I think we can all agree that cancer sucks, right? And, we probably all know someone who has battled cancer personally or who has lost someone to cancer in one form or another. In my family, it’s breast cancer that seems to run rampant (something to look forward to), but today I’m focusing on ovarian cancer.
One of my oldest and dearest friends lost her mother to ovarian cancer at a terribly young age. It is a terrible disease, and a difficult one to detect in its earliest stages, which is why it proves so deadly in so many cases.
When I heard that Foodbuzz and Kelly Rippa were hosting a blogger event to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, I just knew I had to participate. The fact that it involved making and eating banana splits was just an added bonus.
The deal is that for every Foodbuzz Featured Publisher who posts a banana split-related entry on or before July 16 at 12 PM PST, Foodbuzz will donate $50 to Ovarian Cancer Research. There are more than 3800 featured publishers. Imagine if every one of us made a banana split and posted about it. That’s $190,000!
Since this is for a health-related cause, I decided to focus on using home-made items using whole and wholesome ingredients. I had some home-made strawberry ice-cream in the freezer (recipe adapted from this one by Gayle Gand).
I also had some brownies that I decided to throw in there – I know that a traditional banana split doesn’t have cake or brownies in it, but since I was using strawberry ice cream, I felt like the addition of the chocolate from the brownies would be a nice addition.
As a topping, I made a cherry sauce using fresh bing cherries that I simmered in a simple syrup of 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water until they were soft and the liquid had become a deep, deep burgundy color. I removed the cherries and reduced the liquid by 1/2 to thicken it.
I chose to brulee my bananas to add another layer of texture and flavor – just sprinkled the halved bananas with sugar and torched them with a blow-torch (or you could run them under the broiler). Also, instead of using whipped cream as my topping, I made a honey-sweetened yogurt foam (yes, I was inspired by the Top Chef school lunchroom challenge).
The end result was a lightly sweet, slightly sour (from the yogurt) dessert treat. It had all of the good traits of a traditional banana split (bananas and ice cream), and none of the bad (canned whipped cream, cloyingly sweet maraschino cherries, gloppy fudge sauce). I felt good serving it to my family, especially knowing it was for such a great cause.
If you want to help even raise more money for Ovarian Cancer Research, click here.