Simple Pleasures.

Last night my dinner consisted of a handful of popcorn and half a Toblerone. Unhealthy, yes, but you have to marvel at the restraint it requires not to eat the entire Toblerone. Tonight's dinner was by far an improvement.

And by improvement I mean I ate it all. Since when have you not been able to finish a bowl of delicious ice cream? Granted it normally follows the meal instead of preceding or encompassing it, but hey I'm proud of myself.

Anyone who's ever been to Dairy Queen knows I'm telling the truth when I speak of the beauty that is the Peanut Buster Parfait. I wouldn't lie about such things.

Layers of creamy soft serve vanilla ice cream sandwiched between thick hot fudge and salted peanuts. Just when you think it's all gone you break through to a whole new layer of chocolate peanut bliss.

Now you might be wondering how on earth you could possibly make that any better. Well it's simple, my friends. First you make your very own French Vanilla Ice Cream, you top it with homemade Hot Fudge Sauce, salted peanuts and, the crowning glory, sliced bananas. Aren't the simplest things the best things?

Hot Fudge Peanut Banana Split Makes about 10 servings.

Source: Ice cream recipe adapted from Kitchen Aid's French Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Fudge Sauce from Epicurious.

2 1/2 cup half and half cream 1 vanilla bean 8 egg yolks 1 cup granulated sugar 2 1/2 cup whipping cream 1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup corn syrup 1/3 cup demerara sugar 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/4 tsp salt 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 tbsp unsalted butter 1 tsp vanilla extract

2 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1 cup peanuts, shelled and salted Note: The Hot Fudge Sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week and should be thinned out when reheated. Printer-Friendly Version

In a medium sauce pan heat the half and half cream and whole vanilla bean on medium heat until it's very hot but not boiling. Take it off the heat and set aside the vanilla bean.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg yolks and sugar on low speed until they're blended and slightly thick, about 30 seconds. Pour the hot cream gradually into the egg yolk mixture while it's mixing on low.

Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the edge of your knife. Stir in the vanilla seeds, 2 1/2 cups whipping cream and salt then refrigerate it for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Once it's sufficiently chilled mix it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

To make the Hot Fudge Sauce combine the 2/3 cup whipping cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half the chopped chocolate in a medium sauce pan. Stir it occasionally on medium until the chocolate melts and the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Take it off the heat and mix in the rest of the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Set it aside to cool slightly.

Serve your ice cream topped with the Hot Fudge Sauce, sliced banana and salted peanuts or you could always leave it naked. Enjoy!

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