Last week was a good week as far as running was concerned:
Roughly 25km all up, no strapping and nary a complaint from the foot. The highlight of course was Saturday’s two laps round Braeside park. Over 200 hectares of farm and bushland smack in the middle of suburban Melbourne. Home to a variety of wildlife, water birds and the odd snake or two. Just five minutes drive from home, it’s my little escape from the hectic bustling city.
To top off a great week, I got a lovely present from J – a nifty little icecream maker off Ebay. And what better way to celebrate a week of good running, than with some really awesome ice cream! And so, for my first foray into homemade icecream, I decided to try something a little interesting.
I have always loved pancakes with banana and maple syrup, and I have also found bananas and bacon to be a lovely morning snack. Banana ice cream, maple syrup ice cream and even bacon ice cream are not unheard of, and even come in combinations of pairs, however for some reason no one seemed to have a recipe combining the three. So I just had to have a go! It wasn’t all perfect – there was a slight hint of frost crystals in the otherwise really creamy icecream, probably moisture from the banana, but all up, a very yummy post-run treat, and one that proves that bacon goes nicely with just about anything. For those of you interested, here’s how it was made, and those of you kitchen experts out there, if you have any tips on making it better, I am all ears!
1. First, I got a good recipe for an ice cream base off the internet: The Master Ice Cream Recipe
2. Next, I tweaked the original recipe to take into consideration the flavours I wanted. I used half the sugar (i.e. 1/3 cup) since the banana and maple syrup would be pretty sweet. I also used a little less cream and slightly more milk to compensate for the creaminess of the banana – about 1.75 cups cream and 1.25 cups milk.
3. Finally, I added the yummy bits I had in mind to the recipe as follows: First, during the simmering of the custard, added around 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Next, towards the end of the cooking of the custard (after adding the egg yolks back into the cream), I added one mashed ripe banana. Lastly, during the churning stage in the freezer, I added around two tablespoons of bacon bits in two batches – one right at the start of the churning stage, and the other around 3 hours later when the icecream had semi-set. The bacon bits were oven-baked in advance to get them nice and crispy. I baked them as bits, but on retrospect I would recommend baking a strip (or two) of bacon and then chopping it into bits. Baking bits was tough as the small bits tended to burn before the big ones got crispy, so I ended up having to do 3 batches just to get the two little tablespoons of bits.
Obviously this isn’t the healthiest of snacks, but as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t run to stay healthy or fit – I run because running is fun. And I rate eating icecream not too far behind!