Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

October 5, 2016

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Who doesn’t like the heavenly combination of bananas and caramel? Well this gorgeous Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake is blanketed with them! It is like Bananas Foster in cake form. So you know the topping is to die for, but the cake is pretty spectacular itself. It is incredibly moist and tender and would be delicious all on its own. But it isn’t alone at all. No indeed. It is topped with all of those sticky, buttery caramelized bananas. Sheer perfection I tell you!

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I made this cake for the Husband. I’ve told you how he just loves all fruit desserts. Well he definitely has a particular soft spot for bananas, so I knew he’d be over the moon for this cake. Lucky for me, it is very easy to whip together because I think it will end up being in high rotation on the dessert roster around here. I came across the recipe on the Broma Bakery blog, but did adapt it a bit. I added some spices and a bunch of rum because…well because how could I resist the delicious combo of bananas and rum? Yeah, I couldn’t. A little booze seems to make anything better, and this cake is no exception. A slice is lovely served solo but a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whip cream never goes unwelcome.

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The cake is easy to make and comes together quickly. In a little over an hour you can have it on the table. My my my….irresistible looks and heavenly taste – you can’t go wrong with this treat. So if you have some unclaimed bananas hanging around, you know what to do!

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Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

  • Servings: one 9
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Broma Bakery

Ingredients:

For the Caramelized topping:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Rum
  • 2 – 3 bananas, sliced

For the Cake:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon Rum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ springform pan with butter. Line with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper as well. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment and place springform pan on it.

Place the butter brown sugar and vanilla bean paste in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat until the butter melts. Mix together well. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Pour the sugar mixture into the bottom of the prepared  springform pan and spread it around evenly. Place the sliced bananas on top of the brown sugar in a circular pattern.

In a medium bowl, mix the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the mashed banana, melted butter, egg, buttermilk, rum, sugar and vanilla bean paste. Mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the banana/ buttermilk/ rum mixture and stir until just combined.

Spread the batter evenly over the top of the brown sugar & sliced bananas in the springform pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the top has started to turn golden brown along the edges.

Remove from the oven and allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 10 – 15 minutes. Invert cake onto serving platter.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or perhaps a little whipped cream!

Enjoy!

Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Kitchen Aid Classic 9″ Springform Pan

9″ Parchment Paper Liners

 

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Zucchini Banana Bread

September 9, 2016

Zucchini Banana Bread

Well my, my, my! Here it is September. Summer is over and done with (I wish – yet it is still in the upper 90’s around here, a swampy, sweltering mess – Thanks Virginia!) and I have not posted one thing, not one little morsel, since May! Yup – missing in action or at least missing from the kitchen. For shame! Ah well, I’m making my comeback in a big way today. Yup, I have a recipe that has been “wowing” folks all summer long. It has been my go-to baked treat to take to gatherings with me all summer and I kid you not, every single person who tastes it asks for the recipe. The universal clamor was enough to get me off my lazy bum and back to blogging. So without further ado – here you have it – the recipe of the summer….Zucchini Banana Bread.

Zucchini Banana Bread

I know…I just know how skeptical to probably are right now. I was certainly not thinking this would be as amazing as it is when I first set out to make it. I just happened to have a couple suspicious looking bananas as well as a zucchini or two, lying about the kitchen. And then I remembered a recipe that I had seen on Two Peas & Their Pod blog (great blog – if you haven’t taken a peek, what are you waiting for?!) and I got busy. Little did I know the results would be pure magic. Seriously…This is the best banana bread I have ever tasted!

Zucchini Banana Bread

The husband agrees, as do a whole bunch of other lucky folks that have tried it this summer. Truth be told, you can’t taste the zucchini, but it presence in the recipe transforms this banana bread. It is so incredibly moist. Yet it still holds its shape and doesn’t just fall into a pile of crumbs when you go to slather it with butter. But don’t take my word for it. A loaf of this bread comes together easy-peasy. Give a whirl. You’ll be a believer.

Zucchini Banana Bread

Zucchini Banana Bread

  • Servings: one 8x4 inch loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup shredded zucchini – you can do this with a box grater or make quick work of it with a food processor fitted with a shredding disc.
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×4-inch loaf pan* and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Add the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula until flour is mixed in. Squeeze the zucchini in a paper towel to remove excess liquid. Fold the zucchini into batter.

Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle top with turbinado sugar, if using. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and place on wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

*If you would rather make muffins, line a muffin tin with liners or grease each well. Baked for 20 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean. Will yield 12 muffins.

