Sunday, 12 October 2014

Banoffee Pie.

Today's post is dedicated to my beautiful Aunty, who gave me so much inspiration to cook. Her ability to invent delicious dishes always amazed me, and I admired her so much growing up.

The first dessert she taught me to make was Banoffee Pie, and since then, it has held a special place in my heart. I was only about eight years old, and I remember thinking.."Wow, this is SO delicious!" To celebrate her birthday, I decided to bake something I knew she would love. And this is what I came up with. Normally, I would use a pre-baked tart base, and tinned caramel (Yes, I know I'm a cheat! But at least I admit it!) But this time, I made it from scratch! Proud? I was! Here is the recipe:

Banoffee Pie

Shortcrust Pastry(Based on recipe from
© 1 1/2 cups plain flour
© 125g butter, chilled, chopped
© 1/3 cup caster sugar
© 1 egg yolk
© 1 tablespoon chilled water
  1. Combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk and chilled water. Process until dough just comes together.
  2. Turn pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc. Wrap in baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Place pan on a baking tray. Line pastry case or tin of choice with baking paper. Fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and paper. Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until pastry is golden. Allow to cool.

Caramel Filling 
© 2 cans of condensed milk
© 2 tablespoons butter
© 1/3 cup golden syrup
© tablespoons of brown sugar 
  1. Place all ingredients in saucepan and mix until combined. 
  2. Bring to boil on high heat. Mix quickly for 2-3 minutes until mixture is thick and is a light caramel colour (This sounds vague, but trust me, you will know when it's ready..Your hand will start to hurt!)
  3. Take off heat and leave to cool in pan. 
  4. When cool, fill tart base. Smooth over with knife.

All the Other Bits
© 4 bananas (I like firm-ish bananas-they are nicer and last longer!)
© 500ml of thickened cream
© 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
© 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
© Half a block of dark chocolate 
  1. Cut the banana up into small pieces. Layer them on top of the caramel, as close to each other as possible. 
  2. Whip the cream using a hand mixer. I used a piping bag and a 1cm nozzle to pipe my cream on. But really, feel free to slop it on if you don't have the time or patience to go that extra step! 
  3. Melt the chocolate in zip-lock bag, and drizzle it over the top. 

And there we have it! A banoffee pie from scratch. 

I was super happy with how it turned out, and I know that my Aunty would have been proud.
Happy Birthday Anne! 

Until next time, happy baking.


Monday, 6 October 2014

My newest techniques.

Hello there fellow bakers!

Today's post is all about a cake I made for a lovely friend of mine. I haven't been baking a whole lot lately, as uni is becoming quite hectic! However, I can always find a bit of time to make a birthday cake!

Meringues are becoming quite popular, and I have seen many different ways to make them. I have been inspired lately by Meringue Girls, two ladies who make amazzzzzing meringues. The technique is quite simple, but they look completely fabulous! To put it simply, you whip up a meringue mixture. You then paint stripes on the inside of a piping bag with food colouring of your choice, spoon the mixture in, and pipe till your heart is content! I had a go at these little beauties, and was semi-happy with how they turned out. With practice, I am sure these could look stunning!

I also tried out a new technique of icing...ombré icing! I have seen this being done quite a bit, and wanted to give it a go myself. Once again, I was happy with my first attempt, but I am sure there is room for improvement. 

Here is a little guide of how to achieve the ombré look: 

You will need: 
© A cake (crumb coated)
© 3 batches of frosting in various shades of one colour
© A palette knife (I don't have one of these yet so I used a normal knife)
© A cake turntable 

  1. Make sure your cake is already crumb coated well. This will help for a smooth effect, as well as ensuring that the frosting sticks on well. 
  2. Place the cake on a turntable. These can be purchased from most kitchen stores. I bought mine from our cheap shop! If you don't have one, just use a plate. 

    3.  Starting at the bottom and using the darkest shade of frosting, work your way around the cake.   
    4.  Using the medium shade of frosting, ice around the middle section of the cake.
    5.  And using the lightest shade, ice the top third as well as the top surface of the cake
        (This is sounding wordy, but refer to my picture below to make sense of my instructions!)

6. Now for the fun bit! Using your palette knife (or normal knife like me), gently work your way around the cake, smearing as you go. Turn the cake slowly, and watch as the frosting blends in with the next colour. Keep going until you achieve the desired effect. 

And voilà! You have now created an ombré cake! 

I covered the top of my cake in the little meringues, which I thought looked pretty cute! 
The cake itself was a vanilla sponge with layers of white chocolate ganache, 100's and 1000's, cream cheese frosting and crushed up Kit Kat. It is fair to say we all entered a sugar coma after eating one piece each!

So there we go! A short post about some new techniques I have played with lately!

Until next time, happy baking.