It is incredibly hot in the Lion City, and the sun is welcomed across the island now. With intense heat comes the craving for frozen treats. An ice cream would be perfect for this weather, however, if you’re unable to run to the shops to grab a tub/stick/cup of your favorite flavors, there’s an alternative – home-made ice creams and popsicles. I was intrigued with the thought and began seeking a simple version to cool down. The banana popsicle became a tempting solution. No churn (makes it way easier), hassle-free and the ingredients are kitchen staples – that won me over instantly. Viola! A new experiment was formed.
Apart from ripe bananas, I began brainstorming toppings and spins I could add that would fit the popsicle. I wouldn’t call it a recipe, but rather an experiment to alleviate boredom and monotonicity. Plus, it isn’t meant to be ‘perfect’ but nevertheless it’s a tasty icy treat.
Three ingredients were used: 1. ripe bananas, 2. Nutella (you can use honey, melted chocolate or anything you desire – the possibilities are endless!) and 3. pistachios. Firstly, I laid baking paper on a plate (a tray works perfectly too), and placed ripe bananas on top. The bananas were then refrigerated for a few hours to attain a bit of firmness, which proved helpful when coating them with toppings.
Secondly, I pounded the pistachios. For an added bit of character, I ensured my pistachio bits were of an assortment of sizes – but not too large and not too tiny. To pound them, you can use place the pistachios in a sandwich bag and give it a good whack with a rolling pin or a pestle.
Time for glorious hazelnut-chocolate powerhouse Nutella to enter the equation had arrived. As bananas are sweet naturally, I figured a single coat of Nutella on top will suit my palate more than coating the bananas completely. After smothering them with a layer of Nutella, I sprinkled the pistachios on top immediately and covered as much of the Nutella-coated areas as possible. The treats returned to the baking sheet and were placed in the freezer.
When I opened my freezer’s door the next day, a frozen pistachio-studded Nutella and banana treat greeted me. From its appearance, the quirky creation looked like a homemade fruit popsicle with a coat of chocolate and nuts that reminded me of the ones that encase ice creams on sticks – like Magnum ice creams.
My experiment resulted in two versions of the same popsicle: bite-sized (well, more like two or three bites) and roughly half a banana on a makeshift ice cream stick. After snapping photos to capture the moment, it was time to eat!
The banana’s taste wasn’t as pronounced as non-frozen bananas to my taste buds. When it was frozen, banana’s flavor had softened (in my opinion, after tasting it at room temperature, refrigerated, and frozen). The blended flavor of Nutella and pistachios are delightful – it’s a new favorite combo in my books! Not too chocolatey or hazelnut-ish, neither is the pistachio overwhelming. The elements stepped into their roles perfectly and, like a band, they’re harmonious together. It’s something I’d like to make again, especially in the current climate!