My mum has been making this amazing dessert for as long as I can remember, and I recently rediscovered my love for it. Super easy to make, it does not require many skills or ingredients.
Makes 1 loaf
1 ¼ cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of soda (or 1 sachet of baking powder)
3 very ripe bananas (the darker they are the better)
1 less ripe banana
½ cup of butter
dark chocolate drops (optional)
1. In a bowl, mash up the bananas with a fork, they have to remain lumpy.
2. In another bowl combine the butter, flour, sugar, salt, soda (or baking powder) and mix well.
3. Beat the eggs and fold them into the mashed bananas. Add the flour mix and combine to form a lump mass. Do NOT over mix.
4. Butter the loaf mould, add the chocolate drops to the mix, and pour it all into the mould.
5. Slice the remaining less ripe banana into slices length wise and place them on top of the loaf.
6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 180 degrees. Poke the cake with a knife and if it comes out clean the cake is ready.
Pavlova is the perfect dessert for any meringue lover, especially because its so easy to make (whereas most meringue desserts and long and complex). It is very versatile, because you can top it with nearly everything. From mixed berries to chocolate flakes to tropical fruits.
200g fresh berries, washed
150ml whipping cream
2 dark chocolate cubes
1. Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk at medium high until they form stiff peaks.
2. Gradually add the sugar and turn the whisk to maximum speed and mix till the meringue is glossy, white and smooth.
3. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and turn the oven onto 150 degrees. Now its up to you to decide whether you want to make one big cake (like the photography) or small "single portion" ones, which are easier to serve.
4. Place the meringue onto the paper in whichever size you prefer, making sure that if you make small ones there are far away from each other, otherwise they will end up fusing together.
5. Place in the oven and bake for 50 mins/ 1 hour, until they are golden and fluffy in the middle.
6. When they are ready, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack to cool down completely.
7. In the meantime whisk the cream will it is properly whipped, add it on top of the meringue and top everything with the fresh berries and chocolate flakes. Don't wait too long to serve otherwise the meringue will go soggy.
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver
The origin of Baklava is highly disputed, with the Greeks stating that it originates in Greek, and the Turks that it is from Turkey. The only certain thing is that it is a deliciously sweet dessert, and highly addictive too.
My housemate made Baklava for all of us a while back and it changed my life. Although I would not eat it very often, due to the fact that it is so sweet, it was very, very good.
This recipe makes a very large quantity so I suggest making it for a dinner party or birthdays. The leftovers are still delicious for a couple of days after.
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground cloves
200g melted butter
12 sheets of filo pastry
100ml Greek honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 strips of orange zest
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place all the syrup ingredients (sugar, honey, cinnamon stick and orange zest) in a medium saucepan with 300ml of water and bring to a gentle simmer. Let it bubble, stirring occasionally, for 15 mins (till the liquid has reduced by a third). Leave it to cool.
2. Blend the nuts in a food processor until coarse, then tip into a bowl and stir in the cinnamon and cloves.
3. Grease a 40x25cm shallow tin with some of the melted butter. Gently unfold the filo pastry and cover it with a wet towel to stop it from cracking.
4. Layer sheets of filo in the tin, brushing each layer with melted butter. After having done 4 layers, scatter over half of the nut mixture. Repeat with another 4 layers of filo, then the rest of the nuts.
5. Top with the last 4 layers of pastry and butter well the top. Cut into diamonds (or into isosceles triangles) using a sharp knife, ensuring that the knife goes all the way through.
6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Reduce the temperature to 170 if the baklava is browning too quickly.
7. Remove from the oven and spoon half the cooled syrup over the top. After 5 minutes spoon over the remaining syrup. Let it cool completely before serving.
Original recipe from Jamie Oliver
This delicious and simple apple cake is loved by my boyfriend so much that everyone now refers to it as "Fede's Apple Cake". What is great about it is that it only requires a handful of ingredients, and is perfect as breakfast cake or dessert after a meal, just warm it up and add a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.
Makes 1 medium-sized cake
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter (room temperature)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a large bowl crack the egg and add the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix with a spoon.
2. Add the butter and combine with your hands, breaking it down. Add the milk to make a smooth consistency. Set aside.
3. Peel and cut the apples into 4. Cut each quarter into thin slices. Place 4 of the 5 sliced apples into the cake mix and combine well.
4. Butter a medium-sized baking tray and sprinkle flour over it, coating it on all sides. Pour in the cake mix and spread evenly.
5. Use the 5th apple to decorate the top of the cake, placing the slices one next to the other following the baking tray border.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm.
