Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meal banoffee pie

OK, so this household is having a complete rejuvenated love affair with Jamie Oliver, the likes it has not seen since his Naked Chef days. I think it was seeing his hard slog in the US and how it knocked the wind out of his sails a bit that did it. It was cemented with his 20 Minute Meal iPhone app. Man I love that. Then there was his Christmas series which was just so quirky and lovely. And now, well now there is his 30 minute meal series (I’m gagging for the book because yeah, I really need another cookbook) and the whole household, well, me and Felix, are hooked.

The other night he made this awesome looking number involving salmon fillets, prawns and asparagus. Salmon fillets normally make me gag but I was all YUM about that. And then, THEN he made a quick banoffee pie.

Cue Felix badgering me for the last two days to go to the shops to buy the ingredients. And can I tell you – if you do use a store-bought pie crust, which we totally broke my religion and did, then this comes together in an absolute snap.

The filling is delightful – far less tooth-achingly sweet than pure pie-caramel and not over-powering in the banana department. An absolute winner.

Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meal Banoffee Pie

  • 1 store bought pie crust
  • 2 bananas
  • 100ml milk
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 300ml cream
  • 1 tbsp camp coffee
  • 2 bananas, extra
  • 100g block of dark chocolate
  1. Blitz the two bananas with the milk until well combined and smooth
  2. In a pan over high heat melt the caster sugar. Don’t stir it, just gently tilt as it melts to a dark caramel colour
  3. Add the banana milk mixture to the toffee, stirring until the toffee melts back into the bananas
  4. Pour into the pie case and freeze for 20 minutes (we didn’t need it to be within 30 minutes so just put it in the fridge)
  5. Whip the cream and then fold through the camp coffee essence so it leaves pretty swirls in the cream
  6. Slice the bananas and arrange over the pie filling, then spoon the cream over the top
  7. Place the chocolate bar on the benchtop, smooth side up. Scrape a sharp chef’s knife on a 45 degree angle across the chocolate towards you, making chocolate curls. Arrange over the top of the cream.
  8. Eat!

It’s Friday? Already?

and yet part of me is screaming allefuckingluia.
Yesterday started like this:
“Wow, the house is so quiet! BLISS”
and ended like this:
“I hate my life.”
Yes, I successfully talked (and ate) myself into a depressive state in six simple hours. Seriously, by the time I had to pick up the boys from school I was crying.
It was all mostly lack of sleep related.
During the day, the baby has decided he only likes to settle sleep on me.
While endearing it is also incredibly inhibiting and taxing.
He smiles a LOT and coos at me when I chat to him, which does win him brownie points.
But he will hopefully soon learn I am the most stubborn and his cot is for sleeping.
I know parenting is not about winning or losing but when it comes to sleeping and your child’s level of hatred for it, it is.
Sure, if you’re a twig tea drinking I only wear aluminium free deodorant and lavender oil for earaches kinda creature, you go enjoy your communal beds, but in this house the amount of sleep mummy has is in direct relation to the amount of yelling.
I made a new type of biccie today. Following Suse‘s lead (and even after I mocked her for her funny lookin‘ baked goods ) it came off the back of a pack of Sunbeam raisins. I made them quite small, so they’re just two bites or so*. Delicious.

