Banana and Honey Brûlée

Banana and Honey Brûlée

 

A tasty twist on a classic crème brulée. Quick to prepare and just chill until needed.

 

Banana and Honey Brûlée
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10–25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 minute
  • Refrigeration time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2 small bananas, mashed
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 500g carton Greek yogurt

  • For the topping
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts or almonds, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp golden caster/white sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 75g (2½ oz) caster/white sugar (⅓ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • You will also need 4 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  1. Method
  2. Divide the mashed bananas between the four ramekins and then drizzle over the honey to completely cover the bananas.

  3. Carefully spoon an equal amount of yogurt into each ramekin and smooth the top.

  4. Now sprinkle over the nuts.

  5. For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  6. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the nuts and yogurt in each ramekin. The sugar needs to cover the yogurt completely.

  7. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  8. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  9. For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  10. First, have a piece of baking paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour, it will be ready. Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  11. Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  12. The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the nuts and yogurt in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the yogurt is completely covered.

  13. Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the grill as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.

  14. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Updated: May 31, 2018

Tea Break Cookies

Tea Break Cookies

 

These are the most delectable cookies ever. An oatmeal cookie with sultanas and finely chopped pecans, decorated with chocolate swirls. A firm family favourite.

 

Tea Break Cookies
Prepares: About 20 cookies
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick), plus extra to grease
  • 115g (4 oz) light muscovado sugar/soft, light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) golden syrup* (¼ cup)
  • 130g (4½ oz) plain flour/cake and pastry (1 cup)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), beaten
  • 100g (3½ oz) jumbo porridge oats/large rolled oats (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 85g/3 oz sultanas (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 85g/3 oz pecan halves, roughly chopped (⅔ cup)

  • * Golden syrup isn’t readily available in North America. There are some supermarkets that sell it in Canada. Otherwise, I manage to get it in the small British stores that are around. The closest alternative would be runny honey. It is not quite as stiff as golden syrup, but close, and it does have some flavour too.

  • To decorate
  • 40g (1½ oz) plain/semi-sweet chocolate (6 pieces)

  • Equipment
  • 2 large baking trays/cookie sheets, lightly greased


  1. Method
  2. Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F) (gas 3)

  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

  4. Separately, stir in the golden syrup and egg until combined.

  5. Fold in the flour, cinnamon and oats.

  6. Finally, gently fold through the sultanas and nuts.

  7. Put tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays. spacing them well apart, and bake for 12–15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  8. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Once melted, set to one side to cool a little, about 10 minutes.

  9. Once the cookies have become cold, drizzle over the chocolate. This can be done either by using a spoon or by piping (use a piping bag with a small, plain nozzle). Leave the chocolate to set before storing in an airtight container.

Updated: April 6, 2017