Double-layer Banoffee Pie with Salted Caramel

We somehow accumulated a banana glut and there’s only so many banana smoothies I can drink and the freezer was already full of (a very nice) chocolate banana cake so I asked for ideas on things to use them up and the overwhelming response was banoffee pie! So here is my version of the classic.

For a pie that serves 8-10 you need
For the base
150g digestive biscuits
100g butter

For the caramel
397g can condensed milk
100g butter
100g light soft brown sugar
pinch salt flakes

4 bananas
250ml double cream
1-2 squares of plain chocolate

Begin by melting the butter and whizzing the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble sand. Pour in the butter with the motor running until combined. Spread into the base of a flan/pie dish, leaving a little lip around the edges to catch the caramel. Chill in the fridge while you make the caramel.

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan and then add the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, and boil rapidly for 1 minute. Be careful not to get splashed by the bubbles as it will be VERY HOT! Mix in the salt.

Slice 1-2 bananas into 5mm slices and lay over the base. Top with the caramel and leave to chill for 1-2 hours in the fridge.

Once the caramel has set, place another layer of bananas on the top and then top with whipped cream. Be careful to only take the cream to soft peak stage as you want a pillow of creamy softness on the pie. Swirl to finish and then decorate with grated chocolate. Yum!

Banana Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars (v)

This recipe is adapted from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. It’s dead simple, very yummy and makes cooked banana taste nice (I usually can’t stand it cooked in anything unless it’s well and truly mushed up). It’s a bit crumbly and liable to disintegrate round the edges but it’s perfect with a morning coffee and is a reasonably healthy energy boost.

For about 8 bars you need
75g wholemeal flour
11/4 tsp baking powder
75g demerara sugar
75g porridge oats
100g vegan spread or butter if you’re not vegan
1 banana, sliced into 5mm slices
25g plain chocolate chips

Blitz everything apart from the chocolate chips in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Line a 2lb loaf tin and put half the shortbread mix in the bottom. Press down. Lay the banana slices on top and then cover with the remaining shortbread. Press down firmly and scatter over the chocolate. Bake in a 180 degree oven for about 25 mins. Leave to cool and then carefully slice and scoff.

Apple and Banana Crumble with Nutmeg Cream

It’s cold. And I have a cold. And a fruit bowl brimming with apples and bananas that needed to be eaten. So I created this and it warmed me. But it didn’t cure my cold, boo.

For 4-6 portions you need
4-5 eating apples, peeled and roughly chopped into bite sized chunks
3 bananas, peeled and sliced into thick slices
2 tbsp cinnamon demerara sugar
1/2 cup jumbo oats
1/2 cup plain flour
75g cold butter, coarsely grated
1/3 cup cinnamon demerara sugar

To serve: double cream and a fresh grating of nutmeg.

Place the fruit in an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the sugar. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and place on top of the fruit. Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 20-30 minutes until the topping is cooked and golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Serve with lightly whipped double cream topped with a fresh grating of lovely nutmeg. Yummy.

Double Chocolate Banana Cake (v)

This is an adaptation of Nigella’s banana bread from her Domestic Goddess book. I got so sick of making the plain banana cake as although lots of my friends and family liked it, I wasn’t that keen (unless I was eating the raw batter!). However, the addition of chocolate to it makes it utterly delicious. Why I haven’t made this one before is beyond me, but I have now, and so must you 🙂

For 2 x 2lb loaf cakes you need
6 very ripe bananas, mashed to a puree
25g cocoa powder
100g sultanas
75ml southern comfort (or other booze of your choice)
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarb
100ml sunflower oil
150g caster sugar
100g plain chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preferably soak the sultanas in the booze overnight, but if you’re short of time, place in a saucepan and heat gently then leave to speed soak for 15-30 mins.

Mix everything together and scrape into two lined loaf tins. Bake in a moderate (170 degree) oven for 45-60 mins until the cakes are risen and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool. Eat with copious cups of tea.

