peanut butter banana milkshake

Continuing on the recent theme of drinks of the fruity and delicious variety, today I am going to share something a little different to my usual ware and fare.

I was flicking around on the internet the other day – I am constantly amazed at how quickly I find my very detailed search has moved onto a rather unrelated topic – and I came across a delicious looking recipe on the little kitchen for fried banana milkshakes.

SAM_3250

I love fried bananas; the caramelization of the sugar is my favourite part and I love the granulated crunch that surrounds the soft fruit. I fell in love with the pictures on the blog post and knew that I had to try it – so I did, with a little twist. Bananas are wonderful when combined with peanut butter; a salty crunch meets soft and sweet, and both flavours are relatively subtle so I knew neither would overpower the other.

Thinly slice four bananas, Julie uses two but I adjusted the proportions to be fruitier, rather than creamy… and also a bit healthier! Fresh bananas will hold their shape better than frozen; although they will end up being blended together so it doesn’t really matter. If you are using frozen bananas like I did, and if you don’t have a lightsaber, here is a good method of peeling them if you didn’t have the foresight to do that before popping them in the freezer.

SAM_3244

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a large fry pan, add two tablespoons sugar; white, brown or raw – your preference, and add the bananas.

SAM_3245

Once the bananas are beginning to show the slightest signs of caramelization, stir through a tablespoon of peanut butter – crunchy adds another dimension to the finished product, but again, it’s something that you can decide based on how you like it. Set aside to cool after about 5 minutes.

Blend the bananas with ½ a cup of milk and two scoops of ice cream. I used French vanilla (or as they say in France, just vanilla) but chocolate or strawberry would both make great combinations. Pulse until the shake is at a smooth consistency and it’s ready to enjoy.

SAM_3248

The flavour combination is one of the oddest I have ever tasted; the glass is packed with four bananas so I know it has a decent amount of nutritional value, but it tastes so sinfully good that I just don’t believe that. Maybe that has something to do with all of the ice cream?

SAM_3251

As someone who isn’t particularly a ‘health foods’ person, this peanut butter banana shake is a great, healthy dessert option, or something I would feel really good about drinking for breakfast, just don’t ask for any nutritionists’ opinions on that idea…

Advertisements

banana almond muffin pudding

The heart wants what it wants, and so does the stomach. During winter I don’t give strawberries a second thought but I could eat them any day of the week when they are in season. But there are some foods that you can’t help but crave – regardless of the season and once your head starts asking for it, your stomach won’t stop needing it until it is satisfied. The other day, despite the humidity, I decided that I needed bread pudding.

SAM_3227

Maybe it was the little bout of rain we had last week that make we want to curl up on the couch with a nice, steaming bowl of pudding. I am not one to ever deprive my stomach of what it wants – it really is the force that drives, and controls me, so I made this little variation of a traditional bread pudding.

I am not a huge stickler for sticking too close to a traditional recipe; if you can change it to make it better – do it! While a bread pudding usually uses bread (as per the name), I have seen it made with brioche and croissants so I don’t think anyone is going to be too scandalised by the fact that I made mine with muffins.

SAM_3219

To begin, break or cut three large and slightly stale muffins into eight chunks each. You could use three croissants or pain-au-chocolat instead of muffins, or six slices of white bread. The muffins I used were banana and almond flavoured which I knew would give the pudding a lovely moreish flavour and it also meant that I wasn’t going to have to add much else to make it delicious – the work was already done for me!

Place the muffin pieces into a baking dish and set aside. In a recipe using just bread, pouring a little melted butter over top of the bread chucks is recommended, but these muffins were practically bleeding butter so I decided to skip this step for time’s sake.

For each muffin that you use (or for each two slices of bread) whisk one egg, a ¼ cup of sugar and a ½ cup of milk with a teaspoon each of vanilla and cinnamon. This is essentially going to form he custard that the bread absorbs.

SAM_3221

“Custard-soaked bread” is not a description that does this dish any justice, so we need to make it a little more exciting. Sprinkle about a ½ cup of dried fruit or chocolate drops over the bread and pour over the custard mixture. You could use raisins, pistachio nuts or even cubes of apple. As I mentioned, my muffins already had banana in them and were topped with almond slithers, but I topped mine with fresh slices of banana and a few dried cranberries for a little colour.

SAM_3223

Bake your assembled pudding at 175°C for 45minutes until crisp and golden on top.

