Roasted plantain ice cream

Roasted plantain ice cream

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 30 minutes + freezing time

"On a visit to the market with my dear friend and fellow Salone (Sierra Leonean), Rosaline, we set out to buy plantain. They only had overripe plantain and an idea popped into my head: I realized I could turn these black overripe plantains into ice cream, of the sort that street vendors sell from pushcarts
in Freetown". – Maria Bradford.


  • 2 small overripe (black) plantains
  • 90 g soft light brown sugar
  • 15 g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup full-cream milk
  • 1 cup whipping Cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 2 T dark rum or brown sugar rum
  • hot strong espresso coffee, to serve (optional)
  • dark chocolate, to serve (optional)

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C .

2. Peel the plantain, chop them into small chunks and toss in a bowl with the sugar. Transfer to a baking tray, spread out in a single layer and dot over the butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until the plantain is browned and nicely caramelized.

3. Meanwhile, gently heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Bring the mixture up to scalding point then remove from the heat and set aside. Be careful not to let it boil.

4. Put the egg yolks into a large mixing bowl, whisk briefly, then pour the warm milk and cream mixture onto the yolks. Whisk to combine, then return the mixture to the cleaned-out pan over low-medium heat.

5. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the mixture thickens to form a custard thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon, 5–10 minutes depending on the temperature. Keep the heat low to prevent the mixture from curdling. When it’s thickened, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

6. Scrape the plantain and the thick syrup from the baking tray into a blender then add the custard, salt and vanilla. Blend to a smooth purée. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then transfer to an ice-cream machine, add the rum and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe plastic container and freeze until needed. Note: After chilling, if the mixture is too thick, whisking will thin it out before churning.

7. Alternatively, you can freeze the puréed mixture in a shallow dish and, when frozen, cut into chunks and blend briefly. Return the portions to the freezer immediately and freeze until needed.

8. Please remember to take the ice cream out of the freezer and put it the fridge 20–30 minutes before serving to allow it to soften slightly.

9. Delicious served as an affogato-style dessert drenched in hot espresso coffee with a few squares of dark chocolate melted into it.

This is an extract from "Sweet Salone: Recipes from the Heart of Sierra Leone" by Maria Bradford. Published by Hardie Grant and distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers. Design and location photography by Dav E Brown. Recipe photography by Yuki Sugiura.

Find more ice cream recipes here. 

Maria Bradford Recipe by: Maria Bradford
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Maria Bradford grew up in Freetown, and started helping her mother prepare meals from about nine years of age. Inspired by her heritage, Maria prepares traditional African dishes and high-end Afro-fusion cuisine. Maria studied at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and founded Maria Bradford Kitchen in 2017, which became known as Shwen Shwen. Her catering is in high demand for corporate events and private dining throughout the UK and Africa. Maria lives in the south of England with her husband and two children.

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