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
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp camp coffee
2 bananas, extra
100g block of dark chocolate
Blitz the two bananas with the milk until well combined and smooth
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
Add the banana milk mixture to the toffee, stirring until the toffee melts back into the bananas
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)
Whip the cream and then fold through the camp coffee essence so it leaves pretty swirls in the cream
Slice the bananas and arrange over the pie filling, then spoon the cream over the top
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.
Pip at Meet me at Mike’s said this was the best banana cake ever. I clicked through and saw the picture of it and just had to make it. Now that is quite a call for me because I despise banana bread, particularly that cake-called-bread you get in nearly every single cafe in Sydney and banana cake is not far behind.
But make it I did and ZOMG, best.cake.ever. When Felix, who is not a cake lover, devoured it, mumbling, ‘this is one of the best cakes you’ve ever made’, you know it has to be good.
So, if any of you are sitting there biting fingernails as the election results come in, go do some baking instead.
Banana and Coconut Cake real living magazine The cake
150g butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
½ cup light sour cream
2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup desiccated coconut
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and line 22cm square cake tin with baking paper.
In a mixer beat the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
Add vanilla, mashed bananas and sour cream and beat to combine
Beat in flour and coconut and mix until well combined
Pour into tin and bake for 60 mins or until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean
Remove from oven and let cool slightly in tin, then turn onto wire rack to cool completely
Coconut cream cheese icing
125g butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar mixture, sieved
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp coconut essence, to taste
2/3 cup shredded coconut
Whip butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy
Add icing sugar, vanilla and coconut essence and beat for a further few minutes
When cake has cooled, cut in half horizontally
Spread one-third of icing over bottom half of cake and top with remaining half
Ice top and sides with remaining icing and cover in shredded coconut.
Store in an airtight container. (I kept it in the fridge as leaving a cream cheese icing at room temperature makes me skeevy.)
So I think it’s been well established that I am quite partial to a cake or sweet treat that is good on the tooth. You know, something that has a bit of body to it, something where the reality that cake = wasted calories is blurred by substance as opposed to sweet, light, fluffy air.
The first time I made this was for a family brunch event. It was still warm from the oven and I had used big, wide, flat chocolate buttons that just oozed as we cut into it. Divine. I’ve also made it with raspberries rather than chocolate, which was equally delicious.
Choc banana bread
Bill Granger, Sydney Food
1 cup caster sugar
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup choc chips
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
preheat oven to 180C (350F)
grease and flour a 19x11cm loaf tin
cream the butter and sugar together until pale
add the eggs one at a time
fold in the bananas, chocolate and vanilla
add the dry ingredients and be careful not to over mix
pour into tin and bake for 1hr 15min
The raspberry version
I made it as two smaller loaves, sliced the second loaf and froze it, so this week have popped a slice in the boys lunch box as a little surprise for them.