Sunday, 22 November 2009

Double Trouble?

This has been the first weekend in a very long time that I really could just be, relax, watch some dancing from the TV, read a little, and, finally, bake! I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try out a banoffee recipe featured in out main newspaper's food&wine-section in September. The recipe is really very easy, but as it includes three hours of waiting for the condensed milk to turn into fudge, it is not something to do in a hurry. Today I finally could make the banoffee, or rather, as you see from the picture above, I made two small ones. The recipe is made for one cake using a 24 cm springform cake tin. I only own a larger one and two little ones, so, I opted for identical twins. :) Now I'm sitting here typing 1/4 of a cake in my tummy and with a happy smile on my face. :) This recipe is a sure winner!

Banoffee

For the base:
250 g Digestive (or oatmeal) biscuits (using oatmeal biscuits you get a firmer base, but I opted for Digestives)
100 g butter or margarine (I used saltless butter)

For the topping:
1 tin (397 g :)) condensed milk
3 average sized bananas
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 dl whipping cream
(1-2 Tbs sugar for the whipped cream)
(some instant coffee or cocoa powder for decorating)

1. Remove any paper labels from the condensed milk tin. Fill a large pan with water & bring to boil. Immerse the tin into the water and let boil in low temperature for 3 hours.

Now you may for example take a good book & catch up on your reading, watch a DVD, or -if you are so inclined- do some house cleaning, as long as you check the pan every now and then & add water so that the tin stays immersed.

2. While the milk is still boiling crush the biscuits into a fine, sand like consistency. Also, melt the butter or margarine. Mix the melted butter/margarine with the biscuit crumbs.

3. Cut a circle (or two if you are making small banoffees) from the baking paper to cover the bottom of the tin. Spoon the butter/biscuit mixture into a 24 cm springform tin (or into two 14 cm ones). Press tightly with a spoon. Put the tin(s) into the fridge for a while.

4. After 3 hours take the milk tin from the pan. Let cool a bit. Open and voilà! You have a tin full of lovely fudge/toffee!

5. Take the cake tin(s) from the fridge. Top the cake base(s) with the fudge. Put back into the fridge to let the fudge settle a little.

6. Meanwhile whip the cream. Add some sugar, if you like. I usually never do, as I prefer the whipped cream without any sweetener.

7. Cut the bananas into slices (about 1/2 cm or even a bit thicker is fine). Springle with some lemon juice to prevent them from darkening.

8. Take the cake(s) from the fridge. Carefully remove them from the tins. Add banana slices on top. Save some for decoration. Then on top of the bananas add a layer of whipped cream.

9. Decorate with some banana slices (and some cocoa or instant coffee powder).

10. Yummy, yummy, yum!


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Fair-ly Good

In October the annual Helsinki Book Fair took place in the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre. For four days the largest hall of the centre was filled with various book-related stalls. About 77 000 people visited the fair. That was a new record! In addition to the book fair there was also a music fair and a food and wine fair. Being a librarian I spent a good amount of time at the book fair (if you want to read more about the book fair & see two pictures I took there, go over to my book blog), but, of course, I also wanted to visit the food and wine fair. And I was not dissapointed! I found some new specialist stores I want to visit later and ended up buying three bars of fine Belgian chocolate and a nice tin of macha. I have wanted to try baking with macha for some time now (I just love the colour! :)) and now I finally found some. I would love to hear of any great macha recipes, if any of you know any?

Otherwise my life this autumn has really been about work and dancing. Autumn somehow always is the busiest time at work, and I and Mr. Dance Partner also had the Finnish 10-Dance Championships to prepare for. The championships were held here in Helsinki on October 31st, and I am very happy to tell you that we won the senior class for the third year in a row! :) Below is a picture of us after the competition.

And I hope to be back with a recipe next week.