Zucchini Banana Bread brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Zucchini Banana Bread:

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

Sugar in the Raw – Turbinado Sugar

 


Banana Cream Pie

February 13, 2016

 

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Today is Valentine’s Eve. Does everyone know just what decadent dish they are going to make for their sweetie tomorrow? You know, that culinary creation that will totally sweep your beloved right off of their feet! I’ve got mine all done and dusted. A classic Banana Cream Pie!

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Yes sir-ree. And this is no ordinary Banana Cream Pie. Nope….this one is special and totally home-made. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of tasty Banana Cream Pies that were done with graham cracker crusts, instant Jello banana pudding filling and Cool Whip topping. But I got to tell you, this pie, made totally “from scratch” just leaves them all in the dust! Let me tell you why. I’ll start with the crust. It is light, flaky and wonderfully buttery.

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And as if, this pie crust weren’t good enough on its own…which it definitely is, for this Valentine’s creation, I gilded the lily a bit and brushed a silky dark chocolate all over the top of it. Then I filled that chocolate covered crust with a lovingly simmered, velvety banana infused custard and topped it with swirls of fluffy whipped cream. Oh mercy!

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So homey yet so utterly indulgent! Actually, to tell you true, this dessert is totally not my thing. I like chocolate and peanut butter and am somewhat obsessed with cupcakes. Fruit desserts? Not so much. But I didn’t make this for me. I made it for my Valentine.

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And the Husband can pass by a table of chocolatey sweets without a second glance. But show him any type of crumble, fruit crisp or pie and he goes weak in the knees. So you see, my path was clear. And I’m very happy to say, he did indeed find this Banana Cream Pie “swoon worthy”!

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So if you know someone who you think you might want to get to know a little better, whip them up this classic comforting and oh so dreamy Banana Cream Pie. After the very first bite, I bet they’ll be your Valentine before you can even ask.

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Banana Cream Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe from: Bon Appetit, Flaky Pie Crust slightly adapted from Inspired Taste

Ingredients:

For the flaky pie crust: (Or, if pressed for time, purchase a 9″ pie crust)

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

For the Chocolate lining:

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

For the Pie:

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas, sliced

For the Whipped Topping:

  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • chocolate shavings for decoration, if desired

Directions:

For the flaky pie crust: (This makes enough for two 9″ pie crusts. You will only use one of them for this recipe. The other one can be frozen for up to three months, giving you a jump start on the next pie you make!)

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Once you are ready to bake, remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. (If you’d like to see a great video on how to roll out pie dough, take a peek at this one from Inspired Taste.)

Lightly flour work surface, top of dough and rolling pin. Then use rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick). Be sure to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below — add a small amount of flour when necessary.

Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish.

To transfer dough to dish, starting at one end, roll dough around rolling pin then unroll over dish.

Gently press dough down into dish so that it lines the bottom and sides of the dish. (Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough). Then, use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the dish.

Fold edge of dough underneath itself so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside.

Heat the oven to 425º F. Place a baking sheet on a middle oven rack.

Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork (this prevent air pockets or bubbles from forming while baking). Line the crust with two sheets of aluminum foil. (Be sure to push foil against the edges of the crust). Then, fill foil with dried rice, dried beans or pie weights. Refrigerate 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Place pie crust onto preheated baking sheet and reduce oven temperature to 400° F (200° C). Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Make an egg wash by whisking one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cream in a small bowl. Then, remove rice, beans or pie weights and foil from pie crust. Brush the bottom and sides of the crust with egg wash. Bake until egg wash is dry and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool crust completely.

If you are using a store-bought crust, prebake it and set it aside to cool completely.

Once your crust has cooled, melt 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and brush over a prebaked 9-inch pie crust; chill until set.

For the Banana Cream filling:

Meanwhile, whisk 3 large egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan, off heat, until smooth. Gradually whisk in 2 cups whole milk. Whisking constantly, bring to a full boil over medium heat and boil until the custard pulls away from the sides of the saucepan, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Fold in 3 sliced bananas and let cool slightly. Pour filling into prepared pie crust, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

For the whipped topping:

Beat 1 cup chilled heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until firm peaks form; spoon over pie and swirl decoratively. Decorate with chocolate shavings, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips or just serve it au natural, as you wish!

Enjoy!

