This banoffee pie recipe came into my life a few years ago when some English friends of ours brought one over for my daughter’s birthday party. A popular dessert in Britain, it was a sweet treat I hadn’t tried beforehand but after my first bite it’s made many appearances around our place!
Definitely one for those with a sweet tooth, a banoffee pie is a simple biscuit base followed by layers of caramel, whipped cream and sliced bananas. You can add an additional layer of bananas on top of the caramel before you put the whipped cream on but I don’t think it’s needed.
Other than the sticky, sublime taste of banoffee pie, the great thing about it is how incredibly quick and easy it is to make. You put in about 10 minutes worth of effort and exercise a little patience while the condensed milk turns to caramel by boiling it in the can and soon a dessert that looks a lot more impressive than it should appears before you. If you want to make it even simpler you can buy Carnation ready-made caramel in a can and you’ll have dessert ready in a flash!
For anyone with kids this banoffee pie is a must make recipe. Fans of banana need to get on board the banoffee pie train too, and give my banana bread a go while you’re at it!
Looking for more easy dessert inspiration? This honeycomb ice-cream cake is heaven in dessert form.
Banoffee Pie Recipe
- 225-250g plain digestive biscuits – quantity depends on how thick you want your base
- 100g butter
- 1 tin condensed milk
- 500ml whipping cream
- 2-3 large ripe bananas
- Plain chocolate for grating on top – optional
- Submerge the condensed milk in water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 2 hours. Top up with boiling water from the kettle if needed throughout. Ensure that is remains fully under water so ensure it doesn’t explode! After this time, put it aside to cool – being careful of how very hot the tin gets!
- To make the biscuit base crunch biscuits using a food processor or pour into a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs. Melt butter (don’t let it brown), combine with biscuit crumbs and stir. Decant into a pie dish and press down to make a base with sides that are even all the way around. Use the back of a spoon to press the mixture into a compact form and smooth any lumps. Cover with cling film and put in fridge for an hour to chill.
- Whip cream until peaks light and fluffy.
- When the base is set, remove from fridge and pour over the condensed milk – which has now become caramel.
- On top of this pile on the whipped cream and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
- Slice bananas and arrange all over the whipped cream. Finish with a grating of chocolate if you wish!
Express eating at its best!
If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know I’m a huge fan of easy egg recipes to feed the family morning, noon and night. Brenner aka breakfast for dinner remains an easy tea time solution when time is short, hunger is high and the fridge isn’t particularly full!
I’ve also got a bunch of frittata recipes I love and often make for packed lunches and picnics too. Always great with a salad and for using up yummy leftovers, frittatas are a busy parent’s best friend when it comes to easy meals on the go.
This Spanish omelette recipe ticks all the same boxes. Completely delicious, this omelette has the addition of fried potato cubes, a simple twist but one that makes a huge difference! Some Spanish omelette recipes calls for onion as well, which I am sure I’ve made in the past and enjoyed but the potato is so filling and flavourful on its own I don’t think it needs anything else so why give yourself another task?
Of course for those who don’t mind the idea of a Spanish omelette with trimmings, you could consider some parsley, bacon or cheese! But I assure you, kids of all ages and adults too won’t complain if you serve them the less fancy version, after all, what is better than fried potato and eggs?!
Spanish omelette recipe
Ingredients – serves 4
- Olive oil and/or butter
- 500g waxy potatoes – peel and dice into small cubes
- 8 medium eggs – whisked together in a bowel
- Sea salt and pepper
- Optional extras: chopped parsley, bacon or grated cheese
- Prepare all your ingredients and then take a large, heavy bottomed fry-pan and place it on a medium heat. Drizzle in a generous amount of olive oil and a small knob of butter. Alternatively you could use one or the other if you prefer!
- When the butter has melted and olive oil is hot swirl them around together and tumble in the potatoes. Allow them to cook through properly, making sure you turn them gently using a spatula through the frying. All sides of the potato cubes should be golden and if you are in doubt, take one out and cut it in half. If the outsides are getting too brown, turn down the heat and keep frying them, turning occasionally.
