Anna-Banana Cupcakes

11 Aug

AB FinishedIt’s always sad saying goodbye and when one of my favourite families had to say goodbye recently, I was more than a little upset.  Especially because they are some of my most vocal followers here at Fudgingood.  It was made a little easier by the fact that I was given this recipe by the daughter as a birthday/goodbye present.  So when that lovely, young lady asked me to feature her banana cupcakes on my blog, I couldn’t refuse, especially when they taste as absolutely amazing as Anna’s cupcakes do.  Please see Anna’s delicious recipe below.

AB ing To make 12 cupcakes take:

  • 2 bananas
  • 150 gms caster sugar
  • 175 gm self-raising flour ( The astute among you will see I’ve used plain flour, if you’re out of self-raising use 175gm of plain flour and 2 tsps of baking powder)
  • 125gm butter
  • 1 egg
  • 90ml of milk

AC baking tinPreheat the oven to 180°C and line your baking tin with cupcake cases.

AB Butter and SugarCream the butter and sugar together in a bowl.  Melt the butter ever so slightly.  Add the egg and beat until well combined.

AB batterSift the flour and then add the milk and flour to the butter mix a little at a time and stir until smooth.

AB Mashed bananaMash the banana in a bowl and mix the banana into the batter.

Ab ready for the ovenPlace the batter in the cupcake cases and then bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes.

AB coolingOnce they’re baked allow them to cool completely and then decorate them as you wish.  I took Anna’s words to heart and decorated them with freshly whipped cream and a toffee sauce.  For the toffee sauce recipe see my recipe for peanut butter and banana pie

Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Pie with a Caramel Swirl

28 Jul

PBP Finished 2If you read my last post you’ll remember that I’ve been assigned the role of desserts and salads provider for the barbecue season.  So this is my latest offering, a frozen peanut butter and banana (because let’s face it, if Elvis thought they were a marriage made in heaven, who am I to argue) pie with a caramel swirl.  Its a recipe I’ve stolen unashamedly from those wonderful people at BBC Good Food and tweaked slightly to make it mine.  It’s sweet, slightly salty and silky smooth and the best part is that it can be prepared in advance and it’s ridiculously easy to make, so no missing out on that beautiful sunshine.  Oh and there is no baking, so no standing around in a hot kitchen.   I’ve used a 12cm spring form tin to make an individual pie for these picture, and the recipe will make four of these or one large pie in a 24 cm tin.

PBP IngFor the pie take:

  • 3 bananas (one for decoration)
  • 300gm your favourite digestive type biscuit (graham crackers, hobnobs ect)
  • 100 gm butter
  • 150 mls double cream
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 400gm soft cheese (cream cheese)
  • 250gm smooth peanut butter
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 200 gms tinned caramel or Dulce de lech
  • roasted peanuts to decorate

For the toffee sauce take:

  • 40 gms butter
  • 50 gms sugar
  • 150 mls double cream

PBP crumbsFirst blitz the biscuits in a food processor (or pop them in a zip-lock bag grab, a rolling pin and get rid of some pent up aggression, you know, whatever floats your boat)

PBP butter crumbsMelt the butter and add the crumbs to the pan and mix well.

PBP tinAdd the butter-biscuit mix to the tin(s) and press down firmly.  Then place the tin(s) in the fridge while you make the filling.  I’m going to apologise in advance, you’re about to witness a lot of brown, white, off-white and beige mixes sitting in bowls.  I wish there was a way around it, but . . . well . . . there isn’t.

PBP creamIn a clean bowl, whip the cream until it can hold its own shape and set aside.

PBP soft cheeseIn a separate bowl mix the soft cheese, the icing sugar and the vanilla bean paste and then set aside.

PBP mashed bananaIn a completely different bowl, mash two of the bananas until completely smooth.

PBP Peanut butterIn a fourth bowl (I’d like to apologise to who ever washes your dishes, if it isn’t you please apologise to them on my behalf, if it is you, I’m so very sorry) use a fork to soften the peanut butter by whisking it.

PBP fillingAdd the cream cheese mix to the peanut butter and beat well to combine.  Then mix in the mashed bananas and finally, fold in the whipped cream.

