Category Archives: Food Fantasies

Nutella and banana parcels

Nutella and banana parcels

This is one of those incredibly easy recipes and is always a winner with friends and family. You can’t go wrong with chocolate right?

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll of frozen puff pastry (save yourself a lot of time by buying the ready made stuff and thaw it in the fridge)
  • 1 cup of Nutella
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 egg

Caramel:

  • 75g castor sugar
  • 2Tbs cold water

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220 C
  2. Thaw the frozen puff pastry in the fridge – check the pack for detail.
  3. Once thawed, dust a working surface with a bit of flour and roll out in a square
  4. You have two options here, depending on how you want to present the final dessert – either in a log or if you want to be more cheffy, make individual parcels (like a samosa)
    • For the log – Nothing too fancy, just spread the Nutella on the puff pastry and top with slices of banana. Beat the egg and brush the sides of the square with the egg (this helps to ‘glue’ the log together). Carefully roll the pastry lengthwise (otherwise it gets too thick) into the shape of a log. Using a fork, press the edges together to seal. Finally brush the log with the rest of your egg so it goes golden brown when cooked. (approx 30-40 mins)
    • For the samosa (or samoosa as we like to call it) – cut the pastry into approx 10cm squares (you should be able to get around 12+ squares out of a roll of pastry). Dollop (or pipe) some Nutella in the one corner. Top with sliced banana and top with another dollop of Nutella. Brush the sides of the square with the egg and fold the one corner of the pastry over the Nutella & banana to form a triangle. Using a fork, press edges together to seal. Finally brush the triangles with the rest of your egg so it goes golden brown when cooked. (approx 15 mins)
  5. To make the caramel, take the smallest pan you, have add the castor sugar and the water and heat to a boil. Just as it starts to change to a light golden colour take it off the heat and pour the caramel out on a baking tray lined with wax paper to cool. Don’t take your eye off the sugar as it starts to boil as it will burn very quickly and you’ll have to start over. The sugar is also extremely hot, so be careful not to touch it. Once cooled down, break into shards.
  6. To serve, cut your log into desired lengths and place on your plate. If you really want to show off you could use a small sieve and dust the tops with some icing sugar and then drizzle it with melted chocolate. Add a scoop or two of ice cream and place some caramel shards in the ice cream. Slice up some cape gooseberries (or strawberries) and perhaps top with a sprig of mint or some finely sliced basil.
  7. This dish goes well with a cup of espresso to finish

Edible gifts

I have been longing to bake for ages, especially since I got married, but haven’t really found the time for it. Well, I decided this holiday was going to be different. Since Nico & I aren’t going away it’s a perfect opportunity for us to embark on the great adventure of homemade edible gifts.

Firstly, what to make? Easy, plenty of magazines touting “edible gifts” articles at this time of year. Not so easy was the task of agreeing on what to make. Nico wanted to make easy stuff, I wanted to make exciting stuff I’ve never tried before. So we went shopping for the exotic ingredients required for my chosen recipes, spiced chocolate and almond macaroons, and macadamia and cranberry nougat. Suffice to say neither were close to easy, in spite of being labeled “a little effort”, and neither turned out the way they were expected to.

Then I decided to make fudge. We had been meaning to make some for quite a bit of time now, so it was high time… This really wasn’t my finest hour.

Find the recipes and lessons learnt here:

Kudos to anyone who attempts this every year – homemade gifts are hard work! Subsequent to my embarking on this journey I have discovered Beth’s variety of chocolate truffles… if only I had discovered this before! Although I am sure the heat wave we’ve been experiencing in sunny South Africa would’ve made truffles a nightmare for me… that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself ;)

Orange dreams

orange

Whilst trying to sleep off a bout of ill health this afternoon I dreamt up an interesting salad dressing, with the main ingredient being orange juice instead of lemon or vinegar. There are 2 options here:

  1. Orange juice, olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden, sugar (if necessary), salt and pepper to taste
  2. Orange juice, balsamic vinegar (or perhaps soy sauce), olive oil, fresh herbs, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

When it comes to salad dressings I tend to grab the first ingredients that pop into my head at the moment I am making them and gradually develop them to taste, so I can’t say that this will even work! I think I’m going to try one of the above on a roasted butternut salad to accompany the chicken espetada we’re planning on braaing. I will be returning with comments and photos…