Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Frozen Banana Berry "Cake"

Frozen Banana Berry Cake

It's very nearly summer.  It's hot.  Ice cream recipes are everywhere.  But for every rich creamy version out there, I've been seeing ones for 1 ingredient banana ice cream, 2 ingredient banana soft serve, etc.  They're basically frozen bananas with or without a touch of vanilla, blitzed in the food processor until the texture is similar to soft ice cream.  I had to try it.  And I always have bananas in my freezer.

Frozen Banana Berry Cake
What I found was that it is, in fact, a good quick treat but I felt like I wanted something more.  Some small bit of creaminess without raising it to the fat level of ice cream.  A little low fat cream cheese did the trick.  And then I wondered if I could create something fancier but without too much fuss.  Desserts at summer grilling parties seem like they should be cold and light and some version of kicked up frozen fruit would be perfect.

So I put on my mad scientist cap and gave my food processor a good workout trying recipes.  This one looks company worthy, can be made ahead and is really a light frozen treat masquerading as a rich dessert.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
12 Graham crackers
1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 Cup frozen strawberries
4 Tablespoons low fat cream cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons sugar, divided
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 Cup blueberries for topping

Frozen Banana Berry Cake
Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they turn into crumbs.  Pour in the melted butter and continue pulsing until it's thoroughly distributed.  Pour the crumbs into a mini spring-form pan (mine is about 4" in diameter) and press down and slightly up the sides of the pan.  Place in the freezer while you make the banana base.

Give your food processor bowl a quick rinse and it's fine to continue using it to make the rest of the layers.  Place two tablespoons of the cream cheese and one tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl along with the frozen bananas and a very tiny pinch of sea salt.  Puree until the mixture is completely smooth and thoroughly combined.  Pour into the graham cracker crust and return to the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Place the remaining two tablespoons of cream cheese, the remaining tablespoon of sugar, another tiny pinch of sea salt and the frozen strawberries into the food processor and puree until smooth and thorough combined.  Pour over the banana mixture and return to the freezer for at least four hours or overnight.  When ready to serve, run a knife under very hot water for a few minutes and then run it carefully along the edge of the pan.  Gently open and remove the spring-form and the crust should remain in tact.  Top with the fresh blueberries.

Note that frozen fruit melts much more slowly than ice cream and this tastes best when it's been sitting at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.  Makes 3-4 servings or you can double the recipe for a standard 8" pan.

18 comments:

  1. You certainly succeeded with this treat. I love the layers. Any thing graham cracker crust makes me excited. Yes, this is a great summer dessert. I will be sure to invite you to my next BBQ.

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  2. A beautiful and delicious and refreshing summer dessert!! Blessings, Catherine

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  3. I love the looks of this one! Sounds delicious! I need to get a mini spring form pan! Pinning!

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  4. This looks so pretty for the 4th and it has cream cheese so it's got to be good! Love it!

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  5. Yes, this definitely looks like it has a bazillion calories per serving!!! Love that it doesn't!!! Beautifully done, Anita!

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  6. Wow. It looks calories' bomb. But it's no extra sugar and extra fat. It's a delicious dessert but still nutritional!

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  7. This looks awesome, such a great way to enjoy a healthy version of a 'cake'!

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  8. I love what a pretty presentation this makes! Such a great idea for summer get togethers!

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  9. i love frozen treats. looks great!

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  10. What an awesome summer dessert! LOVE!

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  11. Gorgeous summer dessert and looks mighty tasty too! Perfect for the 4th of July.

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  12. Wonderful frozen "ice cream cake". I have made the pureed banana ice cream from frozen bananas before and this is a brilliant way to make an ice cream cake healthier!

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  13. I love the way this looks and sounds! I've pinned this and will have to make it. Nice work!

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  14. Anita, you're brilliant! This cake looks so fancy 'n special, it'd be perfect for any event. The fact that it's light 'n healthy is just a bonus. I won't feel too bad when I polish most of it off myself!

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  15. This experiment turned out brilliant, I loved that you did not quite get to a banana ice cream and used cream cheese instead. It looks mighty impressive!

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