PBP caramel swirlTake the spring form tin(s) out of the fridge and top the biscuit crust with the filling then swirl in the caramel.  The two consistencies are very similar, so be careful not to over mix.  Pop the pie in the  freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight.  (This will keep in the freezer for about a month)

Before you serve take it out of the freezer and leave at room temperature for about 20-30 mins and get cracking with the toffee sauce.

PBP Toffee saucePlace the sugar, butter and cream in a pot and bring to a boil.

PBP Toffee sauce boiling

Allow to cool and then top your pie with sliced bananas, chopped roasted peanuts and toffee sauce.  Enjoy!

PBP ready to eat

Fruit Salad with Meringue Nests

22 Jul

FS2 Finished

I am currently enjoying my first British summer.  This is my third July in the UK, but lets face it the last two summers were completely rubbish.  The best bit about this weather is that it finally feels like barbecue (or braai) season.  As a South African, cooking meat outdoors over a flame is a deeply engrained cultural pastime.  One bordering on religious fanaticism.  I would dearly love to share some of the amazing meals we enjoy with you, but unfortunately braaing (or barbecuing)  is strictly “men’s work.”  Now as liberated and enlightened my BH is in every other aspect, I have more chance of spontaneously combusting then I do of  being given charge of the Braai (Barbecue) tongs.

My job in this summer performance is to prepare salads and dessert.  That’s it. That’s all us women get and surprisingly, none of us complain.  Weird, huh?

So that’s why this is yet another sweet post and why there will probably be a few more in the next couple of days.  Well that’s my story at least and I’m sticking to it.  Anyway in weather like this, you need something cool and refreshing and that requires minimal time in the kitchen.  Fruit salad is always a winner and here it’s dressed in a honey, lime and mint dressing served with meringue nests and chantilly cream.

FS IngThis serves 8:

Meringue nests:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 250gm caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional, but so yummy)

Salad:

  • A mix of your favourite fruit, I used grapes, strawberries, mangoes, blueberries and pineapple
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 2 limes
  • 2 Tbs of honey

Chantilly Cream:

  • 200 mls double cream
  • caster sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

FS Sep EggsFirst preheat the oven to 110 °C and then separate the eggs and place the whites in a clean bowl.  Save the yolks for pannacotta or a nice quiche.

FS egg whiteAdd the cream of tartar and the lemon juice and then beat until soft peaks form.

FS sugarWeigh out your sugar.  A handy tip to remember is to use 50gms of sugar per egg white.

FS MeringueAdd the sugar a tablespoon at a time  and always ensure the sugar is completely incorporated before adding the next tablespoon of sugar.  Continue whisking until your mixture resembles the one above and then fold in the vanilla bean paste.

FS nestsLine a large baking tray with parchment paper and then using a star tipped nozzle and a piping bag, pipe your nests onto the paper.  Place in the oven and bake for two hours.  This should produce a relatively robust meringue that still has a squishy inside.

FS Lime Juice

Now get on with your fruit salad.  To make the dressing, squeeze the limes getting as much juice as you can from them.  The vitamin C in the juice will prevent your fruit from browning.

FS dressingAdd the honey to the lime juice and whisk with a fork until it’s incorporated.

FS MintFinely chop your mint leaves and add this to the lime-honey mix.

FS saladChop your fruit into bite sized pieces and toss with the dressing.  Chill until needed. FS cooked nests

Once your nests are ready, allow them to cool.   FS creamOnce they are cool, make the chantilly cream by adding the vanilla and sugar to the cream and beating it until it holds its shape.  Then assemble by topping the meringue with cream and fruit salad.  Enjoy.

FS Ready to eat

Gluten Free Banoffee Cupcakes

19 May

Banoffee finishedI don’t usually like to post two very similar items so close together, but I have an amazing mum-in-law who is celebrating her birthday and   I think we can all agree unequivocally that ‘Birthdays = Cake.’  This is a little tricky for my mum-in-law as she can’t eat gluten.  So I’ve tweaked one of my favourite recipes for banana loaf into these (hopefully) scrummy gluten free banoffee cupcakes.  Happy birthday, mum.

