Caramel & Pecan Banana Blondies

caramel & pecan banana blondies
Tomorrow is the one month mark of being home in Melbourne.
Surreal? Completely. A little bit disorientating? Absolutely.

After spending 18 months having the most incredible time living in London, I arrived back home to surprise my twin sister for our 21st birthday. After almost letting it slip mannnyyyy a times on Skype the surprise was successful! (Including jumping out of the pantry to surprise me mum – 100% worth it).

The past month has been a little bit of a whirlwind of catching up with friends (and therefore eating my weight in Melbourne brunches), hugging my dog daily against his own will, feeding the family and settling in. Then BAM before you know it, it’s November… how did this happen?!

caramel & pecan banana blondies
Amongst the craze of being home, a new self titled ‘folio’ website is up and running! With tabs for food photography & styling, cake orders, and supper clubs which will be going next year!
www.becdickinson.com 

Oh and I made these blondies too! They didn’t last long at all… I must get used to sharing my baked goods now at home with a family.. But you know how it is, I’ll take any excuse to bake more. Naturally.
The recipe couldn’t be simpler and more tempting to go back for thirds.
A melt and mix method, where caramel is the only minor concentration you’ll have to focus on (I have forgotten about many a caramels on the stove top before…).
Then cut to serve, or as my sister is doing in the picture – dig right out of the pan!
No judgement here. In fact, I’d respect that.

caramel & pecan banana blondies

CARAMEL & PECAN BANANA BLONDIES
 
Ingredients
200g light brown sugar
130g butter
1 egg
2 bananas, sliced roughly
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
200g pecans

Salted Caramel:
2 tsp light corn syrup/glucose syrup
4 tbsp water
100g caster sugar
120ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
2. Make the caramel first by placing the corn syrup, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Do not stir the mixture while it’s boiling. Continue to boil until it thickens and turns a light brown caramel color. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the cream, vanilla, and salt with a wire whisk. If the caramel clumps unevenly, place back on the stove on low heat, and stir until it becomes smooth. Set to the side to cool completely, or place in the fridge to speed up the cooling time.
3. In a small saucepan, melt together the sugar and butter, pour into a mixing bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
4. Using a hand whisk, beat the egg into the sugar and butter mixture, then the banana and vanilla.
5. Fold in the flour and baking powder and pour into the prepared tin. Pour over 3/4 of the caramel, reserving the rest to spoon over once baked. Sprinkle over the pecans and bake for 30 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
6. Spoon over the remaining caramel and enjoy!

 

Late Summer Breakfast Crumble

late summer crumble
I like to think that at the end of every season, there comes one day where you feel a definite change in the air.
Wether it be the subtle blossom aroma in the arrival of spring or the slight chill in the breeze as autumn makes its presence known amongst the late summer merriment.

I for one definitely caught up in the action of the hot season, cooking… eating… aka working… on repeat. I ain’t complaining. And all of a sudden, Autumn has crept up…  a leaf fell right in front of me the other day, and a bit of me got very excited over all the impending pumpkin i’m going to eat.

With book work is wrapping up, and only a couple of months to go here in London, I’m beginning to mentally prepare myself for going back home, and right in time for Summer in Melbourne! Dare I say ‘where has the year gone?!’. For reals, I feel like I blinked in May and transported myself September.

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So amongst a day off spent freely lounging on my bed with the windows blowing in the warm and gentle wind, my mind said ‘fruity crumble’. So I did.
Making the most of the fruit that’s in season, I thought i’d keep it simple and celebrate their beautiful sweet and tart flavours… and then make it in breakfast form so i can eat it first thing in the morning… genius.
I served the crumble with greek yoghurt to echo that breakfast vibe, but of course ice-cream is 100% acceptable. Always.
Adapt the recipes to fruits in season so you can eat crumble all year round! (I can just hear the apples calling my from Autumn – I’m coming!)

Make the crumble in the morning after you stumble out of bed, and let the buttery sweet aroma fill your house and gently wake you up. Best served with a coffee and a good book.

