Archive | July, 2013

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

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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

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

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