Saturday, 3 March 2012

Banoffee meringue cake

We were having friends over for lunch and I wanted to use up some bananas that were perfectly ripe but also didn't want a heavy cake since we were having quite a heavy main. I've done a really nice banoffee pie (which I will also get up on here) but the base is quite heavy. Decided to combine a few recipes therefore and came up with this banoffee merginue cake.

This is something that really needs to be slightly planned since the meringues need time to cool slowly in the oven when they are cooked. Begin with 4 egg whites in a spotless bowl:

Whisk until stiff.

Measure out 110g caster sugar and 115g light muscadavo sugar (you can just use caster sugar if you want a white meringue or just muscadavo for a more caramel meringue).

Then add this a spoonful at a time to the egg whites whisk in each incorporation well before adding any more.

When it is all added it should be glossy and stiff and standing in peaks.

Preheat the oven to 120 degrees C fab (otherwise 140) and line two trays with baking paper. You then need to draw around the base of a 8 inch cake tin and flip over the paper and use this as a guide for spooning out your meringue mixture between the two trays. Or you can fill a piping bag and pipe the mixture into the circles.

Bake for about an hour to an hour and a quarter until they are crisp and dry and lightly coloured. Turn off the oven and leave them to cool there (I did this overnight).

When they are cool you then need to make your filling.

To make the toffee filling you can either boil a can of condensced milk in a pan for 3 hours or so and that will turn it into a caramel (keep topping up the pan with water).

Or a quicker method is to melt 50g butter and 50g light muscadavo sugar in a pan.

Gently heat until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.

Then add a can of condensced milk and stir continuously until it becomes thick and golden. Be careful it doesn't burn. It will also be VERY hot.

Put one of the meringues onto a plate and then pour over enough of the toffee to coat the top (you will have extra- it is great poured over vanilla ice cream).

At this point chop up 2-3 large ripe (but not overripe) bananas and cover the caramel topping with these slices. Sprinkle with some lemon to stop them from browning.

 Then whisk 150ml double cream and cover the bananas completely.

Top with the other meringue circle.

Finally dust with icing sugar. You can keep this in the fridge for a day or so and so long as the bananas are all covered with the cream and toffee they shouldn't brown.

Simple but quite impressive!

Til soon....

Chicken tikka masala

Friday night and my husband announced he'd order us a curry. I always like the idea but usually regret it afterwards so said I'd make a tikka masala. This recipe is pretty easy and doesn't use unusual ingredients. It makes LOADS so unless you are feeding a group you have enough for dinner and to freeze several batches for another evening.

 Begin by making the tikka paste. This is really easy and much nicer than the jars you can buy. Take 5 cloves of garlic, some grated fresh ginger, 1 chopped red chilli, 2tsps each of ground coriander and ground cumin, 1 tsp each of paprika and garam masala and the seeds from 4 cardamom pods (bash them with a rolling pin to crack the pods). Add a a tbsp or so of either water or oil to bring the mixture together and then whizz it all together with a handheld food processor.

 Meanwhile heat a tbsp or so of vegetable oil with 25g butter and gently cook 2-3 large chopped onions for about 15 minutes until softened and starting to go golden in colour.
Meanwhile chop 2-3 red peppers and then add them to the softened onions together with the paste and cook for 5 minutes.

Keep an eye on it so that the paste doesn't catch and burn. It should be light golden colour at this stage.

 Then add your diced chicken breast. You can also use skinless and boneless thighs. With this amount of sauce you can add about 8 breasts or 12 thighs and that will easily serve about 8-10. Cook for another few minutes so that the chicken gets coated in the paste and begins to brown.

Then add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 4 tbsp tomato puree and 400ml of water.

Give everything a good stir and bring up to simmering point. Then cover with a lid and leave for about 20 minutes to cook through.

After this time add 150ml double cream, 150ml yoghurt and 2-3 tbsp mango chutney.

Give it a good stir and GENTLY heat it through. 

 Serve with rice, poppadoms, naan breads and of course a cool beer!

Any left overs should be cooled and then frozen immediately. Much healthier (and tastier!) than a takeaway and is ready in under an hour.

Til soon.....