Also: here’s also some behind the scene shots from the book shoot! woooo x 10000

(recipe for the crumble after the photos)

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LATE SUMMER BREAKFAST CRUMBLE
serves 4

Ingredients
3 nectarines, sliced into wedges
150g blackberries
150g raspberries
150g blueberries
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
60g coconut sugar

Crumble:
4 heaped tbsp plain flour
100g oats
1 tsp cinnamon
60g brown sugar
120g butter, chilled, cut into cubes
30g pumpkin seeds
20g coconut chips
60g almonds, roughly chopped

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. In a large baking dish gently stir together the the nectarines, berries, corn flour, lemon juice and sugar (adding more if the nectarines aren’t quite ripe yet).
2. To make the crumble, in a bowl mix together the flour, oats, cinnamon, and sugar. Add the butter, and rub into the mixture until it becomes crumbly and the butter is all distributed. Stir in the pumpkin seeds, coconut and almonds.
3. Sprinkle the crumble over the fruit, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
4. To make a breakfast meal, serve with greek yoghurt and enjoy!

Ras el Hanout, Hummus & Caramelised Onion Stuffed Sweet Potatoes + EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT

Ras el Hanout stuffed sweet potatoes
I go in and out of phases of shopping for the same, one particular ingredient, purely due to a complete, utter obsession. You know how it is… dinner seems incomplete without it, and not grabbing a couple off the shelves every supermarket shop feels like your cheating on your best friend.

– Hummus for one… I don’t even know what to snack with if that’s not in the fridge right now. You can’t have crackers by themselves…
– Did someone mention avocado? I know this is the most classic, basic thing one could eat… but what other ingredient could I throw into almost every meal and get that wonderfully creamy and buttery sensation… your right, avocado is the one and only.
– Sweet potato… an instant staple. The obsession has been going on a strong year now (showing no signs of stopping), and without it stored safely by my side in the kitchen, those ‘chuck together whatever you have for dinner’ nights would be far more empty it. Thank-you sweet potato, I am forever in your debt.

Ras el Hanout stuffed sweet potatoes
So, let’s combine one oldie obsession with a newie. (NB – BIG ANNOUNCEMENT APPROACHING).
Amongst doing some research for the cookbook i’m writing (oops there it is!) I came across a new favourite ingredient: ras el hanout paste. (Shall we back track a bit here? Sure thing.)
My LONG silence, and poor posting schedule is because i’ve been working on my first cookbook with Hardie Grant! It’s a lunch one, all about re-invigorating that midday meal break – ain’t no soggy creased sandwiches in sight!
Bit excited? Me too! How many times can one say the word surreal? Many many more.
More info to come, but it’s coming out in February so before you know it, it could be in your hot little hands!

Anyways – back on track! Ras el Hanout roasted sweet potatoes, with an added bonus of hummus, and cous cous (unintentional rhyming), sweetness from caramelised onions and a little bit of toasted pita on the side for good measure. Everybody wins. And more ras el hanout and sweet potatoes will be seen in the book! Stay tuned groovy people.

RAS EL HANOUT, HUMMUS & CARAMALISED ONIONS & STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
serves 2-3

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, halved
4 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 ras el hanout paste
70g cous cous
100ml boiling water
1/2 tsp ground cumin
20g almonds, roughly chopped
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
parsley & feta to garnish
hummus and pita to serve
salt to season

Caramalised Onions:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Ingredients
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas mark 6. Coat the sweet potatoes in 2 tbsp of the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Stir together the raw el hanout and 2 tbsp oil and spread over the sweet potatoes. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until caramelised and tender.
2. In a medium frypan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until softened and turning lightly golden, tossing the pan regularly (resisting the urge to turn up the heat). Stir in the sugar and balsamic and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the onions are caramalised.
3. In a small bowl, pour in the cous cous and top with the boiling water, 1/2 tbsp remaining oil, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Cover and leave for 5 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, and add more seasoning and olive oil if necessary.
4. To serve, cut a lengthways slit into the sweet potatoes, slightly open and fill with the cous cous, and caramalised onions. Garnish with feta, parsley, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and serve alongside hummus and toasted pita.

Thanks for stopping by!

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