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!

 

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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Lemon & Blueberry Crumble Cake

lemon & blueberry crumble cake
For every meal time that excitedly whips around, we generally know exactly what that growling stomach is craving, (wether or not the fridge has the goods to deliver is another question). Then there is those times when your after something… but can’t quite put your finger on it. You know the feels: you go to the pantry multiple times, then stand there with the fridge door wide open just staring into it’s cold depths hoping your next meal is going to yell its where abouts to you. But alas, amongst one of these tough frustrations of a first world life, we must prevail… and turn to the next best thing… hummus. Only kidding. But seriously. If in doubt: hummus (but a whole story on that for the next post & recipe).

Here we are still staring in the fridge! But this time it’s not something for dinner we’re searching for, but in fact our answers for the lack of baked goods in the cookie jar. So naturally, you can imagine my happiness the next day to wake up immediately craving lemon. Aha. An answer has been found. The fridge staring was over. Now to elaborate. (ah, more fridge staring again).
Conclusion: presence of blueberries in the freezer and after something to accompany my afternoon binge watch of Game of Thrones (hello current addiction). Tea cake, crumble = Lemon & Blueberry Crumble Cake. Success! The fridge staring days are done…. for now…..

to be continued……

Lemon & Blueberry Crumble Cake
But not really, because I’m about to go and attempt a sunday night fridge raid, wish me luck!

Another apology for the lack of posts after promises of recipes on instagram! Stuff is happening and I will fill you in in due course, stayed tuned groovy guys!

LEMON & BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE

Ingredients:
100g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
zest 2 lemons
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice of 1 lemon
240g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120ml whole milk
350g frozen or fresh blueberries

Crumble:
60g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
100g light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
100g pecans

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C, and grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric beater, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg until well combined, followed by the vanilla and the lemon juice.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, then beat into the butter mixture until just combined.
3. Fold in the milk, followed by the blueberries.
4. To make the crumble, using your hands, rub together the butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger, then lastly add the pecans.
5. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin, then evenly sprinkle over the crumble. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
6. Dust with icing sugar and serve as is, or alongside some well-deserved floral tea. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

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