Is it bad that these days I only ever buy bananas with the intention of letting them get over-ripe in my fruit bowl and then turning them into various incarnations of vegan banana bread? I just love it, I don’t think that I would ever […]
I started off wanting to make a Banoffee cheesecake but I can be a bit funny about bananas. I’ll only eat them when they’re slightly under-ripe you see, when they’re still a touch green at the ends. The moment a single brown spot appears on the skin I lose all interest in them. In addition to this I really cannot stomach the idea of a cooked banana – I know some people go crazy for them but to me they’re just mushy sweetness. And I really wanted this to be a baked cheesecake, a no-bake recipe just doesn’t seem different enough to a banoffee pie.
So I had a look at other banana-caramel desserts and came across bananas foster…which has booze in it. Y’all know how I feel about a boozy dessert! I’ve side-stepped my cooked banana issue by using dried banana chips in the biscuit base, just to give a hint of banana flavour. The topping is rich and creamy and full of caramel flavour. This is a pretty heavenly dessert!
Remember that your cheesecake ingredients all need to be room temperature before you start to ensure that you get the creamiest dessert possible.
120g digestive biscuits
80g banana chips
75g butter (melted)
500g cream cheese (room temperature)
150g + 4 tbsp ready-made caramel (I used Carnation)
2 tbsp dark rum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
extra caramel, whipped cream and banana chips to decorate
Make the base by blitzing the banana chips in a food processor until they are really quite fine. Break up the biscuits and blitz those too. Melt the butter and use it to combine everything to form your base mixture. Press this mixture into the base of a lightly greased spring-form cake tin. Pop it in the fridge to firm up whilst you make the filling. Pre-heat your oven to 160°c.
Beat the cream cheese until it is nice and soft and then mix in 150g of the caramel. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Finally mix through the rum and cinnamon. Retrieve the chilled base and spread the extra four tablespoons of caramel over it before pouring on the cheesecake mix and levelling off the top. Do this by giving it a couple of sharp taps on your kitchen counter (this gets out those pesky air bubbles too).
Wrap the base of the tin securely in foil and then place it in a bain-marie. Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes. The middle should still have a bit of wobble to it. Turn off the oven and open the door a little but leave the cheesecake in there to cool to room temperate before putting it in the fridge to chill completely. Once it’s thoroughly chilled remove it from the tin and place it on your serving plate. Decorate with a drizzle of extra caramel, some whipped cream and a few banana chips before serving.
I keep holding my breath and hoping for the spring weather but the rain and chilly winds keep laughing in my face! I’m trying to make the most of it by creating some delicious, warming, indulgent puddings. These little beauties are just fabulous. Fluffy chocolate […]
This amazing cake comes from Jax over at the Colonial Cravings facebook community and doesn’t it just look so good?! Jax is a dab hand when it comes to cake making and her decorating skills are second to none. Seriously you should see the things that this lady can do with sugar paste.
She made this for her sisters birthday as it’s her favourite (I think it might become my favourite too). She’s adapted this from a Lorraine Pascale recipe but added a raspberry twist to it which makes it even better. She also prefers the ease of using a normal sponge instead of the genoise in the original recipe. The sponge is soft and moist from the syrup, Jax advises giving it a really good soaking. It’s quite boozy but you can always burn off a little more of the alcohol by cooking the syrup for longer. The praline finish not only looks pretty but adds texture and gives the cake a lovely sweet crunch.
240g plain flour
280g caster sugar
3tsp baking powder
100g salted butter
240 ml milk
200g light brown soft sugar
100ml white rum
juice and zest of 2 limes
1 bunch mint
200g granulated sugar
200g salted butter (room temperature)
225g icing sugar
zest of 1 lime
200g raspberries (preferably frozen)
50g caster sugar
Preheat your oven to 170°c and grease and line three 7” sandwich tins.
Rub or beat together all of the dry ingredients for the sponge with the butter until it looks like bread crumbs.
