Sunday, 22 April 2012

Banoffi Pie - A Random Recipe

Some flavours were born to be put together, tomato and basil, lemon with fish, Morecambe and Wise and of course banana and toffee or banoffi/banoffee/banoffie if you prefer.

This month over at Belleau Kitchen, it is Dom's two year bloggerversary so to celebrate we all have to bake him something using a dedicated baking book that we have in our collections. I have a couple in my collection, Dan Lepards Short and Sweet and Peyton and Byrnes British Baking. Having not used the latter yet I opted for it and randomly picked my recipe.

Jackpot Baby!!

The Banoffi Pie, many variations there have been but the combination is a classic and one I haven't eaten or made in many a year which is just silly really because its so easy to make.

210g Plain flour
35g icing sugar
125g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tsp of water
1 egg white (to brush the cooked case)

397g can of caramelised condensed milk

4 ripe bananas
300ml Double Cream
1 tsp caster sugar

Firstly you need to caramelised the condensed milk, I did this by gearing up with Kevlar armour, a riot shield and a small bunker in my kitchen, then I boiled the unopened can in a pan of water for four hours.
Place the can in cold water and slowly bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer for 4 hours, topping up occasionally, DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL DRY. Switch off the heat and allow to cool completely in the water.

Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility if you choose to follow this method, the alternative is to buy a jar of dulche de leche but wheres the fun?

OK once you have done that and have survived to tell the tale then make your pastry case:

Mix the flour and sugar together, add the butter.
Rub the butter into the flour gently between your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the yolk and water and mix together.
Using you hands bring together the mix into a dough ball, don't overwork.
Wrap tightly in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30mins to an hour.

Get two sheets of cling film, spread one across the work surface, place the dough in the middle and spread the other sheet over the top.
Roll out gently in between the two sheets of cling film (this method stops any excess flour being added to the pastry and drying it out).
Remove the top layer and using the bottom layer drape the pastry into a 26cm fluted tart tin.
Press gently into the tart tin and using a rolling pin roll across the top to trim off the edges.
Push the edges up a couple of millimetres to compensate for shrinkage.

Gently press a layer of foil into the tin and fill with baking beans.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C, fan) for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown
Remove from oven and brush with egg white to create a waterproof layer.
Leave to cool completely

Whisk up the cream and sugar until soft peaks form

Spread the condensed milk in the cooled tart case

Slice up 3 of the bananas and layer around the tart

Mash up the fourth banana and mix in with the cream, spoon on and spread around the top of the tart

Grate dark chocolate on just before serving.

This is an automated response: the writer of this blog is currently in a banoffi coma after eating too much and passing out. 'So so good' are rumoured to be his last words.


Mixed Nut Slices - The OH's Random Recipe

 The Food Nut (Editor: the glorious owner of this blog) set me the task of doing the random recipe challenge over at Belleau Kitchen this month, which was baking. He also took the liberty to pick the random recipe, and I was smugly informed that the recipe was mixed nut slices, from the Hummingbird Bakery book - Cake Days. He was smug because this recipe involved my worst fear... pastry! I set about making the tray bake, which involved a variety of nuts held on with a syrupy sugary mixture, and battled with the pastry for a good 20 minutes. Rolling and re-rolling, it seemed to break whenever I attempted to lift it into the tray. The end result was a lovely sugary short crust with a sticky and crunchy topping.

Perfect with a cup of tea or for a summers picnic.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Home Cured Bacon

Awhile ago I began the process of making my own bacon, the entire process took about 5 days from beginning to end, then knowing I wouldn't be around to eat it for awhile, I wrapped it up and put it in the freezer...then forgot about it.

Well no more!!


Making my own bacon was very simple, all I had to do was make the rub and then once a day drain off the resulting water seepage and re-rub the bacon. at the end of the week I simply rinsed off the excess rub, patted dry and voila! bacon was born.

So then to the main event.

I removed it from the icy depths of my freezer and sliced off a few slices and just look at it, perfect streaky bacon.

Then I fired up a frying pan, about 1-2 minutes each side until crispy, no white rubbish seeping out here.

So how did it taste?
Just wow, it is light years away from the crap sold in supermarkets, deep porky flavour, bursts of salt and an underlying sweetness followed by little hits of pepper, just superb.

Give it ago


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fruit Muffins

This is a nice little recipe that I use with Year 7's as an introduction to baking. Mainly because it's an all in one method which makes it very easy but there a variety of different measurements required so it gives the future master chefs plenty of practice.

The recipe is very adaptable, the ones you see in the picture are blueberry but they will will work with any fruit, chocolate, toffee... whatever takes your fancy. My personal favourites are banana and white chocolate chips and raspberry with dark chocolate chips.

Fruit Muffins
Ingredients (makes 6)
125g plain Flour
1.5tsp baking powder
85g Caster sugar
55g Butter
85ml Milk
1 egg
about 50g -100g of your chosen ingredients

Simply add all the ingredients apart from the fruit, chocolate etc... into a bowl.
Beat together with a electric hand whisk or by elbow power until smooth with a dropping consistency.
Add your chosen ingredient and mix in gently.
Using a tablespoon, pour into individual muffin cases.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C/160Cfan) for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Little Jam Cakes

Today I got the cake munchies. Unfortunately my house was empty of such baked goodness. The solution to this end of the world problem is of course to get the apron on and make some cake. Usually in this case I would make a simple lemon cake which usually solves any crisis for a few days but for a change I had a little browse through my books and came across this little recipe in Queen Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes which ticked all the boxes; Cake - check. Quick and Easy -check. Tasty - but of course.

The recipe suggested using blackcurrant jam, but my cupboards are full of various half eaten jam pots so I varied it a little;

Green Fig Jam
Lemon curd
Homemade Marmalade - courtesy of the OH's Grandma
Apple and Blackcurrant Jam

I also used a bit more spices than the book suggested, which turned these into gingery cinnamon cakes, always a good thing.

Little Jam Cakes
225g SR Flour
50g butter
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
100g Caster sugar
1 Large Egg
5 Tbsp Milk

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C(fan).
Rub the butter into the flour and spices, until it resembles breadcrumbs
Stir in the sugar.
Beat the egg and milk together.
Add the egg and milk a little at time until the mixture comes together into a stiff dough, you may not need all the liquid.
Divide into balls as big or small as you like, roll in your hands, place on a greased baking tray and flatten a little bit.
Using the other end of a wooden spoon, make a hole in each one.
Fill up with your chosen jam.
Bake for 10 minutes until golden.
Serve warm.