Wednesday, March 26, 2014
It's been a while since I managed to bake or cook, with the crazy hot and dry spell we have here.. not to mention the ongoing water rationing that's driving me insane! ^^|| But the few splashes of rain (and thunderstorm) a few days back, has surely brought out the better side of me ^^ and I thought we could all do with some cheering up.
You know, it's been a terrible, terrible horrible, horrible March for me. I wonder if it's even possible to have so many bad, bad things happening every weekend since the beginning of this month??!! I've lost 2 friends (1 to depression and the other to illness), 239 people on a plane (I don't know anyone on it, but I feel down anyways ~ it's an aging thing, I think), and I've to deal with a crazy heartbreaking news too close to my heart.. It's been one long, never-ending bad dream.
I'm writing this not to gain sympathy, nor make anyone reading this sad or burdened, but it's so that I can look back one day, and say, "hey, this wasn't so bad.. this has passed, and I'm ok.. we're ok".
On a more positive note, I lost some weight. And I received an-all clear on a recent medical check-up. So that's good news. And of course I duly rewarded myself with a super-indulgent dessert.. dark chocolate banoffee slab! ^^
Dark chocolate banoffee slab (recipe by Dean Brettschneider, from his book, Pie)
Pastry ~ use your own personal favorite.. I used the below ^^
French pastry dough (by paule caillat)*
120g unsalted butter
4 tbsp water
scant 1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
200g / 1 1/3 cups flour
1. Preheat oven to 210C.
2. In a medium oven-proof bowl (Pyrex), combine butter, oil, water, sugar and salt.. and place bowl in the oven for 15 - 20minutes, till butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
3. When done, remove from oven (be careful of hot bowl and sputtering mixture!). Immediately dump flour in and stir quickly till it comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart mould with a removable bottom, and spread it out with a spatula/spoon. No rolling needed, yay! ^^
5. When dough is cool enough, press to fit tart mould. Prick dough all over with a fork and bake tart at 200C for 15 minutes or till golden brown. Leave to cool before filling.
1/2 cup golden syrup
395g can sweetened condensed milk
2 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthways
1. Place butter, golden syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan and cook over low-medium fire. Keep stirring until thick and golden brown. Remove from heat.
2. Pour over the tart crust, leaving about 7.5mm space from the top of the crust. There should be quite a bit of caramel leftover! Drizzle over ice-cream or drop them into banana cupccakes like I did ^^
3. Bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool slightly.
4. Place bananas over the caramel fudge.
225g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
25-40g sliced almonds, toasted
1. Melt dark chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan/pot of simmering water, not letting the bowl touch the water. Once chocolate has melted, stir till smooth and remove from heat.
2. Pour chocolate and spread it out evenly over the bananas. Top with toasted almonds.
3. Chill thoroughly before cutting. Serve with whipped cream if you wish. Bon apetit! ^^
As usual, I couldn't wait to have anything chilled properly. And the caramel filling and chocolate was oozing out oh-so-lusciously.. I couldn't help licking my fingers ^^ This is seriously one of the most heavenly indulgences I've ever made!!! ^^ despite them looking sadly non-enticing nor exciting.. that's really all my fault, my bakes never made heads turn!
But let me assure you, this indulgent sweet definitely has marked a place in dessert-heaven! At least in ours, haha. Fatty hubby and piggies LOVE it ^^ Definitely one of my top 5, if not top 3 desserts! ^^