Saturday, 10 January 2015

Another Saturday bites the dust.  It was supposed to be my parents 60th wedding anniversary lunch but the hostess got diagnosed with chicken pox on Wednesday so that was the end of that.  No chicken pox here thanks because........

I'm going to be a nanny again. Congrats miss Tash and number five.  The chunky one won't know what hit her.

Today started off well with a bit of a sleep in, no grandkids today. I did a bit of shopping, had a leisurely lunch then figured I needed to start cooking for tea tonight It's a miserable day out side so I don't mind heating up the kitchen a bit.

First off, because I have some almost dead bananas, I'm  going to make muffins. But I want something different to just plain old banana muffins, so I'm going to add some caramel top and fill  and see how they turn out. I'm going to stick to a somewhat basic muffin recipe, all mixed in one bowl, not much mess.
So beat together flour, brown sugar, pinch salt, oil, milk,eggs then some mashed banana. Half fill patty pans, spoon in some caramel top and fill, add a bit more mix and cook for 20 mins. Cool completely.

 Miss Tash arrived just in time for a taste test so I dusted them with some icing sugar and topped them with some banana chips and cut one in half to try. Yum nice hidden surprise of gooey caramel. So banana, caramel surprise muffins it is.

I'd been thinking  about what else to have for dessert tonight and I wanted to do something cakey, but because I still had quite a few bananas floating (these ones weren't dead) and some strawberries, I thought I might play around with some ideas while I had a quick coffee.

I decided to cheat and use packet mixes because some chocolate cake recipes are quite dry but the Duncan Hines devils food cake  is a lovely moist cake and turns out the same every time. I'm going to make two because I want to do some layers and quite frankly if you're going to have cake, it might as well be big.

Any way, make the cakes according to the directions on the packet. If you have your own recipe that you like, make it, as long as at the end of the day you have two cakes.  Cool them completely and store till just about ready to serve.

So now it's 4.30 pm and I better move my butt because I have to make some scalloped potatoes and put some seasoned chicken pieces and some barbecue pork rashers on to cook.

So I chop up what feels like a million potatoes, layer them in a dish with bacon, garlic and cheese, pour over some cream, cover them up and bang them into the oven. In about an hour I'll uncover them and sprinkle them with cheese and cook them for another 1/2 hour.

Everything's in and cooking so I set the table and await the arrival of family.  6.15 pm arrives and I uncover the potatoes and they are still a bit hard. Damn,  they won't be ready when everything else is. So out of the oven they come. I tip them into a microwave bowl, cover them and zap them for 5 minutes.  Perfect. Back into the original dish, sprinkle with cheese and back into the oven to brown.

We eat and I hurry back into the kitchen because now I have to put the cakes together. My thoughts were....fresh strawberries, strawberry cream, fresh bananas, banana cream and chocolate ganache. I melted some chocolate with some cream and put that aside.  I then whipped some cream with nestles banana quik and more cream with strawberry essence and pink food colouring. Chop some bananas and strawberries and put it together. I cut both cakes in half, levelled the top of one and layered the cake with banana cream and sliced bananas, more cake, strawberry cream and sliced strawberries, more cake then finished it  with the chocolate ganache and more strawberry and banana slices I wasted one piece of cake because I didn't want any more layers.

Just in case it doesn't turn out I decorated a store bought pav with cream and crushed peppermint crisp. Number five son will be happy. He loves pav and loathes strawberries.

I cut into the cake and it looks good. I have a sneaky taste.  MMM tastes good too.

I'm happy to serve it.. So we eat cake,  its that big we may be eating it for a week. Number five eats half a pav, we have a cuppa and everyone goes home.

So here I sit, it's 12 .16 am and I'm feeling a bit weary. So I think it might be bedtime.   Next Saturday will be here before I know it so until then............

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