One thing he taught me was how to make food. Mostly cakes, ice cream, and breakfast but also anything pertaining to a grill and/or oven. Whenever my mom was out, at work, or out of town we would make a big fancy meal. He would ask what I wanted for dinner, probably casually seeing what his child was hungry for, and I'd test him with something I thought was absurdly difficult and fancy. His response was always, "okay".
Now that I think of it, my mom would do something similar when my dad was out of town. With her, though, we'd have a very specific meal picked out to explore, all for the sake of spending time in the kitchen.
I guess I've had a creative experience in the kitchen from the very beginning.
So any time I want to do something special for my dad I always do something from the kitchen. Unfortunately, we are on opposite sides of the country for Father's Day, so he can't really taste anything I am making. Instead, I made this ice cream fruit cake for him, in spirit.
The irony here is that this fruit cake is made, primarily, of bananas and my dad is allergic to bananas.
He will be here for a visit in a couple weeks, so I'll make it up to him, then. I don't think he will mind, I just won't make him this particular cake.
This cake had all the right flavors going on. A hint of salted chocolate in the crust, a creamy, frozen banana center, a sweet raspberry puree over the top, and the walnuts and cacao for the perfect crunch. I recommend freezing it for a few hours so it sets up and then serving and consuming immediately. If it's left in the freezer overnight it gets this sort of sorbet-esque feel to it, and if you don't consume it immediately it melts.
1/2 cup walnuts
8 dates, soaked, peeled and pitted
2 T cacao powder
1/4 t sea salt
Dump everything into a food processor and process until chunky. Place the crust into a springform pan and press down until even. Place in freezer until you're ready to add the next layer. I used a smaller springform pan, and 6" so adjust your measurements accordingly.
Banana Coconut Center:
2 T agar
1 cup hot water
3 bananas, frozen
3 T coconut butter
1 T coconut oil
1 t vanilla
Bring 2 cups of water to boil and then remove from heat. Put the agar into a bowl and then pour the hot water over and stir to incorporate. Continue stirring until it starts to thicken. I left it on the counter and stirred it frequently. When it cools it thickens, so allow it to cool a little bit before continuing.
Add everything else to your high speed blender and blend until a sort of ice cream is formed. You may need to use the stopper (I did!). Add the cooled agar pudding and blend until smooth. Pour the contents over the chocolate crust. Place in the freezer for a few hours to harden.
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup dates, soaked, peeled and pitted
2-3 T chia seeds
Combine everything in the blender and blend until smooth. I used frozen raspberries in this and I loved the consistency.
I poured this over the top, garnished with walnuts and cacao nibs and then served. You could, alternatively, pour of the top, still in the pan, and place in the freezer for a few hours so it is all firm.
This was so delicious and refreshing on a hot Miami day! But remember, it's an ice cream cake so it melts quickly... which shouldn't be a problem because you will probably eat it all in one sitting ...