Banana Cream Pie brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Banana Cream Pie:

Cuisinart Pro Classic 7 Cup Food Processor

Norpro Silicone Pastry Mat

Oxo Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Sauce Pan

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

 


Banana Yellowman Bundt Cake

March 4, 2015

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Banana Yellowman Cake…Wow! The recipes have great eye-catching names this year. Chicken Skink yesterday and now Banana Yellowman. So what is a Banana Yellowman Cake? Well, it is a delicious moist banana cake that is shot through with little sticky nuggets of Yellowman and glazed with a caramel frosting. But what is Yellowman? Oh, right, unless you’re from Ireland, the term is probably not one you are familiar with. Yellowman is what Honeycomb is called in Ireland. It is also known as Cinder Toffee in Britain and Hokey Pokey in New Zealand and Cornwall. (I was tempted to call this cake a Hokey Pokey Cake because after I took one bite I was fairly certain that this cake could be “what it’s all about”, but since I’m including it in the St. Patrick’s Day countdown, I decided to go with “yellowman”). So, Yellowman is that yellow or golden sugary toffee with a crunchy sponge-like texture. You’ve maybe seen it in the middle of a Crunchie candy bar.

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I’m not sure if you can just go out and buy it in a shop, but the good news is that it is very easy and fun to make. And if you have kids, they can help out and get a quick chemistry lesson as well. You see the reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas, which gives the Yellowman its bubbly, crunchy consistency.

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The reaction is quite dramatic  once that baking soda is added. Seriously it foams up to about 4x its original size, so make sure you are using a deep pan. And do exercise caution because you have to heat it to 300°F (150°C) before you add that baking soda, so there is potential there for some serious burns. Once you have a batch of Yellowman made up, you can use some of it in this cake, of course, but you can also dip it in chocolate for a great treat all on its own, or crumble it over ice cream.

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I first came across this recipe on a great blog from the West of Ireland, Warm & Snug & Fat. The husband has never met a banana dessert he didn’t like, so I knew this cake would be a winner. And I am often looking for a way to use up bananas that have crossed over that thin line of ripe enough to way too ripe. This cake takes care of four of those types of casualties. After the Yellowman has been made, the cake comes together quickly and easily. And boy does it deliver on taste. Moist, tender, very notable banana flavour and when you get a bite with one of those bonus golden nuggets of goodness, it is pure bliss.

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This cake would be just fine without the frosting, but the frosting really puts it over the top and provides something to which even more of that crumbled Yellowman can cling on to. And as far as Yellowman is concerned, the more the merrier!

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Banana Yellowman Bundt Cake

  • Servings: 1 bundt cake
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Warm & Snug & Fat

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 225 grams (8oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 heaped tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 110 grams (4oz) caster sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75 grams (3oz) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 65 grams (2½ oz) yellowman/ honeycomb, smashed (recipe for yellowman/honeycomb below)
  • 4 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed

For the caramel frosting:

  • 115 grams butter
  • 115 grams light muscovado sugar
  • 140 ml heavy cream

Directions:

 Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and stir in the sugar.

Mix in the egg, melted butter and vanilla but do not beat.

Fold in the honeycomb and mashed bananas, using a fork. Again, do not beat.

Spoon into a buttered and floured bundt tin or lined (3½ inch x 8 inch) 900 gram/2lb loaf tin and bake in an oven preheated to 350° F ( 180° C, gas mark 4) for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springs back when prodded gently with your finger.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Once cake is completely cool, drizzle caramel frosting over the top. You can also add some extra crumbled honeycomb to garnish.

Enjoy!

Yellowman, Honeycomb, Cinder toffee, Hokey Pokey

recipe from: Nigella.com

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams caster sugar (can substitute granulated, but you should probably give it a couple of pulses in the food processor to make the sugar “superfine”)
  • tablespoons Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 25 ml water

Directions:

Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. If you notice that sugar is clinging to the sides of the pan, you can paint the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water. Once you turn on the heat, it is very important that you do not touch it! That’s right, no stirring.

Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt. Continue watching the pan closely. You will notice that it will liquefy and then turn a dark amber color. It should reach a temperature of 150°C/300°F. Or you can drop a bit of it in a small bowl of water and if it forms a hard ball when it hits the water, it is done. I think the thermometer version is easier. It will take about 3 minutes or so, depending on how high you have the heat.

Take the pan off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. Take care because the mixture will bubble up crazily, like a volcano comes to mind. Turn this immediately onto a piece of baking parchment or greased foil. Don’t try to smooth it out. Just pour it and leave it alone.

Once it has cooled, smash it will a rolling pin or hammer so that it splinters into many pieces.

Store in a air-tight bowl.

