Caramel and Banana Layer Cake

Being the party animals that we are, we decided to ask a couple of friends over to our place for New Years Eve.  Even though we were all still getting over the excess of food and goodies we had been consuming during the past week, I still wanting to make something yummy – and a little naughty for our New Years dessert. I’ve made this cake a few times now and the recipe is from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2.  This time I decided to add banana to the layers in the attempt to bring a little bit of goodness to an otherwise sweet and yummy dessert.

It was a lovely night, spent with some great friends.  Alas our toddlers partied more than we did, with the adults happy to sit back and watch them expend what seemed to be a never ending supply of energy…..  If only they could have passed some on to us, we were all in bed by 11pm!

I hope you are all having a great start to the year

xx

caramel and banana layer cake

1 1/4 cups plain flour

6 eggs

3 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

125g butter – melted

2 cups thickened cream

vanilla essence

2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 banana – sliced thinly

caramel sauce – cooled

Caramel Sauce

– 3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup of single or pouring cream (I’ve also used thickened cream in the past and it has still turned out fine).

 

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line and grease a 18cm square tin

– Sift the flour three times and put aside.

– Put the eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl and beat together for 8-10 minutes with an electric mixer until mixture is pale and thick and has tripled in size

– Sift flour over the mixture and fold together gently, then fold in the butter.

– Using a spoon, put mixture into tin, and bake for 25 minutes.

– While cake is baking, make caramel sauce by stirring together brown sugar and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Increase the heat and simmer for around 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Let the sauce cool slightly in the saucepan, before transferring to another container and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to cool completely

– Cool cake in tin for 5 minutes and then turn onto a cake cooling rack – leave until completely cooled before slicing cake in half

– Beat together cream, drop of vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar until cream is whipped

– Spread half of cake with cream, cover with half of the banana slices, and half of the caramel sauce

– Carefully place top layer onto the cake and repeat.

– I like to leave this cake for an hour or so in the fridge, then remove around 15minutes prior to serving.  It’s best eaten the day of/day after making.

It’s a scone off!

I love scones.  They are the perfect morning/afternoon tea, and super easy to put together. For the last few years I’ve used a traditional recipe (source unknown) and apart from the couple of times when I used plain flour instead of self raising (I blame baby brain) they have never failed. In the past I’ve also tried Lemonade Scones (made using a can of lemonade and cream), but there is nothing like the traditional recipe in my opinion.

After devouring Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ – something I wish I was, but constantly fall short on – I was keen to try her recipe ‘Lily’s Scones’ which rather than using self raising flour, use plain flour combined with bicarb soda and cream of tartar.  What better way to compare the two than to have a scone off!

My little helper as well as my family have enjoyed this challenge.  We’ve had a few debates over which scone is better, I think they have been watching too many cooking shows with comments about the ‘crumb’, ‘texture’ and ‘overall appeal’ being tossed about.

Always eager to help out!

Always eager to taste test!

We found Nigella’s scones to be VERY light and fluffy – thanks to the cream of tartar, although they rose, I felt they could have been higher. The egg wash gave them a good colour and they tasted great.

Nigella's scones

We didn’t find a huge difference in taste, it was really the different textures that set the two apart.  Personally I prefer the original recipe, they rise well and have a great texture and taste.

Original and still the best?

Original and still the best?

Both of the recipes are below – you be the judge!

‘Lily’s Scones’ – How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

500g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

4 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

50g cold unsalted butter diced

25g trex, in teaspoon lumps (or use another 25g butter)

300ml milk

1 large egg beaten for egg wash

  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees
  • Sift the flour, bicarb and cream of tartar into a large bowl
  • Rub in the fats until it looks like breadcrumbs
  • Add the milk all at once and mix briefly with a knife
  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly to form a dough
  • Roll out to about 3cm thickness
  • Dip cutter into some flour (6 1/2 cm round cutter) and cut out scones.
  • Bring excess dough back together to cut out more scones (I made 11)
  • Place on a lightly greased baking tray quite close together and brush with egg wash
  • Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes or until risen and golden

vs

Traditional Scone Recipe – origin unknown

3 cups self raising flour

pinch of sale

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter diced

2 1/4 cups milk

extra milk for wash

  • Preheat oven to 230 degrees
  • Sift flour and salt into large bowl
  • Add butter and rub in until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add approx 2 cups of milk and mix together with a butter knife.  Add additional milk as needed (I find I sometimes don’t need to full 2 1/4 cups of milk)
  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly to form a dough
  • Roll out to around 3cm thickness (I don’t use a rolling pin, instead using my hands to pat out/shape)
  • Dip cutter into flour and cut out scones
  • Bring excess dough back together and cut out more scones (I usually make 10 -12 scones)
  • Place on lightly greased baking tray close together so they are almost touching and brush excess milk over for glaze
  • Place in oven and bake for 12 minutes or until risen and golden