It was my brother Jamie who convinced me to pursue gelato. I researched schools, and the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna kept coming up as the best. I wasn’t completely convinced that gelato was ‘it’, but figured that knowing how to make authentic Italian gelato would be a great skill to have. I enrolled in the course and flew to Bologna.
Italy changed everything. The Carpigiani Gelato University is at the factory where Carpigiani make their gelato machinery. Everything seemed so cool to me, like I was in exactly the right place.
My final recipe is a classic banana split, tweaked. I had to include it because when I was young it was one of my favourite things in the world. Me and my best friend would always make banana splits when we were kids, but this one is a little more adult than that, with a bit more technique involved. It’s still a banana split at heart though.
Ingredients (SERVES 4)
100ml pouring cream
1 1/2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra if necessary
2 ripe bananas
200g Chocolate gelato (available from Pidapipò)
200g Salted caramel gelato (available from Pidapipò)
8 amarena cherreis
2 tablespoons glucose syrup
135g caster sugar
135g roasted peanuts
CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE
250ml pouring cream
100g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup or maple syrup
20g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into chunks
For the peanut croccante, add the glucose syrup and caster sugar to a small saucepan over a high heat. Cook, stirring, until caramelised and very dark brown in colour, then add the peanuts and mix together thoroughly. Carefully tip the mixture out onto the centre of a heatproof silicone mat, cover with non-stick baking paper and roll out with a rolling pin as thin as possible. Leave to cool, then pull off the paper and chop into small pieces. Set aside until needed (this will keep for months in an airtight container).
To make the chocolate fudge sauce, add the cream, sugar, golden syrup and butter to a heavy-based saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat, add the chocolate and whisk together until the chocolate has melted into the mixture and everything is well combined. Keep warm over a low heat.
Whip the cream and 2 teaspoons of the icing sugar together in a bowl to form soft peaks. Set aside.
Slice the bananas lengthways in half and place cut-side up on a baking tray.
Sprinkle the remaining icing sugar over the bananas to cover completely (adding a little more if you need) and caramelise with a blowtorch or place under a hot grill for a few minutes until nicely golden.
To serve, arrange the caramelised banana slices side-by-side on a serving plate. Place a scoop of each gelato next to one another in the centre of each banana and dollop over the cream. Pour over the fudge sauce (or alternatively serve this on the side) and top with the croccante and amarena cherries.