Chocolate ice cream with caramelized bananas and chopped hazelnuts

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When I was a little girl, love was Sleeping Beauty meeting the man of her dreams, while frolicking in the woods with her animal friends.  It was about happiness and relief, and being rescued.  

But don't you remember?  We've met before.
We... we have?
But of course!  You said so yourself.  Once upon a dream.

When I was a teenager, love was Holly Golightly realizing that she belonged to Paul, and Paul belonged to her.  It was about giving in and letting go of control, and allowing yourself to be loved.

I love you.
So what?
So what?  So plenty!  I love you, you belong to me!
No.  People don't belong to people.
Of course they do!
I'll never let anybody put me in a cage.
I don't want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!

When I was in college, love was Joel and Clementine finding each other again after they erased each other from memory.  It was about fate, and primitive attraction, and having that one person you cannot escape.

I can't see anything that I don't like about you.
But you will!  But you will.  You know, you will think of things.  And I'll get bored with you and feel trapped because that's what happens with me.

After almost four years of marriage (and 6+ years of dating), I now know what love is, and realize it's not as simple as my favorite movies portray it to be.

To me, love means companionship, friendship, and respect.  It's understanding that love doesn't fix problems or make you happy, but provides comfort and security knowing you have someone by your side to experience life and all its various events and emotions.  Love is treasuring that one person for all of their strengths and weaknesses, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to be loved, as well.  It's about putting someone else first, and not being selfish.  And it's a little magical, too.  But in a Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather kind of way.  It's imperfect but beautiful all at the same time.

Love is making a special bowl of ice cream for that one special person, for no other reason but to let them know you appreciate them.  That you cherish them.  And that they are your most precious treasure.

To David: You are my most precious treasure.  Thank you for being my sweet Valentine for the last 10 years (even the first year when we weren't dating and I said, "You can have the day after..."  I was such a brat.  And I know I still am).  You are my heart.

Chocolate ice cream with caramelized bananas and chopped hazelnuts
2 cans light coconut milk
3/4 c vegan granulated sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder

1 medium banana, cut into 1/4" slices
1 tbsp Earth Balance
1 tbsp vegan granulated sugar

1/2 c chopped dry roasted hazelnuts

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk and sugar.  Whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Add cocoa powder and whisk until combined.  Remove from heat and transfer to glass container with spout.  Allow to cool on counter for a half hour, then cover and place in refrigerator or freezer until chilled.  When ready, process chocolate ice cream mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions (I process my ice cream for 25 minutes).  Once finished, transfer ice cream to freezer safe container and place in freezer.  Now, make the caramelized bananas.

In a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat, melt Earth Balance.  Add banana slices and sprinkle sugar over top.  Gently stir to combine.  Keep a watch over bananas, stirring occasionally.  After a few minutes, flip banana slices, and continue to cook on the other side.  Bananas are done when lightly browned and caramelized on both sides and the majority of the butter/sugar mixture is absorbed.  Remove ice cream from freezer and fold in caramelized banana slices.  Top with chopped hazelnuts.

Allow ice cream to chill for at least five hours before serving.  Enjoy!


  1. I'm glad you found your love, Caitlin in it's own true way. It's never quite what you expect it yo be but definitely better, right? Enjoy your Valentine!

  2. Oh my goodness!! That icecream looks amazing!!

  3. Awww, what a sweet post. The film references are so true to what you think love is all about at different stages of life. Aaron and I have known each other since high school and I saved all of his little love notes to me over the years. It's so fun to look back and see how things have evolved.
    Happy (almost) Valentine's Day! xo

  4. This post made me teary! And that ice cream is making me drool! Love is a very special thing :D

  5. Such a gorgeous post, so lovely! And that icecream - wow! Its times like this when I know I need to buy myself an icecream maker ;)

  6. The perfect Valentines Day treat!

  7. such a sweet post... and that quote from eternal sunshine - actually that whole film, gets me every time.

  8. It's been way too long since I havem had homemade ice cream. Your recipe looks very delicious and the pictures are beutiful.

  9. What a sweet post, Caitlin! Love this ice cream combination too, looks amazing!

  10. Hi Caitlin, I love your blog. I am wanting to try out some of your ice cream recipes, they all look so decadent and delicious. I'm currently looking into purchasing an ice cream maker and thought I would see which one you use and if it's working out well for you. Thanks! Have a happy Valentine's Day.

    1. oh, sarah, you are so sweet! i always love reading your comments. thank you so much for your sweet words. i'm so happy you love my blog!

      i have this ice cream maker and really love it! my mom actually got it for me off of craigslist when i was first thinking of making my own ice cream (about 3 years ago). it was $15 and never been used! it's much more expensive on amazon, but if you use it as frequently as i do, you will definitely save money from no longer buying the pre-made super expensive vegan ice cream. i hope this helps!

  11. Thank you, I was actually looking at that one. I just wasn't sure because some said sorbet and softserve.

  12. such a beautiful post and that ice cream looks amazing! i need to make it this summer! i have been such a brat with hubbs too. i don't know how he manages to be the sweetest at all times:) or maybe i just dont remember his bratty days :)

  13. Everything about this post is so lovely. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and the ice cream? YES.

  14. What a beautiful post! I hope your love for David will be like in The Foutain : "Together we will live forever".
    And this ice-cream? It's like bananas foster except with chocolate, so much better!


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