Deep Freeze

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

If the temperature shoots up to 90 degrees in San Francisco, we melt – so rarely are we hit with sweltering weather here. But everywhere else, it’s turning into a red-hot summer and food must accommodate.

I understand why they say eating spicy, hot foods will make you sweat and cool you down. But I don’t care. When it’s hot, I want something cold.

So I was thinking about those frozen bananas we used to make as kids in Hawaii. You’ve probably made them, yourself. You put a stick through a peeled banana , pop it in the freezer, and you have a healthy banana “popsicle.” If you want it fancier, you dip it in melted chocolate and refreeze. That’s the recipe.

But I was wondering how you could make them a little nicer. I wanted the banana pops to come in cute chunks that could be eaten in a few bites. And to make them more fun, instead of popsicle sticks, I thought of colorful, heavy-duty plastic straws.

To make these pops taste their best, you need good-quality bittersweet chocolate. I used Ghirardelli 60 percent cacao chocolate chips. And the peanuts should be roasted and salted. Be prepared with more chocolate chips and nuts, just in case, because the amounts needed depend on how liberally you spread the chocolate and sprinkle the nuts.

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Frozen Banana-Chocolate Pops

2 to 3 ripe but firm bananas
6 wooden popsicle sticks or heavy-duty plastic straws
4 ounces (3/4 cup) bittersweet, 60 percent cacao chips, plus more, if needed
1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts, plus more, if needed

  1. Peel bananas and cut in 2 1/2-inch lengths. You need 6 banana chunks. For nicer-looking pops, do not use the curved top and bottom of the banana, cutting just two chunks from the middle. Save the curved sections for another use, such as for fruit salad, smoothies or banana bread.
  2. Insert popsicle stick into the cut side of each banana. Lay bananas on small, waxed-paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer and freeze 1 hour or overnight.
  3. To make the pops, put peanuts in a shallow plate. Have a table knife ready. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave oven. To microwave, put chips in a wide microwave-safe bowl and microwave 1 minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 1-minute intervals, if needed. (See note below.)
  4. Remove the bananas from the freezer. Use the knife to spread chocolate along the length of the banana in a stripe about 1-inch wide. Holding the banana over the plate of nuts, immediately sprinkle nuts on the chocolate area. The chocolate will harden almost immediately, so you have to work fast.
  5. Continue spreading the chocolate and sprinkling the nuts, section by section, until the banana is covered. Then coat the top and bottom of the banana with chocolate and sprinkle with nuts.
  6. Repeat with remaining bananas and eat immediately, or return bananas to the freezer in an airtight container. If you must stack the bananas, put waxed paper between layers.
Makes 6 banana pops.

Note: Here are more detailed instructions on melting chocolate chips in the microwave oven.

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Posted: Jul 21st by Sandy_Hu