The idea behind cooking this recipe stemmed from a tiny skillet I received as a Christmas gift. Since being gifted it I racked my brain for ideas on how to use it and finally stumbled upon this recipe by Martha Stewart. Simple and quick to make, it's the perfect guilty pleasure dessert (or Sunday breakfast).
Makes two cookies in a small skillet
Things you'll need
A cast iron skillet
3 tablespoons butter room temperature
2 tablespoons of cane sugar (brown)
¼ cup of granulated sugar (white)
a drop of vanilla extract
½ cup plain flour
¼ of a teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt
½ cup of chocolate chip/ roughly chopped chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2.In a bowl, combine the butter and two sugars and mix well using a spoon.
3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and combine.
4. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Mix well.
5. Place the dough in the skillet, add some remaining chocolate chips on top.
6. Bake for 20 minutes to achieve a cooked buy gooey biscuit and 24 minutes for a slightly crunchier one.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's "skillet chocolate chip cookie"
What better Christmassy chocolate treat than delicious, soft and creamy truffles? Nothing.
Makes 20 truffles
200g dark chocolate
100g white sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1. Break the chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl over a pot with simmering water. Add the sugar, milk and butter and let melt. Stir towards the end so that it all mixes together.
2. Remove from the heat. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Place the yolks in the chocolate mixture and mix quickly.
3. Leave them in the fridge for at least 1 hour, can also be left overnight.
4. Remove from fridge and using a teaspoon place some mixture in your hand and create little balls. Pour cocoa powder in a dish and roll the truffles in it.
In collaboration with Cécile Berbezy
A while ago I began trying to eat healthier, and managed to succeed, with one exception. The 11am snack. The time between breakfast and lunch where you get a tiny bit hungry and end up buying a packet of crisps and devouring it. I found the solution: homemade granola bars. I've tried four different options so far, and will be posting the other two soon, and am yet to find the perfect one. I rated each kind by yumminess, consistency and healthiness and this one scores 9/10 for taste, 2/10 for consistency as I messed up the portions and didn't put enough banana and 9/10 for healthiness.
Makes 8 bars
2 cups of oats
1 ½ cups of dried fruits & nuts
½ cup walnuts
1 ½ banana
¼ cup seeds
1. Using a fork, squish the banana completely.
2. Add the oats, dried fruit and nuts, walnuts and seeds.
3. In a pot, melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and two tablespoons of syrup.
4. Mix into the oats. If the consistency is still very crumbly, melt more of both.
5. Place into a baking tray lined with baking parchment, the bars should be at least 2cm thick. Put in the fridge. It can be eaten after a couple of hours or from the next day.
Original recipe by Ethan Major
My dear friend and housemate introduced me to this amazing cake of hers two years ago, which is exactly when I started paying for a dietician. It is perfection within a cake. It is the perfect dessert to be eaten as a cake for a special occasion or as cupcakes as a daily snack. The icing is delicious and pairs perfectly both taste wise and consistency wise with the cake.
Makes one 12-inch cake
375ml vegetable oil
12.5ml baking powder
125ml chopped nuts
10ml bicarbonate of soda
750ml grated carrots
1. Using an electric whisk, cream the oil and sugar
2. Beat in the eggs one at the time.
3. Fold in all the dry ingredients
4. Add the carrots and chopped nuts and mix well.
5. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.
For the Icing
500ml icing sugar
5ml vanilla extract
90g cottage cheese (Philadelphia)
1. Soften the butter and beat in the icing sugar.
2. Then add the cottage cheese and vanilla
Original Recipe by Chloe Harty
This amazing dessert originating from Piedmont, Italy, has been in my family for four generations. A very simple and easy to make summer dessert where the ingredients needed are very few. The melted chocolate pairs exquisitely with the peach and is a real crowd pleaser.
50g dark chocolate
40g Amaretti biscuits (4/5)
1. Rinse and dry the peaches. Cut them in half and remove the pit.
2. Using a sharp knife remove some of the pulp and place into a bowl. Set aside the peaches.
3. Smash the pulp using a fork. Cut the chocolate into tiny dices and mix with the pulp.
4. Using your hands crumble the biscuits into the bowl with the pulp and chocolate and mix well.
5. Butter a baking tray and place the peaches on it. Fill each hole with the mixture spreading it out equally.
6. Bake in the oven for 40/50 minutes at 180 degrees.
Serving tip; vanilla ice cream pairs amazingly!
Original recipe from: Giallo Zafferano