A nice crunch on top, and an oozy warmth in the centre; folds of bread filled with bursts of custard – just what the doctor ordered! And by doctor, I mean my stomach. Enjoy piping hot while staring out the window as the rain runs down the window, like tears at the realisation that summer will eventually finish, or refrigerate overnight to enjoy as a cooling treat in the midday heat. Or eat the leftovers for breakfast. I did, and trust me, your arteries might not thank you, but your taste buds surely will!

SAM_3226

fancy french toast

Before we begin, I know that I have posted about French toast before, and I know that this version is a little less traditionally sound, but I don’t actually care.

In celebration of the end of Blogging 201, I decided to make myself a little celebratory breakfast, but you could also say that this meal was a self-congratulations on making it to the end of the week alive.

SAM_3143

The baguette being the exception, I don’t particularly fancy white bread – never have. And the sliced, white loaves that you find in French supermarkets are sickly sweet and dissolve in your mouth like fluffy plastic. That being said, I did buy a loaf for Bastille Day; I was making croquet-monsieurs and they do taste better with white bread.

Since then, the half eaten loaf had slowly been pushed further and further into the dark depths of the back of the fridge, next to the shrivelled carrots and half-eaten tubs of unnaturally coloured yoghurt (both of which belong to my colocs, not me). Not one to want to throw anything away, but also not being in a huge rush to eat it, I decided to treat myself.

It all depends on the staleness of your bread, but I work off the ‘algorithm’ of one egg and one gulp of milk to every three slices of bread. Whisk the milk and egg together with whatever additions you fancy; cinnamon, cocoa, or nutmeg and soak the bread, on both sides until as much of the liquid is absorbed up as possible.

SAM_3137

Fry in melted butter until both sides reach the level of crunch that you so desire, use a medium heat to avoid burning and to warm the bread the whole way through. I lathered each slice with a healthy dollop of lemon curd, before topping with fried banana and a drizzle (more than a drizzle) of coffee cream sauce. If you freeze the banana before you fry it, the outside softens into a gooey, caramelised paste, but the centre remains cool and fresh with the flavour and consistency of banana ice-cream.

SAM_3138

Even though French toast is generally considered a breakfast food, with this many elements I think it is socially acceptable to eaten any time of day. And anyway, as an adult, I don’t have to conform to social norms, I can do what I want – and if that means French toast for dinner, so be it!

fun with fruit: banana edition

Now, I must firstly admit that this post doesn’t really fit into my general theme of posts, but I think it is pretty cool. I must also admit that I spend far too much of my time looking at food on the internet, and while I am by no means one of those self-confessed health food fanatics (far from it!), I did think this was mighty cool!

SAM_2812

I know this looks like your ordinary sorbet-type dessert, I can assure you that it is a lot easier to make than any other ice cream recipe I have ever seen.

For this recipe you will need:
Bananas
and, bananas

Yip, this is a one-ingredient wonder. Nothing but bananas. Just bananas put in a blender and blended up. NO added sugar, milk, cream or anything. While this is incredibly easy, I did encounter a couple of logistical issues so I decided I would create a little bit of a ‘how-to’ guide to go with the recipe; some tips that I wish I had had before I started.

Firstly, take as many bananas as you like and chop them into thin slices, put them in a container or roasting bag and pop them in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. The ripeness of the bananas is completely up to you, I collected mine over a series of weeks so they were added to the freezer at varying degrees of ripeness. I think the riper the better in order to get that real banana-y flavour. TIP ONE: When choosing how many bananas to use, keep in mind the size of your blender or food processor. I didn’t really do this and had a few issues fitting them all in.

SAM_2799

TIP TWO: Take your bananas out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you start blending them. Even though you want them to still be quite frozen and hard when you start blending them, you also want them to be a bit easy to break into reasonably small chunks before putting them in. That’s TIP NUMBER THREE.

Once your bananas are in the blender, turn the blender on. If you have a large amount of bananas like I did, you might want to turn it off and mix them around to get an even blend, it would have been helpful to have someone helping me for this part as the food processor wasn’t the sturdiest of beasts (TIP FOUR).

Next step: Blend, and blend, and blend… and blend.

SAM_2804 

The consistency will go from chunky to grainy to runny to creamy.

SAM_2806

Transfer into an ice cream container (that other person will also come in handy here) and put back in the freezer for a few hours; until it is firm like ice cream should be. I also mixed in a bit of my salted caramel sauce, which kinda defeats the whole ‘healthy’ aspect of it, but like I said; I am not health guru.

SAM_2807

Final step: Clean your kitchen. Clean the bench, clean the blender, clean the floor, and probably even clean the roof. Because I promise you, if you are anything like me, it will be in dire need of a big dose of spring cleaning!