Mix the milk and eggs together then combine this with the dry stuff until it is smooth (don’t mix the batter for too long though).
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins and bake the sponges for 18-20 minutes.
Whilst the sponges bake you can make the soaking syrup. Boil the water, rum and sugar for two minutes before adding the lime zest and juice. Add the chopped mint leaves, simmer for a further three minutes then take the syrup off the heat and set it aside to infuse. Just before using sieve out the mint leaves.
The next job on the list is the praline for the coating. Line a baking tray with oiled baking paper. Roughly chop the pecans and set aside. Melt the sugar in a heavy wide pan until it becomes a nice deep caramel colour, (try not to stir it or it will crystallize).
Tip nuts into the melted caramel, stir and then carefully pour it onto the prepared baking tray. Leave to cool and set hard, then blitz it in a food processor.
Make the icing by beating together the butter and sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Mix in the lime zest. If it’s a little stiff then you can add up to two tablespoons of milk to create a nice spreadable consistency.
Heat the sugar and water for the raspberry filling in a pan and then add in the raspberries and bring the whole lot to boil before removing from the heat and leaving to cool.
Once everything has cooled it’s time to assemble the cake.
Remove the sponges from the tins. Put the bottom layer top side down on your serving plate and spoon over 1/3 of the rum syrup. Then use 1/4 of the icing and spread it evenly over the surface, followed by 1/2 of the raspberries.
Add the next layer of sponge and repeat the steps for the syrup, icing and the raspberries. Add the final layer of sponge, spoon the remaining syrup over the top and then use the remaining icing to cover the sides and top of the cake. Finally cover the cake in the lovely crunchy praline.
This is such a simple dessert, it really requires very little effort, but it tastes delicious and, if you get the charring right, looks really pretty. Ripe, sweet, stone fruit are rich with natural sugars which caramelise beautifully on a grill creating a lovely contrast […]
Fudge is now my go-to recipe when I have a little bit of condensed milk to use up. I find making it in small batches much easier on the wrist too as it requires so much less beating!
Rum and raisin is a classic fudge combo and they’re wonderful rich flavours for this time of year. I like to steep my raisins in the rum as I think this makes them plump up a bit more and it also means that some of the ‘raw’ alcohol flavour burns off a bit. This is rich and mellow and creamy and wholly indulgent. There’s enough here to share but it’s totally up to you if you do or not!
Cuts into 12 big pieces
50ml dark rum
200g condensed milk
125g soft brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
Put the rum and raisins in a decent sized pan and gently heat them for a minute or two. Put the raisins in a mixing bowl but don’t worry about cleaning out the pan properly.
Combine all of the other ingredients except the vanilla in the pan and melt it together over a low heat. Stir it well as it melts to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved.
Increase the heat a bit to bring the mixture to boiling point. Continue to gently stir it (you don’t want to splash yourself!) to stop the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan and burning. Let the mixture bubble for about 10 minutes, it should darken a little and have reached ‘soft ball’ stage when it’s done. You can check for ‘soft ball’ using a sugar thermometer or by dropping a little of the mixture into some ice-water. It should form a soft ball, obviously!
Once you’ve reached soft ball stage you can remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot fudge into the bowl containing the raisins. Add the vanilla paste and then beat the living daylights out of the fudge with a wooden spoon. You’ll need to keep beating it for quite some time but eventually it should start to lose its glossiness and become thicker with a slightly crystallised texture.
Pour the fudge into a small tin lined with grease-proof paper, smooth off the top and leave it in the fridge to cool completely before cutting into squares and lifting it out of the tin.
I don’t think that I can actually overstate how bloomin’ amazing this cake is. Even Roald Dahl Willy Wonka style naming wouldn’t come close to describing exactly how delicious this dessert tastes. Not just tastes mind you, the texture is heavenly too, crisp and meringue-like […]