- Once the potatoes are cooked through – but still retaining their form – spread them out evenly in the pan so there is one layer and season well with salt and pepper. Over this, gently pour your pre-beaten egg mix.
- Allow the omelette to cook for a few minutes before gently prying the side of it to see whether it is setting. Gently move the pan to re-distribute the egg as it cooks.
- Don’t meddle with the omelette too much but then the sides come away easily from the fry pan and you can see it is cooked properly underneath and the mix on top is starting to solidify but it still runny.
- The next step is the trickiest and you have a few choices. The most risky is perhaps the best depending on your cookware and kitchen skills. Run a flat knife under the omelette to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom. Then place a plate over the top of the fry pan and invert the omelette onto it. After doing this you can then slide it back into the pan – so that the cooked side is up and the uncooked side is at the bottom. Fry for a few more minutes until cooked through but still soft in the middle before serving.
- Another option is to put a lid over the fry pan and turn up the heat – but this will brown the bottom more. Then you can flip half of the omelette over to create the traditional half circle shape.
- Finally, if you are using stainless steel or cast iron cookware you can pop it under the grill and cook the top this way. But before doing this make sure the handles are not plastic or wood, there is no Teflon and your cookware can safely take the heat!
- Optional extras like parsley, cheese and fried bacon can be sprinkled in after the eggs mix has been poured into the fry pan.
Spanish croquettes with ham and cheese
If you love the idea of cooking with kids at home but your offspring is somewhat reluctant to get into kitchen duties then my first piece of advice would be to choose something they want to eat themselves. With this in mind, I present to you this delicious and very easy recipe for ham and cheese croquettes!
I believe they are Spanish in origin although lots of cultures – from Dutch to Indian – do their own croquette recipe. A croquette is basically a small, fried, bite-size piece of food which is usually rolled in breadcrumbs before frying. You can have anything in it but the insides should be soft and the outside golden and crispy.
These ham and cheese ones are a big hit when you’re cooking with kids because they taste like something you could pick up at a fast food place – just SO much better!
A creamy béchamel sauce, combined with pink ham and melted cheese and coated in a crunchy outer-layer is absolute bliss to my kids and that helps to get them in the kitchen quick come cooking time.
If you’re looking for more recipes to cook with kids, check out my Bubble and Squeak recipe and Honeycomb Ice-cream cake recipe!
Ham and cheese croquette recipe
Ingredients – makes around 16
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 7 tablespoons plain flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk – warmed
- 6 tablespoons chopped ham – preferably cured ham
- 1/2 cup grated hard cheese
- 3 large free range eggs
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
- Vegetable or olive oil – for frying
- Add two tablespoons each of olive oil and butter to a pan and put on a low-medium heat. After the butter has melted, add the onions and move them around with a wooden spoon as they fry, soften and turn translucent.
- After a couple of minutes, add the diced ham and fry for a further minute or two. If the ham you are using has fat ribbons running through it (eg. with prosciutto), you want this to render down (melt away). Keep moving with your wooden spoon to avoid the risk of burning.
- Turn the heat right down and add your plain flour. Stir through and cook along with the onions and ham for about two minutes.
- Next take your pre-warmed milk and a whisk and slowly pour it into the mixture while whisking to create a smooth consistency. Do this for around 3 minutes and then add about 2/3 of the grated cheese and stir through.
- Decant into a bowl, cover with cling film and cool in fridge for at least 2 hours – or more if it needs to thicken up more to handle.
- Once you’re reading to fry your croquettes, put a liberal amount of flour on your hands and sprinkle a little on a plate or clean work surface.
- In a medium sized bowl, beat your eggs.
- In another bowl or plate sprinkle the bread-crumbs and remaining cheese.
- Keeping your hands floured and using a dessert spoon to help you, spoon out a decent, oval shaped amount of the cooled mixture and form into a nice long shape and dip in the egg mix first – coating all over – followed by the cheesey bread-crumbs.
- To fry, heat olive oil in a pan and when it start to shimmer, fry your croquettes, turning them gently to brown on all sides and cook through. Remove with a slotted spoon or quickly drain onto kitchen paper towel before serving immediately.