Choc raisin biscuits

100g butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp cocoa
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups raisins
– preheat oven to 180C and grease baking tray
– beat the butter and sugar until combined
– add the egg
– mix in the dry ingredients
– make into balls and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Sometimes, because I’m shallow and insecure, posting recipes and cross-referencing them with other bloggers makes me feel like I’m keeping up with all the readers**. And knitters. And craft makers. Sometimes.
You know, what with email, my blog, my mobile and text messages, the phone and its answering machine, instant messenger (when at work), and now facebook, I’m wondering why.
As in Facebook.
Isn’t everyone keeping in touch via email, text and blog?
Doesn’t everyone load their photos on Flikr or Picasa or just send them to their family and friends through their hand held organiser/phone/computer/life?
Is it just some passive aggressive way for people compete on how many friends they have?
And what’s with the poking? I hate being poked, just ask Kirrily.
And the wall – so everyone can see your conversations with others?
That’s just the communication equivalent of the swimming change room when you know you’re not meant to look but OH BOY are you looking.
I just don’t get it.
I also don’t understand bloglines and what that does or mean.
I’ve been over at Goodreads** and thought I could trick everyone by loading heaps of books I read at school uni on the bus in the 90s as an adult recently. But it wouldn’t let me. Stupid site.
I understand the concept of RSS, but isn’t half the fun of reading other people’s blogs going and checking out their page to see if they’ve updated?
And I realise that that sentence may well reveal I don’t understand what RSS is at all.
Am I really morphing into a luddite in literally just a matter of months?
Apart from that, who has the time?
I watched Stranger than Fiction again today. Excellent. Just excellent.
The barefoot contessa is relatively new to our screens and quite frankly I want to hurt her.
The bob, the chortle, how she uses mayonnaise in almost every dish is all highly irritating.
THEN, if that wasn’t enough to inflict on us, they throw a mouse a small rodent Giardia De Tormentus at us as well.
Is this what our food channel as come to – chortling fatties and cross-eyed minis?
I really do have too much time on my hands don’t I.

* I’ve had about 10.
**And what Blackbird said about Goodreads? Ditto.

hump day

So in my quest to become a shopping mall whore, today we went to a fruit and veg store I’ve been desperate to explore for oh, about 2 years. It’s always been too hard because someone’s sick, someone needs to be somewhere and so on and so forth and where did the last five years go.

So today we went. And again I could feel my happy endorphins scratching and the gates of my brain. Beautiful produce, lovely ambience and so clean*. They also had some great ‘gourmet’ supermarket items as well – great pastas (fresh and dry), Baxter’s Soups (the lobster bisque is a fave and used to be on high rotation when we were dual incomes no kids all care little responsibilty until Woolworths just decided to stop stocking it anymore. Idiots.) and various other items that have now fallen out of my head, just leaving a lovely smiley feeling in their place.

Our original intention was to go there to get some in season fruit for bottling as getting to the markets while also having children who need to go to school is impossible. I had in my head that I’d bottle some quinces with apple and pears. Well somewhere along the way of having Grover I have completely missed the quince season. So no bottling and no quince relish for yet another year. And the pears were expensive.

Regardless, it got the tastebuds stimulated and Chef and I started talking about dinner. So, dinner became quite grandiose**. There was some homemade simple pizzas (one with garlic and rosemary and other tomato and cheese) by Chef followed by pasta with a gorgonzola sauce w/ English spinach and walnuts (by me). The sauce wasn’t delicate enough for my expectations but really, with a toddler asking for “noo noos” at my feet, a baby on the shoulder and big boys baiting each other what could I expect.

But I also made the sourdough*** and turned it into an olive loaf, by kneading in some roughly chopped kalamata olives after the first rise. Get this, we were all too full and it was all mis-timed as Grover decided he needed to feed in the midst of all this, but it tastes fantastic and looks a sensation:
The other thing that really caught my eye at the F&V was their selection of frozen berries****, in particular these large and reasonably priced bags of blackberries. So tonight I made a blackberry and apple pie:

For starters, I make kickarse pastry. It was a new years resolution for me a few years back, to master pastry (although I’m yet to tackle the puff kind) and I did. It’s something I am still quite proud about. Check this out:
Shortcrust pastry
4 cups plain flour
360g butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup water
– rub the butter into the flour until it’s all incorporated
– add the water gradually until the dough comes together
– refrigerate for half and hour before using.
(This is enough for two 8inch pies or on 9-10 inch)

Tonight’s product was fantastic if I might say so myself. Flaky, buttery, beautiful.
(I froze half of it but with the off cuts once I’d made the pie I made two mini jam rolls, one with raspberry and one with apricot. Just roll out the pastry, put some jam in the middle then fold pastry over and press down the edges. Cook until golden.)

