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Banana Split

1 pt. vanilla ice cream
3/4 c. walnuts
1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
butter or margarine sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 c. heavy cream or whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
4 ripe medium bananas
1 pt. chocolate ice cream
1 pt. strawberry ice cream
6 maraschino cherries

Early in the day or day before, place vanilla ice cream in refrigerator to soften slightly, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop 1/2 cup walnuts (reserve remaining 1/4 cup for garnish). In 9 x 3-inch spring-form pan, combine chopped walnuts, graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. With fingers, press mixture to bottom of pan. Evenly spread vanilla ice cream on top of crust. Freeze about 45 minutes or until very firm. While waiting for vanilla ice cream to harden, in 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, cook cocoa, 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream, 3/4 cup sugar and 4 tablespoons butter until mixture is smooth and boils, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool fudge sauce to room temperature. Split 3 bananas lengthwise in half. Remove pan from freezer. Pour fudge sauce over vanilla ice cream. Top with split bananas. Return cake to freezer.

Freeze 1 hour or until fudge sauce is firm. Place chocolate ice cream in refrigerator to soften slightly. Spread chocolate ice cream over fudge and bananas. Return cake to freezer. Freeze about 20 minutes to harden slightly. Remove strawberry ice cream from container to medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally until smooth, spreading consistency, but not melted. Spread strawberry ice cream over chocolate ice cream. Return to freezer. Cover and freeze until firm, about 3 hours.

To serve: With fingers, break reserved 1/4 c. walnuts into small pieces. In small bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Cut remaining banana diagonally into slices. Run knife or metal spatula dipped in hot water around edges of spring-form pan to loosen ice cream. Remove side of pan. Spread top of cake with whip cream. Arrange banana slices, maraschino cherries and nut meats on top.

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