Vanilla Ice Cream with Hibiscus and Rum Sauce & Baby Bananas

I just arrived back home from my three months in Paris. There are things I miss about Paris – the opportunity to speak French, the street markets, the fresh fish markets and some of the quaint ancient streets. I especially remember the relationship with my local Paris fishmonger who advised me to begin filleting  my Turbot “with the white side facing up’ so you can more clearly identify where the backbone is.” But it is always good to be back home.

While in Paris, I had been introduced to several recipes using dried Hibiscus flowers and decided to give this a go. “Where in the world am I going to find dried Hibiscus flowers?” I asked myself. I looked out the window to my front yard and there was the answer: I already had a ready and willing Hibiscus plant, ready to give up its pretty red flowers (however you can buy them at your local wholefoods store or on Amazon).

Hibiscus flowers will give a delicious fruity taste to your recipes and are good for lowering your blood pressure and your cholesterol. Give it a try!

When using Hibiscus flowers in a recipe, you first need to remove the stamens and then dry the flowers. I dried mine by first pulling the flowers apart and then placing them in a low oven at 200 F (100 C) for 30 minutes. I then turned off the oven and let the flowers sit for another 30 minutes to completely dry out.

                        Hibiscus Flowers Hibiscus whole

You then re-hydrate the flowers by placing them in boiling water and letting them steep (or infuse) in the water for at least 15 minutes, then straining out the flowers. You can either just drink this Hibiscus ‘tea’ on its own or use it as a base to flavour other dishes, which I have done here for my recipe ‘Vanilla Ice Cream with Hibiscus Rum Sauce & Baby Bananas.’  


Vanilla Ice Cream with Hibiscus and Rum Sauce and Baby Bananas
Serves 4
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  1. Vanilla Ice Cream to serve 4
  2. 2 cups (5 g) dried Hibiscus flowers
  3. 1 cup boiled water
  4. 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  5. ½ cup orange juice
  6. 30 ml rum
  7. 1 cinnamon stick
For the sugar syrup
  1. ¼ cup sugar combined with ¼ cup water
  1. Grated lime zest
  2. Raspberries or strawberries
  1. To dry the Hibiscus flowers, place the petals on a tray and heat in oven at 200 F for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the flowers in the oven for another 30 minutes to dry.
  2. Place the dried flowers in a cup of boiled water; add the grated ginger and let steep (infuse) for at least 15 minutes. Strain the flowers and ginger from the liquid. Add the orange juice to the Hibiscus liquid; place in a saucepan and over medium heat, reduce to ¾ of the original volume.
  3. To make the sugar syrup, add ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water together in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens a little.
  4. Add the rum and cinnamon stick to the Hibiscus/orange juice mixture and gradually add some sugar syrup until the sauce sweetens to your taste.
  5. To assemble the dessert, add some of the Hibiscus sauce to the bottom of a serving dish. Slice each baby banana in half and place several slices vertically on the side of each dish. Add the vanilla ice cream in the center of the dish, add some more sauce on top of the ice cream. Add some grated lime zest and top with either a raspberry or strawberry.
  1. Omit the rum if serving to children.
  2. The sauce will thicken more when allowed to cool to room temperature. Add more sugar syrup to the Hibiscus sauce if you wish to thicken it further.
G'day Soufflé
 Rum and Ice Cream 2


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  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    September 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Wow, that’s an amazing hibiscus revelation! Thanks for the nutritional facts plus the technique in incorporating it in your lovely recipe!

    Gourmet Getaways
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Restaurant Eighty EightMy Profile

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    September 24, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I’ve got a hibiscus plant outside too. I need to study up on this. I’m really intrigued and can’t wait to give it a go.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…Potatoes MaureenMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    September 25, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I once priced the cost of hibiscus flowers and it was insanely expensive! Thanks for letting us know how to use non shop bought ones! 😀

  • Reply
    Kumar's Kitchen
    September 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    this dessert is a winner Fran,the presentation,flavors and creaminess are something which will make us go for seconds….and such clear tips on making dried hibiscus flowers and tips on using them….they are going to be really useful at home,thanks so much 🙂
    Kumar’s Kitchen recently posted…Hot-Sweet Tomato ChutneyMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you for this awesome post Fran…I always like cooking/baking with flower and always very skeptical to use. The ice cream with hibiscus flowers just sound and look divine…beautifully done.
    Have a wonderful weekend 😀
    Juliana recently posted…French Toast with BlueberriesMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 29, 2014 at 9:31 am

    What an amazing dessert to bid farewell to summer.
    The flavors are stunning. We used dried Hibiscus flowers a lot when living in Egypt. They make a wonderful refreshment by boiling the dried flowers. It’s called Karakade, tastes great and has a beautiful deep ,rich color too.
    Daniela recently posted…Roquefort Mousse With Poached Pears And Crunchy AlmondsMy Profile

  • Reply
    December 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Wow! Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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