I wasn’t that happy with the filling. I mean, it was lovely, but I wanted something a bit more thick and unctuous. I made it according to the English tradition – diced apple (4 Granny Smiths), blackberries (about 4oog) and sugar to taste (about a tablespoon or two). I’m guessing the Americans will have something which involves cooking the filling first and maybe some sort of thickening agent.
Yeah, and my son doesn’t have any delusions of fame…

* anywhere is clean compared to my house.
** and stressful as Jasper basically didn’t have a day sleep today so he was on the pendulum swining between very ratty and incredibly naughty; Oscar was particularly clingy and aimless tonight, Felix was obviously hungry and tired and no one would do their FUCKING homework.
*** I know how ludicrous that sounds, that I was baking bread on a school night, but it really is that easy to make and I am still absolutely tickled to the tips of my toes that I am baking bread and it has the right texture and taste. I mean, it tastes like a loaf you’d buy. Amazing!
**** these are getting really annoying aren’t they. But one of the big ‘on the positive side of the positive/negative list’ in our sea change concept plan is moving to an area where berry production is possible and readily available. Do you know I saw a punnet of blueberries in the shops the other day for $16. SIXTEEN FUCKING DOLLARS for 250g of blueberries. Harrumph.


even it’s name is enticing no?
I have always wondered what a jam roly poly was and in my impressive laziness resulting in a lack of research had simply presumed it was a rectangular sponge covered with jam and then rolled up.
How wrong I was.
Just as this curiosity was sitting there, along with my curiosity about a whole lotta things, out comes the latest Gourmet Traveller and the weekly edition of Good Living, both featuring a jam roly poly.
Get this.
It’s more of a scone wrapped around jam than a sponge.
I know. Move over Wikepedia.

that is the pic of the Jam Roly Poly in the latest GT – I mean, if that doesn’t make y0u want to make it, what will I say.
And yes, I even made the jam. I’m not a huge marmalade fan, but this – which I slightly modified – was very moreish indeed.
Also – mine looked nothing like this – my jam was not as dark and syrupy (similar to my insecurities about my kneading ability, I have similar angst about making jam. that said, this one set without me using Jamsetta and is delicious, it just wasn’t thick and syrupy enough to hold that much shape in the roll).

The jam

  • 4 oranges (I used 3 oranges, 1 tangelo)
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 mandarins
  • 220g white sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon or orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
  1. – Peel and segment the oranges, lemons and two of the mandarins. Do this over a bowl to catch juices.
  2. – Remove pips and set aside.
  3. – Using your hands, push down on the segments to release juices into a measuring cup.
  4. – Squeeze the remaining four mandarins and add to to the juice from the segments – you need 1 cup of juice.
  5. – Tie the seeds up in a muslin cloth
  6. – Combine the juices and sugar in a heavy based saucepan, bring to a simmer to dissolve sugar
  7. – Add the fruit, pips and liqueur and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until syrupy. Cool completely before use

The cake*

  • 2 1/3 cups SR flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 120g butter, chopped
  • Finely grated rind of 2 oranges and 1 lemon (Use the rind off some of the fruit used in the jam. Grate the rinds before peeling and segmenting fruit.)
  • 175ml buttermilk
  1. – Preheat oven to 180C
  2. – Combine the flour, sugar and rinds
  3. – Rub through the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
  4. – Cut through the buttermilk (treat it like a scone batter, so work lightly and quickly)
  5. – Turn onto a lightly floured piece of grease-proof paper and form into a 25cm log
  6. – Roll out to a rectangle that’s 27cmx30cm
  7. – Spread over 2/3 of the jam, leaving a 3cm border
  8. – Roll lengthways, pressing the edges together as you go
  9. – Brush surface with some buttermilk
  10. – Now, the recipe says to wrap the roll in the grease-proof paper and tie the ends. I’m not sure why you do this, maybe to keep it in a tight roll as otherwise it might just spread outways… or something?
  11. – Place on a baking tray and cook for 35 minutes.

Serve warm with cream or ice-cream (or both) and some of the leftover jam if desired.

The recipe in Good Living used a jar of apricot jam, which may be what I do next time. I’ll keep the rinds in the batter though as it gave lovely flavour.

*This is basically like a scone dough. In fact, with the rinds adding an extra depth of flavour I may use this recipe for my next batch of scones.

Lemon yoghurt cake

This is an absolute favourite of mine and indeed the household. I make it with biodynamic wholemilk natural yoghurt and sometimes make it with limes instead of lemons. We have a profusion of oranges here at the moment so a new version may be tried on the weekend.

The recipe is here.

It looks like this:

Until you go to the bathroom and your 21 month old toddler gets into it. Then it looks like this: