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!

 

Aussie Vibes ~ Wattleseed, Sultana, & Pecan Soda Bread with Maple Butter

Wattleseed, Sultana, and Pecan Soda Bread with Maple ButterOkay, this may sound totally strange to you but…
Australia has a scent.
Wait, before you think I’m crazy lemme explain.

This whole kinda country aroma thang kinda hit me after we got off the plane from Italy last Summer.
We walked outside the airport back in Melbourne and I was like… “wowza! i can really smell that gumtreeish vibe… it tots Australia I’m smellin”
(call me crazy… I dunno… maybe I have sensitive smell?)
And as much as I was lovin’ being overseas, I realised how much I loved being on home soil … and I guess that Aussie smell! (I’m a lil bit of homebody you see)
Wattleseed, Sultana, and Pecan Soda Bread with Maple ButterSooooo you can imagine my Aussie pride coming out when I was so kindly asked by Australian Wild to try out some of their superfoods.
Australian Wild is running a native foods social project, that helps to preserve Australian biodiversity and promotes healthy food choices.
Gotta love that Aussie goodness friends!
Wattleseed, Sultana, and Pecan Soda Bread with Maple ButterI was sent two lovely envelopes containing Wattleseed and Native Spice (now THAT is a beautiful Aussie aroma if you ever smelt some)
So for the first creation using Wattleseed (perfect for desserts and other delicious sweet things), I decided to bake it into the goodness of Soda Bread.
You see I was thinkin, I really wanna do some sort of Aussie food to tribute these gorgeous super foods, so first I though, yeah Damper sounds like a good way to go!
But then I was like, mmmmm Damper is only mega fun when your crowded round a fire on school camp (and accidentally burn the damper, but the inside seems to be perfectly cooked… I’ll take it)

So Soda Bread it was! I found it really encapsulated that whole bready, sconey and doughy vibe, and then was made better x10000 by the mega awesome Wattleseed. Plus it’s possibly the easiest bread you could ever make. Ever.
Allow me to lay it out;
– no knead
– no rising time
– no worries!

Plus we chuck in some sultanas and pecans for good measure, then accompany it all fresh out of the oven with Maple Butter.
(and it uses wholemeal flour, ya know, just to make you feel that much better for eating it 😛 )
Wattleseed, Sultana, and Pecan Soda Bread with Maple ButterMmmmmm Afternoon tea time life is pretty sweet with this bread by your side.
Especially when I was craving it all this afternoon, and kicking myself that I
a) polished off the whole loaf the other day
and b) used up all the Wattleseed to make some more…. I guess I’ll just have to pop off to Australian Wild and grab some more… I’m already pumped! (and so is the fam, a.k.a. the other soda bread consumers who, like me, where craving it all this afternoon).
Wattleseed, Sultana, and Pecan Soda Bread with Maple ButterTime for the recipe?
I tink so!

WATTLESEED, SULTANA & PECAN SODA BREAD WITH MAPLE BUTTER
recipe adapted from taste.com.au

Ingredients

Soda Bread:
4 cups wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon wattleseed
1/2 cup sultanas
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
60g butter, cubed
2-2 1/4 cups buttermilk
raw sugar to top

Maple Butter:
250g butter, softened
1/2 cup maple syrup

Method

Soda Bread:
1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a tray with baking paper.
2. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the wattleseed, sultanas and pecans.
3. Rub in butter. Mix in 2-2 1/4 cups buttermilk to form a dough.
4. Bring together on a floured surface to form a ball. Shape dough into a 20cm round. Place on the tray. Cut a cross in the top. Dust some extra flour over the top, as well as some raw sugar if you want for an extra crispy top.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden and sounding hollow when tapped.
6. Serve with maple butter and extra maple on top if your in the mood.

Maple Butter:
1. Mix butter and maple syrup with electric mixer until blended fully and mixed together to look like butter.Wattleseed, Sultana, and Pecan Soda Bread with Maple ButterSo, if your in the zone for a taste (and even smell!) of Australia, head on over to Australian Wild to grab some Wattleseed and browse their awesome website for all things embracing Australian goodness!

P.S. I will be posting a recipe soon using the Native Spice I got from Australian Wild – stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!
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