and the kind of quadruple-processed carbohydrates a starving vulture would have turned his beak up at.
This meant that if you wanted to guarantee that you would survive lunch, you had to take it in yourself.
The tactic I developed to avoid both hunger and malnutrition during the working day was to load up with fruit, and snack on it between cups of green tea. Little and often, and all that.
This, however, was not a popular choice. If I only had a small, shiny coin of a modest denomination for every time I was told that all that fruit would make me fat, why, I could buy myself a very nice motor-yacht, and quite possibly the island of my choice once I had sailed to it.
They seemed to have a thing about bananas in particular. I was warned several times a day about the perils of potassium poisoning, even after doing some research and proving beyond all reasonable doubt that this was terribly unlikely unless you had terminally dysfunctional kidneys, and the ability to munch down half a rain-forest’s worth of fruit in less than a minute.
To be fair, I think this hatred of bananas was down to the fact that the company had recently been the victim of a hostile takeover, and the new parent company’s livery was bright yellow. Never underestimate the powers of subliminal suggestion.
Here, then, I brazenly present yet another dessert based around a banana.
This is a slight tweaking of a recipe I found in “The Paleo Diet Cookbook”, by Loren Cordain.
It’s wonderfully simple, and utterly delicious.
If you ensure you get your mitts on good quality pure vanilla extract, and take care that your banana halves are in the freezer for exactly half an hour, you really can’t go far wrong.
Just make sure that none of your guests come with a kidney dialysis machine, and attempt to eat 400 in 30 seconds.
Sweet-Spiced Chilled Vanilla Bananas
- 2 bananas, peeled and halved lengthways
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- finely chopped almonds and hazelnuts
- Combine the vanilla essence, allspice, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Make a series of shallow cuts along the top of the banana halves. Lay the banana halves flat side down on a sheet of baking parchment.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the vanilla and spice mixture over the banana halves.
- Place the banana halves into the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the banana halves from the freezer. Plate up, and dress with a drizzle of honey, and some artistically scattered finely chopped hazelnuts and almonds. Serve.