Thursday, 23 August 2012

HEATWAVE! Enter: Banana, Coconut, Honey Frozen Yoghurt

Last weekend in London marked the start of a heatwave, you know, one of those horrible city heatwaves where it feels like pollution is crawling in through every open pore and you're so hot you could fling yourself in Regent's Canal and you probably would but you live in Camden and you know what goes into that canal and it's not pretty.

Yes, it was hot. 32.4 degrees C in some parts of the country on Saturday. And I wanted frozen yoghurt. So I went to the supermarket and discovered on the discount rack, a neglected pile of bananas for the low low price of 25p.

I'm not sure how many it was exactly, but I think it was 4 bunches. I peeled them...

...discarded all the gross bits...

...and mashed them up with a potato masher.

To this I added half a tub of yoghurt (250g) and a big spoonful of honey.

This stuff is creamed coconut, I found it in the world food aisles, by a bunch of Caribbean foods. It came in plastic in a cardboard box and had separated into a ridiculously solid lump and some goo. So I smacked it round the kitchen a bit and then shoved it in a bowl and tried to break it up, with limited results (the giant frozen lumps of coconut were pretty tasty, but I wouldn't want to give it to guests like that).

Chopped up some chocolate to make chocolate chips and it was so hot that the chocolate started fusing together.

And here's what my mixture looked like at this point:

And now comes the magical freezing bit. Well, it would have, if I'd had any money left over for ice and heavy duty zip lock bags. You see, the best way to make ice cream/frozen yoghurt at home is this:

  1. Put mixture in heavy duty ziplock bag and seal securely
  2. Fill a larger heavy duty ziplock bag with ice cubes and salt, put the first ziplock bag and seal the second one securely.
  3. Put on gloves, gentle rock bag back and forth for 15 minutes, or until inner bag mix has solidified. If you're at a party, you can pass it round when you get tired!
  4. Open ice bag, remove mix bag, eat out of mix bag.
And the second best method is this:
  1. Put mixture in a metal mixing bowl
  2. Fill a larger bowl (or washing up tub) with ice and salt, make a depression in the middle of the ice, slot in the metal bowl
  3. Stir the mix, being careful not to get any salty ice in it! If you are dyspraxic and know you will get salty ice in there, go for a flavour that goes well with salt, like caramel or chocolate.
The crappy method I had to do? You put the bowl in the freezer and stir it every couple of hours until it fully freezes. Only I made my mix at 1am, so I had to set an alarm at 4am so I could get up to stir fro-yo. I guess I could have made it go faster by pouring it out into a metal baking tray but I didn't feel like doing more washing up.

Here's what it looked like at the first stirring:

And here's the finish product:

The change in colour is due to the oxidisation of the bananas. You'll need to wait about 10 minutes before you can dig in when you go to eat the fro-yo if you do it with the freezer method, but there you go! The total cost of this was, I think, about £1.80 (Sainsbury's basic yoghurt 55p/2 = 23p, bananas 25p, creamed coconut £1.20, honey about 10p's worth) and I got a lot for my money. Plus now I know I can make frozen desserts.

Global warming? More like cooking opportunity.

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