Banana Yellow Bundt Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Boozy Banana Crumb Cake

October 3, 2014

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You know, it is true what they say, that sometimes less is more. I mean, I’ve definitely told you how I love to make fancy pants birthday cakes for folks. And I think you might have seen some of the cupcakes I’ve fussed over in the past. Well, sometimes it is just not necessary to go through all that. Sometimes folks just want a simple little bit of crumb cake to quietly enjoy with their morning cup of tea (or coffee as the case might be…) And I think I’ve found the perfect recipe for that in this Boozy Banana Crumb Cake.

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Now when I said “simple” bit of crumb cake, you didn’t think that I meant that it wouldn’t be flavourful and delicious did you? This crumb cake has all of the usual moist buttery goodness of your traditional crumb cake, but also has the fabulous addition of banana flavour added into the mix.

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And not just plain old mashed up bananas, which don’t get me wrong, those are great. But to really enhance the flavour of the bananas and just put them way over the top, they have been caramelized under the broiler with brown sugar and rum. Yup…RUM. Rum on the bananas and rum in the cake! Just the thing to give you that extra little something to get you going in the morning huh? And being a crumb cake, this cake is topped with big buttery crumbles of cinnamon and brown sugar topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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So there you have it, no layers, no fluffy frosting, no fancy candy toppers. Quick and easy to make. Perfect for breakfast, mid morning snacks or with a scoop of ice cream added, a pleasing dessert. Simple home baking at its best!

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Boozy Banana Crumb Cake

  • Servings: 12 pieces - depending on how you slice it
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Ambrosia

Ingredients:

For the Bananas:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons rum (or more, if you want… and you know you do!)

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rum

For the Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled

powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Line a small baking sheet or dish with aluminum foil (for the sake of easy cleanup). Peel your bananas and arrange them on the baking sheet.  Prick them a couple of times all over with a fork. Brush the bananas with 2 tablespoons of rum (or more…), and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar on top.  Turn your broiler on high, and broil the bananas until the sugar begins to bubble and the bananas begin to burn slightly, about 7 minutes.  Keep an eye on them! Remove the bananas from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.  Dump the bananas into a bowl, making sure to scrape all that burnt sugary rum mixture into the bowl as well.  Mash the bananas with a fork.  

Preheat the oven to 325ºF, and position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Spray a 9×13″ pan with baking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 cups of  flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, egg, milk, vanilla extract, and rum. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until the batter comes together.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and set aside.  To prepare the crumb topping, in a bowl, combine the 2 1/2 cups of flour with the brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter to the flour mixture, and stir the mixture together until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the prepared cake batter.  Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  

Rotate the pan at least once during the baking time.  Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before dusting the cake with powdered sugar, and cutting it into squares.

Enjoy!

Boozy Banana Crumb Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )


Butterscotch Banana Tarte Tatin for my Valentine

February 14, 2014

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So here it is, Valentine’s Day yet again. And this one had quite an exciting meteorological lead up to it around here. Folks have been pretty much hysterical all week over the HUGE snow storm that was slated to commence clobbering us on Wednesday evening. Didn’t I say Winter wasn’t done with us yet…dang that old Punxsutawney varmint! (Just kidding…Sorry Phil, I won’t shoot the messenger!) Usually when there is that much hype about a storm here, nothing actually happens. But this time we did end up with about 10 inches in the wee hours of Thursday and sleety rain/snow throughout the entire day. Luckily I was prepared to make a gorgeous treat for my Valentine and had all of my ingredients ready right here in my cozy warm home and did not need to go out to brave the grocery stores, which if they were even open, I’m sure were in a quite a state to say the least! This year I will be sticking to my usual template when making Valentine’s Day Treats for my sweetie. I think the first one I ever blogged about was Lemon Curd Bread Pudding with a Blackberry Glaze,

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the next year I was on to Luscious Lemon Squares,

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then I whipped up a Poached Pear Tart with Lemony Cream.

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Anyone spot a pattern here? I just noticed that they all had lemon in them, but that isn’t really what is key here. Give up? They are all fruit desserts. No rich, decadent, indulgent, oh so common on Valentine’s Day chocolate in sight! Now I’ve told you that I think the husband’s preference for fruit desserts over chocolate ones is a bit inconceivable for me, though I must say, I don’t necessarily want chocolate…You guys know me by now right? What do I want? CUPCAKES! (just thought I’d make that word really stand out in case my sweetie just happens to be reading this post…hint, hint!) But since I’m such a lovely and thoughtful wife, I did not make my Valentine cupcakes. I made him this fantastic Butterscotch Banana Tarte Tatin!

