This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.
I woke up the other day and realized I’m one of those people who can’t function without coffee. Every time I’ve nearly set our place on fire.. it’s because I didn’t have coffee. Every time I’ve accidentally sent an email to the wrong person.. it’s because I didn’t have coffee. Every time I’ve done something stupid in the kitchen – like spill lemon juice all over the floor (which resulted in me having to clean and sand and reseal the prima donna tiles at 6AM) (we’ll talk about those later).. it’s because – you guessed it! – I didn’t have coffee. I made the connection the other morning (after I
wasted spent three hours tending to aforementioned tiles) and decided I needed to do something about it because my dependence on caffeine is growing and, to be honest, that totally freaks me out. I don’t like that I require an addictive substance to think clearly or get moving in the morning. And I especially don’t like that I need three or four cups of it to feel like myself. I mean, I generally wake up between 4 and 5AM but I’m not a fully-functioning human until 8 or 9.. unless I have coffee.
And that’s a problem.
My immediate solution was simple: I swapped my big ass coffee mug with a baby mug (that’s half the size), and went from 3-4 big coffees (48-64 ounces) to 2-3 small coffees (16-24 ounces) a morning. And while the headaches have been persistent and enough to drive any person to the looney bin, I know they’ll eventually subside along with what would appear to be a pretty significant caffeine addiction. Because 64 ounces of coffee a day? That’s preposterous. Seriously. That is an absurd amount of coffee to be drinking.
But one thing I really love about coffee is the flavor. It’s bitter, but not too bitter. Earthy, but not overly so. And, to be honest, starting my day with a few big mugs of it is my idea of comfort. So I’ve had to get creative in finding other ways to get my coffee-comfort fix because sometimes 16 ounces of the rich, liquid goodness just doesn’t do it for me. I’ve tried snacking on a few squares of coffee-studded dark chocolate and banana bread made with (decaf) coffee grounds (my coffee-hating husband ate it and didn’t even notice there was coffee in it) (HA), but I’m never fully satisfied. So I came up with a hella decadent and insanely luscious coffee-flavored ice cream that checks alllllll the boxes. Especially when paired with pan-fried maple bananas, some coconut whipped cream, and a drizzle of salted hot fudge sauce (for good measure). It is literally comfort-in-a-bowl (and it blows my early-morning comfort-in-a-mug outta the water).
So let’s recap what we learned today: caffeine addiction is a real thing, 16 ounce coffee mugs = bad news, banana bread masks the pungent flavor of coffee, and ice cream makes everything better.
Notes: The layers of flavor and texture in this sundae are outta this world good; salty, crunchy, chewy, sweet, creamy, etc. It is no exaggeration when I say it’s the sundae of my dreams. While I’m all about fried bananas over here, oven-roasted bananas could be just as nice (though I’m not sure how crunchy they’ll get) (which is what I love about fried bananas). If you can’t get your hands on the ingredients for the salted hot fudge sauce, give my easy caramel sauce a go. Also: I fully support dousing the sundae with a shot of (decaf) espresso for some affogato action. It is GOOD.
This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own, and I think Califia rules.
MAPLE BANANA SUNDAES
2 ripe bananas, cut into thick slices
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
To assemble the sundaes
Black & white ice cream, recipe follows
Coconut whipped cream
Salted hot fudge sauce
Dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Coffee beans, crushed
Fresh strawberries, sour cherries, etc.
Add the banana slices to a small bowl and toss with oil. Set a medium skillet over medium-low heat and lightly grease with oil. Once the skillet is heated, line with banana slices and then drizzle with maple syrup; cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, just until caramelized. Remove from heat and finish with sea salt.
To assemble the sundaes, line four glass jars (or bowls) with a few bananas then a couple scoops of ice cream (I like to pack a couple of bananas between the scoops). Top with coconut whipped cream, hot fudge sauce (or maple ganache if you’re tryin’ to reduce your processed sugar intake), peanuts, coffee beans, berries, etc. Enjoy immediately.
Yield: 4 sundaes
Notes: This is my new go-to ice cream base – cashews + cacao butter + coconut milk work together to create a luscious texture that blows any other ice cream I’ve ever made outta the water. If you can’t get your hands on the black & white, use 3/4 cup cold brew coffee + 3/4 cups unsweetened almondmilk in place of the black & white measurement. If you’re not a fan of coffee (like Thom) simply replace the black & white with unsweetened vanilla almondmilk (toasted coconut would be delicious, too). If you don’t have a scale, 60g of cacao butter is right around 6 tablespoons of melted cacao butter. For sundaes, I prefer ice cream that’s a little less sweet so if you’re eating the ice cream on its own, increase the maple syrup to 1/2 cup. Oh, and if you don’t have an ice cream maker or a high speed blender/food processor, you can totally freeze the base as ice pops (and dip ’em in homemade magic shell).
BLACK + WHITE ICE CREAM
2 ounces (60g) cacao butter (see notes above)
1/3 cup (85g) pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups (300g) Califia Farms black & white
1 can (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon maple extract, optional
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 cup (130g) raw cashews, soaked 4+ hours or overnight
Melt the cacao butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the maple syrup, black and white, coconut milk, maple extract, and salt. Bring to a light boil, cook for 30-45 seconds, then remove from heat. Transfer the mixture to a large glass bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Once the mixture has chilled through, discard the cashew soaking water and add the cashews to the base of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the black & white mixture and blend on high speed until smooth; about one minute. Transfer the mixture back to the bowl, cover with plastic (make sure you press it into the top of the mixture to prevent a film from forming), and refrigerate for at least four hours (overnight is best). Once chilled, transfer the mixture to the bowl of your ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve ice cream immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container and press a piece of plastic wrap into the ice cream before covering with a lid. Depending on the temperature of your freezer, you may need to thaw the ice cream for 15-20 minutes before serving.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can pour the ice cream base into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Once solid, blend in blender or food processor (you’ll probably have to add a bit of additional liquid) then transfer to a freezer-safe container to freeze through.
Yield: About 1 quart