This post comes from my dear friend Kelly. We’ve been friends since high school and she’s always had a bit of a sweet-tooth, but at the same time is always on the look-out for healthier options. I asked Kelly to share this recipe after she made it for me recently and she very nicely agreed! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
While there’s nothing as satisfying as going all out with some super fancy concoction, desserts don’t have to be complicated. Sometimes you don’t have the time for involved recipes – or let’s face it – you just can’t be bothered. The good news is, just because something is easy doesn’t mean that it won’t taste really good – it just means there’s less prep time so you can get back to watching Mad Men and 30 Rock with something sweet and delicious to tuck into.
If, like me, you have a craving for something sweet and are studiously avoiding chocolate, making a berry crumble will satisfy. They might be old fashioned but crumbles are a win-win in the dessert stakes because they’re not just tasty but are a healthy choice too! For starters, berries are chock full of antioxidants. They’re also low calories, high in fiber and contain minerals like calcium, potassium and vitamin C. No wonder blueberries are one of the world’s most loved superfoods!
There’s no need to wait for berry season to swing around either when you can keep a packet of mixed berries in the freezer for a crumble emergency! Don’t be afraid to add extra fruit like cherries and some apples and pears if you feel like it.
Easy Berry Crumble
Easy Berry Crumble Recipe
- 1 packet of mixed berries
- 500 g of fresh cherries, pitted, or 1 jar of pitted cherries
- 2 Granny Smith apples or 2 pears
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup self-raising flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 60g butter
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Chop apples and pears and put them in a saucepan with the berries sugar and balsamic vinegar and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon in a bowl and rub in the butter.
4. Put the fruit in a baking tray or ovenproof bowl and spoon the crumble over the fruit.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crumble is golden.
6. Serve with vanilla ice cream or low-fat cream.
Healthy, tasty, fun and easier than you think!
Making your own Vietnamese rice paper rolls at home is actually easier than you realise. If you’re having a party you can prepare all the rolls ahead of time, but for your family or a group of friends, it’s fun for everyone to make their own at the table. This is one recipe that definitely has a novelty value for the kids, plus it’s always fun to check out everyone’s combinations. Traditionally the rice paper rolls are made with prawns, but there’s no reason you can’t substitute tofu for vegetarians or use left-over BBQ chicken. You could even go a little gourmet and add duck if you felt like it. The beauty of this recipe is that you can make them as simple or as creative as you like! They make a great crowd-pleasing entree, but eat 2 or 3 and you’ve got one healthy and satisfying meal right there.
Vietnamese rice paper rolls - easier than you think!
Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll Recipe
Ingredients – serves 4
- 12 round rice paper wrappers
- 60g rice vermicelli or rice noodles
- 12 large cooked prawns, peeled and de-veined or 1 kg smaller prawns
- or 1 cup shredded BBQ chicken
- or thin strips of marinated tofu
- 1 small red capsicum, thinly sliced
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup Thai basil leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
- 3 lettuce leaves or 4 leaves of a Chinese cabbage (Wombok) finely shredded
Dipping Sauce 1
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 fresh lime juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 fresh chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
Dipping Sauce 2
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped roasted peanuts or 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
1. Soak the rice noodles in boiling water to soften, then rinse them thoroughly in cold water so they don’t stick. Chop them into shorter lengths so that it’s easier to fit them in the rolls.
2. Chop and shred all the ingredients and place in separate bowls on the table.
3. Combine ingredients for dipping sauce 1 in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
4. Combine ingredients for dipping sauce 2 in a bowl.
3. Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water. It needs to be wide enough to fit the rice paper wrapper.
4. To make the rolls, begin by dipping on wrapper in the water for one second to soften, then lay the wrapper on a dinner plate.
5. Take a handful of rice noodles, lettuce or cabbage, one prawn, a slice of capsicum, cucumber, and some herbs on the wrapper, making sure to leave space on each side.
6. Fold in the sides over the filling and roll up. Be careful not to cram too much into your rice paper roll or it will split!