Banoffee INGTo make 12 cupcakes take:

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 ripe bananas (the riper the better)
  • 125gm softened butter
  • 120gm caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla (paste, essence or extract)
  • 15ogm self-raising gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 a 379gm tin of  caramel (or use dulce de leche)

For the banana crisps: (use to decorate the cupcake, but great in homemade muesli or granola)

  • one banana
  • the juice of one lime or lemon
  • 1 Tbs icing sugar

For the frosting:

  • 125gm softened butter
  • 300 gm icing sugar
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 1/4 cup of caramel
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • and fudge chunks to decorate

banoffee butter and sugarPreheat the oven to 180°C and then place 125gm of softened butter into a large mixing bowl and add the caster sugar.  Cream together for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is a very pale yellow.  banoffee eggAdd one of the eggs and beat well, then add the other other and again beat well until everything is well mixed.

Banoffe mashed bananaMash the bananas together until smooth and then add with the vanilla to the butter mix.

banoffee bananaMix the flour and cinnamon together and sieve on top of the butter mix.

Banoffee flour and cinnamonFold the flour into the mix with a spatula.

Banoffee baking tinLine a muffin tin with cupcake cases and fill each to about 2/3 full.

Banoffee bakedBake for about 15-18 min until  they are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool and get started on your banana crisps.

Banoffee banana and lemonTo make the crisps first squeeze the lemon or lime, whichever you’re using, and mix in 1 Tbs of icing sugar. Then thinly slice the bananas and brush both sides with the lemon-sugar mix.  Allow the oven to cool to 100°C and pop in the baking tray for an hour.  You’re not cooking the bananas so much as dehydrating them.

banana cripsAfter an hour turn the banana pieces over and put back in the oven for another hour.  After two hours take them out of the oven and leave to cool and crisp up and then store in an airtight container until you’re ready to decorate the cupcakes.

Banoffee holesOnce the cupcakes have cooled, using an apple corer make a hole in the centre of each cupcake by pushing the apple corer two thirds of the way into the cup cake and twisting.

Banoffee caramelPlace the caramel into a ziplock bag or piping bag and fill each hole with caramel.

Banoffee butter and caramelTo make the frosting place the softened butter and 1/4 cup of caramel in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy.

Banoffee with salt

Add the salt to the butter caramel mix and beat.  Then add the icing sugar and beat until all the icing sugar is combined.  (You might need to add a little more icing sugar to get the right texture.)  Then add the milk and beat until light and fluffy.

Banoffee icingOnce the icing is ready, place in a piping bag with a large star-tipped nozzle and pipe onto the cupcakes.  Then decorate with fudge chunks (these do contain wheat glucose syrup, but wheat glucose syrup does not contain gluten and is safe for celiacs) and banana crisps.  Enjoy! Banoffee cupcakes

Cheese and Sundried Tomato Palmiers

4 May

pal finished

So when a glorious three day weekend  stretches out in front of you promising to bring with it warm sun drenched days, you know that you need to make the most of it.  By making the most of it I do mean sitting in the garden with potent fruity drinks and scrumptious nibbles with friends and family.  What you don’t want to be doing is spending your whole day in the kitchen making the nibbles and that’s where this recipe will serve you well.  It has an amazingly high return for remarkably little effort. I’ve used a sun-dried tomato pesto, cheese and basil filling, but you really could use almost anything.  I’ve used sausages removed from their casings, you could try it with basil pesto and feta, a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon or jam, and I’m really interested in trying it with lemon curd, but enough of my rambling,  get out there and enjoy that sunshine!

Pal ingTo start take:

  • 1 roll of puff pastry (of course if you make your own it will be delicious, but your effort to enjoyment ratio will be greatly diminished)
  • about half a jar of sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 200gm of cheese (I used a mature cheddar, but use whatever takes your fancy)
  • a few basil leaves

Pal pastryLightly dust the surface you are working on with flour and then roll out your pastry to roughly 30m by 40cm-ish.

Pal tomatoeSmear on the sun-dried tomato pesto leaving  a 1 centimetre border around the edges of the pastry.

Palm cheeseTop the tomato with the cheese and the basil.

pal rolledTaking the length of the pastry, roll one half of the pastry to the middle and then repeat with the other side to create something akin to a book scroll. Wrap the (sc)roll in cling film and place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Then preheat your  oven to 180°C. pal sliced

Remove the pastry from the fridge and thinly slice into palmiers.  How thick or thin you slice them really does boil down to taste, but I aim for slices that are between 0.5cm to 1 cm thick.

Pal baking trayPlace your pamiers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown!  Enjoy.

