Individual Chocolate Banana Cakes with Crushed Honeycomb

Chocolate Banana Cakes with Crushed Honeycomb

 

When I moved to the Bahamas, I tasted my very first Crunchie bar, and it was pure, sweet, magical love.  I had never tasted anything like it, that airy, sweet, crispy caramel tucked neatly inside milk chocolate.  It was pure bliss.

Crushed Honeycomb

Imagine my happiness when my Jamie’s Great Britain book arrived in the post, and I found a recipe on how to make the inside of a Crunchie bar!!!!  I literally got the book on Tuesday, and Wednesday I was making the honeycomb.  I’m flabbergasted at how easy this was to make.  I mean, I don’t know what I thought it would entail, like some super-duper complicated machinery to infuse the caramel with all those teeny tiny holes, but in reality….it’s a 4 step process.  It took me a whole of 10 minutes.  Crazy!!!

My friend came over for lunch yesterday, and I hadn’t baked in a while.  Luckily, my pantry is always stocked with the necessary accoutrements (I just wanted to use a fancy word.  Ingredients, actually) to whip up a simple sponge cake.  Which also came out of Jamie’s book.

Queen Victoria Sponge Cake

I decided I would combine his recipe for honeycomb, with his recipe for Victoria Sponge, and add a little banana and some ganache.

Individual Chocolate Banana Sponge Cakes with Crushed Honeycomb

This is the bomb.  Tastewise and calorically.  But heck, it was worth the run I did afterwards!

So, if you are so inclined, here is the recipe for my little concoction!

Serves 6

Adapted from Jamie’s Great Britain Cookbook

Basic Honeycomb Recipe:

1/2 heaped tsp baking soda

125g white sugar

1 tbsp honey

Line a shallow baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.  Measure out your baking soda so that it’s ready to go – you’ll need to work quickly once the sugar reaches the right temperature.  Put the sugar, honey and 25ml of water into a medium-sized, deep, heavy-bottomed pan.  Stir together and heat to 150 Celsius on a sugar thermometer.  Whatever you do, do NOT touch or taste the caramel, as it will burn you.

As soon as the caramel reaches the right temperature, turn the heat off and add the baking soda, whisking quickly and carefully to combine it.  It will froth right up, but that’s normal.  Carefully pour the mixture out onto your lined tray right away, then gently tilt the tray a little from side to side to get the mixture to spread out in a fairly even layer (again, being careful not to come into contact with the hot caramel).  Leave to one side to cool, then crack it into bite size pieces and crush some into powder or smaller pieces.

For the Victoria Sponge:

125g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

125g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

2 large eggs

zest of one lime

a few drops of Rosewater

Preheat your oven to 190C.  Grease your individual cake tins with butter, and dust with flour.  Trust me on this, I didn’t dust with the flour and they stuck….so instead of 6 I had 4.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure you beat each one before you add the next one.  Fold in the lime zest, flour and rosewater.  Divide the batter among the cake tin, and with a greased spatula, smooth the bottoms.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and rise, and a toothpick comes out clean.  Turn out on a baking rack to cool completely.

For the ganache:

250g dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream.

Shave your chocolate with a serrated knife.

Shaved dark chocolateThis will make sure that the chocolate melts all at the same time.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream just before boiling.  Place the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl, and add the cream.  Mix once and let sit for 1o minutes.  Then whisk well, until all the chocolate is mixed with the cream and it is glossy.

To Assemble:

1 banana, cut 6 slices, and chop the rest

Crushed Honeycomb

6 individual cakes

Ganache

Place a piece of parchment beneath the baking rack.  Add the honeycomb and chopped banana to the tops of the cakes.  Then drizzle the ganache over the cakes.  Let it set for about 3 minutes, then pour over again, and smooth the sides and top with a spatula.

Top the cakes with the small crushed honeycomb, then add one large piece.  Add one slice of banana to each cake.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

Raspberry Banana Breakfast Muffins

I love bananas.  I really do.  But somehow, always, there are two left over from the bunch that I buy that go overly ripe.  And then I don’t want to eat them raw anymore.  But you know what?  That suits me fine.  I always end up putting them to good use.
Saturday morning, I was flipping through my Williams Sonoma Breakfast and Brunch cookbook, and came across this great recipe for Raspberry Lemon Muffins.  And I figured, I could sneak the bananas in there as well.  They turned out wonderful.  The bananas make these muffins really soft and luscious, and I was able to cut out a heap of sugar from the original recipe.  I am only hoping they last more than two days.  We’ve already eaten 4.  I made them last night.  *Sigh*.  So much for the diet!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Adapted from William Sonoma’s “Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch”

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup canola or corn oil

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

2/3 cup brown sugar (as opposed to 1 1/3 cup)

2 tsp grated lemon juice

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 375 F (190 C).  Line 12 standard muffin pan with paper liners.

In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand up mixer, whisk together the eggs and milk until blended.  Ad the oil, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract and whisk until just blended.  Add the bananas, and blend well.  Add the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just moistened.  Do not overmix.  Fold in the berries.

Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each to within 1/4 inch of the rim.  Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes if using fresh raspberries, or 25-30 minutes if using frozen raspberries.  Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes 12 muffins

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Coconut

Pinterest.  I find it to be one of the most addictive things, when I am on it that is.  I actually don’t spend so much time on it, but if I did….oh dear.  I would be as big as a heffalump.  There are all these cake recipes!  I am a sucker for cake.  And I love love love baking them.  But there are so many cakes, and brownie’s and goodies….I am literally pinning and pinning and who knows when I will actually get to them.  But, I managed to make one.  I came across one for this recipe, and I thought the idea was delicious.  I love banana bread, but I’ve never had a cake.  The original recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com calls for nuts instead of chocolate chips, but the pinner added chocolate chips.  And who doesn’t love the combination of bananas and chocolate?

I added the toasted coconut, and also some shaved dark chocolate on top.  To the batter I also added some vanilla extract and lemon rind.

It is divine.  Pure indulgence.  Super moist, light and fluffy.  Try it.  And give some away because it is addictive!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

2.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 pinch of salt

115 g butter

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp grated lemon rind

3 extra ripe bananas, mashed

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted

1/4 cup dark chocolate, shaved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 2 nine-inch round cake pans, set aside.  Sift flour, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Trust me on this, makes the cake super airy and light).  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and lemon rind.

Set the speed to low, and alternatively add the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in the mashed bananas and chocolate chips.

Bake for 30 minutes, approximately, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack before frosting.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.  Cream the butter and cream cheese until creamy.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Refrigerate until using.

Cut the cakes in half, so you have four thin layers.  Frost the layers and dust with a little coconut.  Then frost the top and outside of the cake.  Dust the middle with chocolate, and the outer ring with coconut.  If you want, also the sides.

Enjoy with a really tall cold glass of milk!  Yumm yumm.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla