Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Banana cream pie with salty bourbon caramel

Happy Valentine's Day!

I couldn't miss a post on my daughter's namesake day :). Whilst we haven't celebrated this day in the past, we will be sure to fill today with plenty of giggles, tickles and love-filled affection.

On another note, when it comes to deciding what to make each week, I must confess that I mostly choose based on looks. If the picture has me drooling there's a good chance it will end up on my plate next week. Back in the day I relied largely on my cookbooks, but lately most of my searching is based online (with great resources such as foodgawker, tastespotting, taste.com.au and pinterest) or from my magazine subscriptions. Being in Australia these consist of Gourmet Traveler and Donna Hay, but thanks to site's such as Epicurious.com I have had access to some amazing American publications, Bon Appetit being one of them. Their photos are drool-worthy and I love that they include the nutritional information as well.

When I spied this recipe it was on my plate a few days later. And even though my eyes bulged when reading how many calories one serving of this delectable pie packs, it didn't stop me for going back for a second serve (and back again for breakfast). What can I say, I'm a sucker for a sweetie pie :)

ease: 3/5. (custards and caramel can be tricky).
prep and chilling time: 3hours.

taste: 4/5. Pie, pie, me oh my,
Nothing tastes better, wet, salty and dry,
all at once – oh, well it’s pie. (from the movie, Michael.)

Let me break this multi-level pie down;
firstly, you have the peanut butter crust, which despite me being unable to pry it from the dish without breaking, was crunchy, buttery and delicious.
Next was the custard filling - unctuous, velvet, creamy delicious custard with a hint of vanilla (I would use a vanilla bean to get more of that gorgeous perfume).
Then you get lovely banana, sweet billowy cream and to top it all off, sticky, deep spiked caramel. The components meld together to create a surprisingly harmonious pie that treads the line of sweetness perfectly with enough flavour variations to keep each mouthful interesting. Everyone thought it was stupendous.

The downside: as lovely as it looked whole, serving it up caused it to ooze all over the place. I ended up scooping it out and tumbling it into bowls or glasses like an eton mess as it absolutely does not hold its form when cut. This didn't stop people taking a 'scoop' home with them tough.

Side note: goes down a treat for breakfast :).

would I make it again: No, it doesn't slice well enough to take to a function, and as hubby doesn't like either custard or caramel it's too much effort to make just for myself.

recipe: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/02/banana-cream-pie-with-salty-bourbon-caramel

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mascarpone pancakes with mango & blueberries

Mornings filled with the melodical babblings of a curiously exuberant 5month old little girl and the rustling of papers crammed into laptop bags are the sounds that begin each weekday.

My husband chews hastily on toast whilst tickling our daughter's feet and grabbing his car keys, in moments he is out the door and I am left to split my day between playing, feeding, cleaning and cooking until his evening return. Six days a week, breakfast is a speedy blur eaten on the fly. But on sweetly slothful Sundays, breakfast is lingered over and most often lavish and bountiful, occasionally stretching it's greedy arms towards lunch's hour.

Whilst I like to experiment with different types of breakfast fare, Sunday seems to beckon pancakes like mice to the Pied Piper; it's almost become a permanent fixture. Luckily, there seem to be as many variations of this breakfast cake as there are flowers in my yard.

Do you like to try new pancake recipes, or are there a handful that you are loyal to?

ease: 5/5.
prep time: 7mins.
cooking time: 12mins.
total: 19mins.

taste: 4.5/5. Good Golly Miss Holly, these might be the fluffiest pancakes yet.

Even on their own, these pancakes were delicious; I polished off the entire lot before lunch. The texture was fantastic with a fluffy and soft center kissed by the vanilla sweetness and creamy mascarpone. You could top the with anything, I opted for fresh fruit, raspberries or strawberries would be marvelous I am sure.

These will definitely become my go-to plain pancakes.

would I make it again: Yes.

recipe: http://alejandraowens.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/mascarpone-pancakes-with-lemon-curd-and-blueberries/