I’m back again with another Bramley apple recipe; an apple cake this time. I’ve taken the hearty, homely great British apple crumble and custard pudding and given it a makeover. A new way to serve it for the summer months, if you will. This Bramley apple cake is topped with a creamy custard buttercream and crowned with crunchy almond crumble that’s devilishly moreish. This apple cake is damp, soft and lightly warming from the Bramley apple and cinnamon combination. READ MORE
Happy Boxing Day! I am on The Saturday Show on Channel 5 today at 9am making this recipe along with a few others to help with leftovers. This is a light, crunchy morsel to serve with coffee at the end of a meal. Add whatever extra nuts you have to hand and be sure to serve with the brandy and clementine dipping cream. It helpfully uses up leftover Christmas pud and custard! READ MORE
The sheer alchemy of applying heat to ingredients never ceases to amaze me. Take apples for example. Raw apples are tart and bright and crisp and loud. Cooked apples are soft and slow and quiet. You could secretly eat cooked apples without anyone knowing. Raw apples are too shouty for that. READ MORE
I know, I know. Everyone else has done a red, white and blue recipe post. They’re everywhere. You can’t breathe for blueberry trifles, red velvet cakes and whipped cream. I have under promised and not delivered at all to the Jubilee theme. It’s not that I am opposed to such a celebration. It’s just that I’ve been busy moving house and going on holiday and being a bit over excited about the sun. All my money has gone on outdoor toys like this parachute (which I have to say provides hours of fun for everyone from 0 to ooh, about 105) rather than red, white and blue sprinkles.
Instead I have for you… banana and custard cupcakes. They’re thoroughly British in a memory-of-childhood-puddings kind of a way. Not blue or white or red though. You could introduce food colouring if you’re a staunch royalist.
- 150g caster sugar
- 130g Stork margarine or butter if you prefer
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 160g mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium sized ones)
- 185g cold packet custard
– here I mean cold custard that’s been made from custard powder or ready bought – just not the fresh homemade stuff
- 125g self raising flour
- 100g wholewheat plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C and check the rack is in the middle of the oven. Line a 12 case cupcake tray with pretty cases of your choice. Then cream the sugar and margarine/butter together in a bowl until creamy and light looking. This took about 3 minutes with my super dooper Kenwood handheld mixer. Then add one egg and whizz up again. Then another and whizz again. Worry not if the mixture curdles as you’ll be adding flour in a moment anyway which will sort any curdling issues out.
Mix the mashed banana and custard together with a fork until you have a lumpy bananay-custardy mixture. Pop this on top of the marg-sugar-egg mixture. Then add on top the flours and bicarb. Then fold the lot together with a metal spoon. You can be reasonably heavy handed. You want the whole cake batter to be without traces of flour etc. So mix it properly. Then fill the cases almost to the top and bake for about 20 – 25 mins until the cakes look brown and smell wonderful and a skewer/toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the middle cake.
Cool out of the tin but still in the cases, on a wire rack. Very good on the lawn with glasses of cold milk and a brother to fight with.
P.S. Chocolate chips would be good in these, or sultanas maybe. What do you think?
Have you ever been disappointed? There’s a list that swims around in my head of things that just should have been better. Here’s a few:
- A la carte kitchens. Or rather the ad for this children’s toy manna from the ’80s. I was fully prepared to use a naked flame and serve warm beans on toast to my parents in bed. What did I get? Plastic beans. Plastic toast. No flame.
- Leaving school. I couldn’t wait to get away from the blue kilt, strict teachers and PE knickers. Suddenly without anything to rebel against rebellion was futile. And rebellion is of course nothing but fun.
- Labour and my rubbish pain threshold. Pre labour: “I want to feel the pain and give birth naturally.” Post birth: speechless. And that was with an epidural.
- McDonalds milkshake. I nagged and nagged. I was 8. They gave in. Imagine my shock and horror when I needed a spoon to eat a banana milkshake. It wasn’t meant to be that way. Not in my head.
So I’m over some of these things. Okay, I’m only over the last one. And that’s ’cause I’ve found a way to encapsulate my idea of the perfect banana milkshake flavour in biscuit form. Yum. Makes 12 ish.
For the biscuits:
- 117g unsalted butter, very soft
- 27g icing sugar
- 100g plain flour
- 17g custard powder
For the filling:
- 100g icing sugar
- 50g butter
- 15g custard powder
- 15g banana Nesquick powder
The butter has has has to be very soft. I leave mine out overnight. If you don’t, you can’t pipe these little beauties.
Preheat the oven to Gas 4. Use an electric hand mixer to cream the butter until it turns lighter in colour, then add the icing sugar and beat again. Then add the flour and custard powder and carefully combine with the mixer. Might be worth mixing with a wooden spoon first to make sure you don’t splay flour and custard powder everywhere.
Next take a large star tip and a piping bag and pop the biscuit gloop into it. Then pipe stars straight onto a baking tray (The high butter content means you don’t need to line unless you enjoy lining trays that is) about 1 inch across and about 1.5 inches apart. You need to pipe 24 to make 12 biscuits but just pipe as many as you can. If you don’t have a piping bag then just use teaspoons to pop blobs of the mixture onto the tray. They won’t look as pretty but frankly this is about recreating banana milkshake/custard flavours, not a beauty contest.
Put into the oven on the middle/top shelf and watch like a hawk. These turn from uncooked to dark brown in the blink of an eye. Usually 10 mins from start to finish to cook but watch towards the end. Once cooked remove from the oven and place tray on a rack. Don’t poke, lift or prod the biscuits until they are completely cool. They are fragile little things.
Make the filling – just cream all the ingredients together. Once the biscuits are dry, pair them into equal sizes and then either pipe the filling onto one half of each biscuit or spoon on. Then gently press the biscuits together and leave to set. Eat with milk like it’s 1988.
(Oh and if you fancy a strawberry milkshake flavour then strawberry Nesquick does a wonderful job…)