Tag Archives: Caramel

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

Beta Test: Rolo Brownie Bites with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been a huge fan of The Cupcake Lady‘s cupcakes ever since I tried a couple at Gina‘s birthday party last year. They really are “heaven in paper cups”! Imagine my joy when I saw that there was an opportunity to be a beta tester for one of her new creations… Doubly so since Nico’s birthday was approaching and I had not yet thought of a birthday gift, nor had the time to bake anything for his office. Perfect.

The inspiration for this beta test was chocolate, how divine. It was not easy to choose just one item, but those were the rules so…

Here’s the list of chocolate temptations:

  • Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Butter Icing
  • Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge
  • Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
  • Perfect chocolate chip cookies
  • Rolo Brownie Bites with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

ALL of the goodies sounded delicious, but since Nico and I have been on a quest for the perfect chocolate brownie I knew I had to go with that one.

I received 18 brownie bites, and tasted about 3 or 4 of them for this review, the rest went to Nico’s office.

Ok, so on to the review of the brownie bites…

These brownies are delicious, and ultra sweet. They are very close to the “perfect” brownie Nico and I have been looking for with a fudgy consistency rather than a cakey one. The brownie is nicely chocolatey, a little crumbly, and contains nuts – walnuts and pecan I think. Add to that a gooey Rolo caramel center, yum. The cream cheese frosting adds a hint of sour to balance the sweet of the brownie, however I’m not sure it adds enough contrast to justify its presence. These bites could easily be served without it. Being bites they are quite tiny, I felt that I had hardly savoured the full flavour of the bite before it was gone. I would suggest making them slightly bigger, perhaps a mini-bar instead.

Similar feedback was received from Nico’s colleagues. The bites were described as “fantastic”, “a foodgasm”, “very rich rather than sweet”, and “it is absolutely awful that there are so few of them”. As for the size, the general consensus was that the brownie should be bigger – about three bites in the shape of a bar.

So there you have it! What a treat to be able to trial these delicious desserts. I really hope that I’ll get another chance to try some more of The Cupcake Lady’s creations in the future.