A Wicked Banana Split


Sometimes it's just fun to be very wicked, skip the meat and potatoes and go right to dessert. And what's naughtier than a banana split...with a cherry on top!!


What makes the chocolate hazelnut ice cream in this dish worth making is that you cannot buy it in a carton.  It includes butter, one of my favorite food groups! It makes the ice cream exceptionally decadent, creamy and sensual.  The recipe was inspired by the one from Calliope Restaurant in the East Village of NYC.  As with most recipes, I added my own touches.



So next time you want to be wicked, try this banana split. It might just get you together!


Credits:  Banana heeled shoes by Walter Steiger.  Bananas by Chiquita. Absolutely delicious bittersweet chocolate from Jacques Torres. Nutella.  Framboise from Matilde Liqueur. Nails by Soho Nails.





  • Chocolate hazelnut ice cream (recipe follows)

  • Ripe banana(s)

  • Warm chocolate sauce (recipe follows)

  • Framboise laced whipped cream (recipe follows)

  • Maraschino cherries


Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream


Yield: About 1 ½ pints   Time: 30 min. plus chilling and freezing


  • ¾ cup hazelnuts

  • ¾ cup chopped bitter sweet chocolate

  • 6 oz Nutella (about ¾ cup)

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • pinch salt

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 2 cups heavy cream


Heat oven to 350 degrees and spread hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle but still warm. Rub the nuts in your hands or a dish towel to remove most of the skins (some will cling and that’s O.K.).


In a medium bowl, melt together Nutella and butter, either over a pot with 1 inch of simmering water or in a microwave. Keep mixture warm.


In a medium saucepan, bring the half-and-half, sugar, salt and vanilla bean to a simmer until the sugar melts, taking care not to boil. Stir occasionally.


Place egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in a 1/4 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly and carefully so as not to scramble the yolks. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the remaining half-and-half, whisking constantly. Heat the custard through, but do not simmer. If you see curdled clumps in your custard, pass through a fine strainer before continuing.


While whisking constantly, slowly pour the warm custard into the warm melted chocolate (you want the two mixtures to be the same temperature). Once the chocolate custard is thoroughly combined and smooth, whisk in heavy cream. Cover custard and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.


Pour chocolate hazelnut custard into an ice cream machine and chill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Add whole hazelnuts, excluding any powder from the nuts (it just feels gritty) and chopped chocolate into ice cream. Transfer to a separate container and freeze.



Warm Chocolate Sauce


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter

  • ½  cup pace light brown sugar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 4 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium/high heat.  Add sugar, don’t stir as caramel will separate.  Lower heat to medium, add cream, then stir in chocolate.  Set aside.



Framboise Laced Whipped Cream


  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tbsp Framboise (raspberry liqueur)


Whip cream until peak form.  Add Framboise.  Whip until incorporated and stiff again.



To assemble, split banana or bananas in half.  Place in dish.  Place two scoops of ice cream on each banana.  Top with whipped cream and garnish with maraschino cherries. You will have extra of everything.  Freeze ice cream.  Freeze or refrigerate sauce.  To reheat, do so on a very low heat.  Uses for whipped cream optional.