Pal baked

Cupcakes

28 Apr

CC finished

So one of my colleagues is celebrating her twenty first birthday tomorrow and because she is an amazing person who deserves to be spoiled and because she dropped some rather broad hints, I decided to bake her some cupcakes.  Not just any cupcakes, but chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache.   Happy Birthday, V!

CC ingThis makes 21 cupcakes with enough batter left over for a little loaf cake.

For the cake:

  • 350 gms plain flour
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 100gms coco powder
  • 48oml boiling water
  • 400gm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 250 gms butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

For the ganache:

  • 200gm dark chocolate
  • 170 ml single cream
  • 1tsp butter

For the frosting:

  • 250gm butter (softened)
  • 50 gms seedless raspberry jam
  • a splash of milk
  • 500 -750 gms of icing sugar

For the chocolate discs:

  • 200 gm chocolate
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • food coloring

CC choc discsTo  make the discs melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Spread the chocolate thinly on a sheet of parchment paper and allow it to softly set.  Cut out the desired shapes and leave to harden.  Mix the icing sugar with the juice of the lemon to make royal icing and add food colouring.  Pipe your message on the discs.

CC coco mix

To make the cupcakes sift the coco and slowly add the hot water and mix until smooth.  Then set aside to cool and preheat the oven to 180°C.

CC but-sug Then cream the butter and sugar together until they resemble the above mixture.

CC  eggAdd the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next egg.

CC mixAdd the vanilla and beat.

CC flour mix

Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt and then add in the coco mix.

CC batter

Line a baking tray with paper cups and fill with batter. CC baked

Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and then set aside to cool. CC hole

Once the cupcakes have cooled use an apple corer to make holes in the center of each cupcake.

CC chopped

To make the ganache, chop the chocolate into really fine pieces and place in a heat proof bowl then bring the cream to boil. CC  ganache

Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth.

CC filled

Place the ganache in a piping bag and fill the holes of the cupcakes with the ganache.

CC frosting

To make the frosting add the icing sugar to the softened butter and the milk and beat until creamy.  Add the seedless raspberry jam and mix until light pink. Place the frosting in a piping bag with a star tipped nozzle.  Ice the cupcake, add a shake of shimmer sugar and top with a chocolate disc. CC cupcake

Mished Mash Potato

8 Apr

TPT with eggOn some weekend mornings you wake up feeling a little more delicate than you should.  We won’t go into any detail why, but your head is tender, loud noises hurt and for some unfathomable reason you are STARVING. On mornings like this you need coffee and you know your day is going to consist of trashy TV and sitting on the couch. Period.  On mornings like this I NEED Mished Mash Potato, a dish that is greasy, salty, stodgy and amazingly restorative.  There isn’t anything too technical with this recipe, but if your head can stand it, there is a bit of chopping.  If you don’t think you can do in in the morning, do your chopping the night before (before you go out) and have everything ready to just pop in the oven.

TPT IngTo start take:

  • about three potatoes per person
  • 2 eggs per person
  • bacon (as much as you think you need, usually 1 pkt for two people)
  • Half an onion (very finely diced)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 smallish chorizo per person
  • 1 glug of Olive oil
  • 1tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 grind of black pepper

TPT Diced Potato

Preheat your oven to 200 °C and chop your potatoes, peel on, into about 1cm-ish cubes.  Put the ruler away, this is not an exact science, besides you’re feeling delicate.

Diced IngVery finely dice your onion and roughly chop your pepper into strips and combine with the potato.

Chopped Chorizo

Slice each Chorizo in half and then thinly slice and do the same to the bacon.

MixedMix the bacon and chorizo with the potatoes and add a tsp each of smoked paprika and dried thyme and add a good glug of olive oil and a grind of black pepper.  And with all that chorizo and bacon, you don’t need to add any salt.

TPT baked

Place all the ingredients into a lined baking dish and bake for about forty minutes.  The potatoes should be soft and the bacon and choritzo nice and crispy.  At the 35 minute mark or there abouts poach your eggs.  Now trust me on this, even if you like your egg yolks hard, leave them on the soft side for this.  Once the eggs and the potatoes are done, make a nice pile of potato on a plate and top with that lovely, runny egg.  Cut into your egg and let the yolk make an amazing sauce.  Sit back and enjoy the laziest day ever.

TPT Egg yolk

Preheat the Oven

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