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I was lucky enough to receive Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas and immediately knew this Tarte Tatin would be the Valentine’s Day dish this year. If you have not got a copy of the book, what in the world are you waiting for?!! It is chock full of delicious recipes, similar to the ones found on her blog, as well as her stunning photos. And let me tell you, this Butterscotch Banana Tarte Tatin did not disappoint. It was very quick and easy to make. You really only dirty one pan, the cast iron skillet that you cook it in. You start by cooking the bananas in a boozy butterscotch sauce on the stove top.

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This is where you will lose any element of surprize because the tantalizing aroma of the bubbling banana medley will bring every single person who is in the house into the kitchen to investigate. Next step is to add the buttery puff pastry topper and then pop the whole thing into the oven for about 25 minutes until it is bubbly and golden.

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Are you drooling yet?

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Next you carefully flip it over onto a plate and get ready for folks to swoon!

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I think it looked truly impressive. Not to mention how scrumptious it tasted…and I am not even that big of a fruity dessert fan.

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I did indeed choose wisely for my Valentine. He was over the moon! Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Butterscotch Banana Tarte Tatin

Recipe from: Smitten Kitchen Cookbook  by Deb Perelman or you can see recipe online at EatDrink.CA

yield: 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1 sheet frozen puff-pastry dough, thawed in the refrigerator for 1 day
  • 3 Tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes, such as Maldon
  • 5 Large ripe bananas peeled, halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon bourbon or Scotch (optional – are you kidding me?! I chose Knob Creek Bourbon)
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions:

For this recipe, you’ll need a 9″ skillet heavy enough so you fear dropping it on your toes. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface to a 9″ circle, and trim if necessary. Transfer the pastry to the fridge until needed.

Melt the butter in the 9″ skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar and salt. Cook, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the mixture turns medium amber, about 3 minutes.

Arrange the bananas in the skillet, overlapping them slightly. Cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes. Drizzle the vanilla and the alcohol of you choice over the bananas and cook them until most of the liquor has evaporated and liquid has thickened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bananas from heat.

Place the pastry round on top of the bananas and transfer it to the oven. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Remove the tarte from the oven, and carefully invert the tarte onto a serving plate. Don’t even think about serving this without vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!


Banana Split Brownies

May 21, 2013

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Banana Split Brownies! Sounds fantastic huh? The good news is they taste just as amazing as you might have imagined. Just picture this if you will…a fudgy banana brownie base, covered with a rich, banana infused chocolate ganache and then topped with gooey toasted marshmallows. That’s right! Three delicious layers!

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My husband loves banana anything, so he was over the moon with these brownies as that banana flavour really comes through. There is mashed banana in the brownie base and the chocolate ganache is made with cream that has been infused with banana flavour. You just can’t beat that chocolate banana combination. And no self-respecting banana split can be served without ice cream, so make sure you have some on hand when you bake a batch of these little devils. Are you drooling yet?

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Banana Split Brownies

recipe from: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients:

For the Brownies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup mashed overripe banana (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (3 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (2 1/2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder

For the Topping:

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe banana (about 1 medium)
  • 7 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (55-62% cacao), finely chopped
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (I didn’t use these, husband doesn’t care for nuts)

Directions:

For the brownies: Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a 9-inch square metal baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides so you can lift the brownies out.  Butter and flour the foil.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it smells nutty and is golden in color, about 4-5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the butter cool for 5 minutes.  Add the sugar and salt to the pan and whisk to combine.  Whisk in the eggs, banana and vanilla.  Finally, add the flour and cocoa powder and whisk until all ingredients are combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

To make the topping: while the brownies are cooling, bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped banana.  Cover the pan and let steep for 1 hour.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Return the cream (with the banana still in the pan) to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Pour the cream through a strainer into the bowl with the chocolate.  Discard the banana in the strainer.  Let the chocolate/cream mixture stand for 1 minute then stir until smooth.  Pour the ganache over the brownies and spread evenly.

Preheat your oven’s broiler and set a rack about 6 inches from the heating element.  Distribute the marshmallows and almonds over the top of the ganache.  Put the pan under the broiler – watch it very carefully and turn the pan frequently – until the marshmallows are browned.

Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool until the ganache is set, at least 1 1/2 hours.  Lift the brownies from the pan using the foil handles.  Cut the brownies using a wet knife, which will keep the marshmallows from sticking. Served with ice cream, these brownies are to die for!

Enjoy!


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