Banana Toffee Cheesecake (dairy free)

This is in Nigella’s new book Kitchen. She describes it as a way to use up leftover over-ripe bananas and I decided to use up the dregs of the biscuit tin too and some vegan cream cheese that had just been sitting the the fridge looking sad. Whilst the cheesecake is dairy free, it does contain eggs and is therefore not vegan, obviously… and the sauce contains cream and butter. This recipe was also an opportunity to try out my new silicon cake tin i.e. one that won’t ooze wet cheesecake mix out the bottom or need lining with clingfilm/baking parchment. Quite how I remove it from the tin is another matter!!

For 10-12 portions you need:

For the base:
250g mixed biscuits (I used a mixture of royal danish butter and ginger)
75g unsalted butter, softened

For the cheesecake:
4 overripe medium bananas
60ml lemon juice
700g vegan cream cheese
6 eggs
150g light soft brown sugar

For the toffee sauce:
100g unsalted butter
125ml golden syrup
75g light soft brown sugar

You also need a 23cm springform tin or I used a 21cm silicon tin.

Start with the base. Blitz the biscuits with the butter in a food processor till it’s come together. Press into the tin and chill in the fridge.

Mash the bananas with the lemon juice. Nigella says to use a fork but frankly life is too short so use a potato masher instead and be done in a quarter of the time…

In the cleaned food processor, lob in the cream cheese and blitz. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the sugar and then the bananas and lemon juice. Mix well till smooth.

Pour the batter on to the base and bake in a moderate (160 degree) oven for about 1hr 15 mins. Remove and leave to cool then chill over night.

For the toffee sauce melt everything together then boil for 2-3 mins till light golden brown and bubbly. Leave to cool.

Serve the cheesecake drizzled with the sauce with more sauce on the side for greedy buggers like me. Yum yum yum.

Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie (v)

This idea popped in to my head earlier today. I have a bit of a thing for peanut butter at the moment and this even got Lex drinking it!

For one person you need:
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup soya milk
1 scoop vanilla swedish glace if you want it to be extra thick and luxurious

Blitz till thick and creamy and then down in one. Remember to wipe off the mustache when you’ve finished.

Bananas in Pyjamas

OK OK so this is hardly rocket science but as I’ve said before this is partly a blog to teach my son to cook. Plus I’m knackered. Rammstein last night was awesome, but at my age it’s left me too tired to contemplate much more than comfort nursery food on my return home!

So. For one bowl of yellow nourishment you need a banana and a tub of custard. Chop said banana, cover with custard, nuke till hot and eat. Instant bliss 🙂

Banana Cake

I have to admit, I have sort of gone off this recipe, but only cos I’ve made it sooooooo many times. It was a staple of my pregnant/maternity leave days, and my secret confession is that I do prefer the raw batter to the finished article. But that’s just my opinion. Everyone else seems to love the cakes. I’ve just eaten too many of them…!

This is a Nigella recipe from Domestic Goddess.

You need:
175g plain flour
125g butter, melted
100g sultanas (I used mixed berries and cherries today)
60g chopped walnuts
80ml brandy or other booze of your choice, rum works well
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
150g vanilla sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 very ripe bananas, mashed

Begin by heating the dried fruit in the brandy and leaving aside for 10 mins or as long as you can to absorb the liquid. Melt the butter. Mash the bananas and then add everything else to the mashed bananas. I prefer the batter poured into individual cases but you can also bake it as a loaf. Either way bake in a moderate oven for 15 mins (fairy cakes) or 30-45 mins (loaf tin). The cake will rise and a skewer will come out clean when they’re done (if you use silicone cases then the cake will have shrunk away from the sides a little when it’s cooked.

They freeze very well, and it does keep but gets stickier and stickier (and smellier and smellier!) as it matures! Makes about 30 individual cakes or 2 x 2lb loaf cakes.