Banana Praline Pavlova

Courtesy of Prima Magazine

A spectacular but simple-to-prepare dessert that is sure to impress your guests.

Banana Praline Pavlova.jpgIngredients

Pavlova:
3oz (75g)soft light brown sugar
3oz (75g) caster sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) ground cinnamon

Topping:
1pt (568ml) double cream
1 lemon
3 bananas
6oz (175g) caster sugar
1oz (25g) flaked almonds

Step One : Draw a 9in (23cm) circle on a piece of baking parchment and place upside down on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to Mark 1/2 (250oF / 130oC).

Step Two : Sieve brown sugar to remove any lumps and mix with caster sugar. Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until stiff but not dry. Begin adding half the sugar 1oz (25g) at a time, whisking well between each addition. Fold in remainder with the cinnamon using a large metal spoon. Spoon into the circle leaving the surface quite rough. Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until crisp and dry. Cool.

Step Three : Whisk cream with grated lemon rind and 1 tblsp (15ml) juice until it forms soft peaks. Place in fridge until needed. Roughly chop bananas and place in the remaining lemon juice.

Step Four : Pile cream on the meringue. Drain bananas and place on cream. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes while preparing the praline.

Step Five : Place sugar and almonds in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat very gently until sugar melts and turns a golden caramel. Do not stir but shake the pan as sugar melts. Spoon praline over bananas. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes before serving.

Tip: You can prepare the praline in advance, then pour it on to an oiled baking sheet and cool. When ready to serve, break into chunks and scatter over meringue.

Recipes for other Meringue ideas can be found here …

Banana Bread

This recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Banana BreadThis cake needs no more than a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.  If you’re unable to find buttermilk, you can replace it with a combination of half yoghurt and half skimmed milk.  Day-old banana bread is delicious cut into slices and toasted.

Prep time : 15 mins  –  Cook time : 55-60 mins

Ingredients:  210g (7oz) plain flour; 1 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda; ¼ tsp salt; 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened (take out of fridge a few hours before you start); 250g (8oz) granulated sugar; 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 3 large, very ripe bananas; 120ml (3 ½ fl oz) buttermilk; icing sugar, to serve

  1. Heat the oven to 170oC (gas mark 3).  Grease a loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or hand-held electric beaters until just combined.  It’s important not to beat the batter to much – just long enough to make it smooth.
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the mixture bit by bit, alternating with the buttermilk, mixing until combined.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the top of the bread is firm and deep brown colour.  A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.  Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  4. Serve dusted with icing sugar.  The flavour improved on keeping.  It will store for up to 3 days if covered with cling film.

Banana Corned Beef Hash

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1 tblsp sunflower oil; 1 onion, peeled and chopped; 225g corned beef; 3 tomatoes, quartered; 2 bananas, cut into chunks; 1 large potato, cooked and mashed

  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion until soft. Cut corned beef into cubes and add to the pan with tomatoes, banana and potato. Cook for about 10 mins. Serve with a green salad.

Banoffee Pie

A crisp biscuit base filled with the delicious combination of chewy toffee, bananas, cream and chocolate, this pudding is a real winner! The filling takes a little time and attention to make – it needs to be stirred continuously to prevent it from burning – but it’s well worth the effort.

Serves: 10; Cost: £3.20; Time to prepare: 20 mins; Time to cook: 23-33 mins; Cals per portion: 510

Ingredients: Base: 225g (8oz) oaty biscuits like hobnobs crushed; 75g (3oz) butter, melted
Filling and Topping: 405g can skimmed sweetened condensed milk; 100g (4oz) butter; 45ml (3 tbsp) maple syrup; 300ml (1/2 pt) double cream; 2 small bananas, peeled and sliced; 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice; cocoa powder and chocolate curls

1. To make the base, place the crushed biscuits in a large bowl and stir in the melted butter. Mix thoroughly then press mixture into the base and up the sides of a 20cm (8in) greased loosed-based fluted flan tin. Chill while making the pie filling.
2. To make the filling, place the condensed milk and the butter in a heavy-based pan and heat, stirring all the time, until the butter has melted. Simmer very gently, stirring all the time for 20-30 mins until the mixture thickens and turns a caramel colour.
3. Stir the maple syrup and 30ml (2 tbsp) of the double cream into the mixture and leave to cool for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Then spread the cooled mixture into the prepared biscuit case and level the surface. Leave to cool completely.
4. Toss the banana slices in the lemon juice then arrange them over the cooled filling. Whip the rest of the cream until softly peaking, then spoon in large swirls over the bananas. Dust thickly with the cocoa powder and decorate with the chocolate curls.