Before you read this, go and put 3 chopped bananas in the freezer RIGHT NOW so that you can make this tomorrow night!
So you know OXO? As in, the little cubes of magic that have been thickening gravy since the 1900s? Well turns out they have a whole range of kitchenware that I didn’t even know existed. To celebrate cherry season, they kindly sent me a cherry pitter priced at £11.50 and a punnet of fat juicy cherries from A R Neaves based in Kent – historically the home of British cherries! They challenged me to come up with a recipe that would satisfy their [visual] hunger for the plump black berry.
I know what you’re thinking because I thought the exact same thing. I imaged a cherry pitter to be another pointless kitchen gadget like the salad spinner.
The Cherry Pitter on the other hand, does not irritate me at all. It is actually a revelation rather than a silly accessory. I have always just accepted the fact that cherries are annoying little buggers. You want to use them to cook? You’re gonna have to de-pit them with a knife. You want to eat them straight from the punnet? That’s cool but you’re gonna have to sit there and suck your cheeks around like you’ve got a really bad ulcer and then spit out the pit and start a little pile of pits on the table. Or worse – you could get a bowl so that all of your dinner guests can share in the experience and you can all sit surrounded by soggy pits in heaps. (Maybe olives are more your thing?) It was just one of those things that I accepted. But not any more! The game has changed my friends.
With the help of my new and very welcome kitchen gadget, the Black Forest Ice-Cream Sandwich was born in a matter of minutes! Inspired by the horrendous sugar-packed Maxibons I used to eat on family holidays in Spain, this version is healthy and sugar-free. It doesn’t contain any cream, thickeners, preservatives, dairy or gluten and it’s vegan-friendly. Enjoy!
For the cookies
1 tsp vanilla
water as needed
For the ice-cream
3 bananas (frozen)
50ml almond milk
dash of vanilla
100g pitted cherries, halved
100g frozen cherries
1 tbsp cacao powder
Start by blending together the oats, almonds and hazelnuts to form a flour. In a separate bowl and using a high-speed mixer, blend the dates, vanilla [and water] to form a thick paste. Add these two mixtures together to form a dough and press down until it’s about 1 inch thick. You can then cut shapes using a cookie cutter [or a glass like me!]. Place on baking paper in the freezer whilst you make the ice cream.
For the ice-cream, take your pre-frozen bananas and blend them with the almond milk. Add the other ingredients (minus the halved fresh cherries) and blitz into an instant ice-cream! Carefully fold the halved cherries into the ice-cream once blended. Dollop a scoop on each cookie, then top with another cookie!