Banana and Custard Filled Pancakes

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Last week I had one of those nights where you ping-pong back and forth between the sofa and the kitchen cupboard.  You know, when you’re craving a lil’ something-something to scoff but have absolutely no idea what it is you fancy.  Sunny and I were in the middle of a Ray Donovan marathon, and as well as rattling through a whole season in the space of a week, we’d also rattled through all the chocolate and sweet stuff in the kitchen cupboard too.  And then I found the solution.  We had a long-life carton of custard and a couple of bananas in the fruit bowl.  Winner.  “D’you fancy bananas and custard?” I called out from the kitchen.  “What!  YESSSSSSSS,” he roared back.

And so we scoffed a bowl each of bananas and custard whilst Ray Donovan buried another body.  It was heaven, I tell you.  HEAVEN.

It’s one of those stupidly simple yet completely satisfying desserts, innit?  Easy.  Awesome.  And then I had the crazy idea of adding pancakes into the mix.  Pancakes filled with custard, and topped with bananas.  If you’ve never filled pancakes before it’s really easy, and once you’ve nailed it, there’s any number of ways you could go.  Just make sure you go for fluffy, American style pancakes because it won’t work with crepes. 🙂

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Bananas and Custard Filled Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 50ml milk
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 100ml fresh custard
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • sliced fresh bananas
  • a little butter for greasing the frying pan
  1. To make the filling, mix the vanilla essence into the custard.  Tear off a sheet of baking paper and place on a tray or plate.  Spoon small rounds of the custard onto the sheet, then pop the whole thing into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk together your pancake batter, then leave it to sit for five minutes.  Next, heat up your frying pan on a medium high heat, then grease with a little butter.
  3. Bring the slightly frozen custard out of the freezer and keep it nearby.  Carefully ladle some batter onto your frying pan, then place one of the custard rounds in the middle as it begins to cook.  Cover it with a little bit of fresh batter, then flip the pancake over.  Each side of the pancake will cook, leaving the custard nice and gooey in the middle. 🙂
  4. Serve up with fresh bananas, walnuts and maple syrup.  Yum!

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I had to work so quickly taking these pictures; Bungle loves bananas and wouldn’t leave me alone.  Just check out that drool!  Happy Pancake Day (for tomorrow) everyone! 🙂

5 Lazy Breakfasts to Try This Weekend

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Lazy weekend breakfasts and brunches are THE BEST.  I think they’re probably my favourite meal of the week and there’s a good chance that my death row meal of choice would be a big-ass brunch with all the bacon.  There’s something extra special about getting up after a long lie in, whacking on the kettle and then whipping something you wouldn’t normally have time to scoff on a weekday morning.  I know for a fact that I’ve got some leftover buttermilk in my fridge that’s destined to become a big stack of pancakes tomorrow morning and I CANNOT WAIT.  But if you’re in the mood to try something a little different this weekend, here are five lazy brunch recipes fresh from the archives. 🙂

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1. Frosties Battered French Toast

I love French Toast.  If you’ve got some stale bread (brioche, even better), milk and a couple of eggs then you’re golden.  But, let’s take it up a notch – and this is genius – once you’ve dunked your french toast into the milk and egg mix, try adding a crunchy coating by dunking it into a bowl full of crushed cereal before you fry it!  And, bada-bing bada-boom, you’ve got yourself some Battered French Toast.  I like to use Frosties, but you could literally use any cereal you fancy.  The possibilities are endless.

2. Halloumi Hash

This is one of my favourites things to have for Brinner (…breakfast for dinner – am I the only one who calls it that?) and I probably cook it at least once every couple of weeks.  Obviously the halloumi, potatoes and fried egg are non-negotiable, but as for everything else?  Add whatever you fancy or whatever you’ve got hanging about in the back of the fridge.  Cherries tomatoes on the turn?  Throw them in.  Half a red pepper?  Be rude not to.  Leftover salad?  Go for it.

3. Dutch Baby

Oh baby.  If you’ve ever wondered what might happen if you baked pancake batter instead of frying it, then wonder no more.  The result is basically one big, sweet yorkshire pudding.  The edges rise and crisp up to create a kind of bowl shape that you can fill with whatever you like.

4. Hair of the Dog Shakshuka

I call this Hair of the Dog Shakshuka due to the generous glug of vodka stirred into the herby tomato passata that makes up the foundation of this cosy breakfast.  There are literally hundreds of ways to make shakshuka, but all of them end with a very runny, very dunk-able egg (or eggs!) swimming in the middle.  It’s an easy one pot breakfast to share.  Yum!

5. Parfait Pots

If you’re not a fan of heavy brunches or putting in some time in the kitchen on the weekend, then this one’s for you.  Yoghurt Parfait Pots are basically sweet yoghurt pots topped with fruit and granola.  You can whip them up the night before and then just add the toppings before you’re ready to eat them.  The perfect breakfast to take back to bed with a massive mug and a magazine. 🙂

What’s your favorite weekend brunch? 🍳

French Toast Four Ways

I’m a sucker for a bit of French Toast on a Saturday Morning.  Simple and satisfying, it’s something I tend to whip up when I fancy eating something a bit special on the weekend, but can’t be bothered to put in the arm work.  I like to use brioche bread when I make mine, whisk some cinnamon into the mix and egg mix before I dunk, and then sprinkle with plenty of powdered sugar.  Buuuuuut, the classic cinnamon and powdered sugar combo can get a boring after a while.  So, if you fancy trying something a bit different, here are four ways to mix things up and make your French Toast a lil’ bit extra.

1. Go Savoury

French Toast doesn’t HAVE to be a sweet thang.  Instead of the cinnamon and powdered sugar, mix it up with some paprika, chopped chives and hot sauce instead.  There are plenty of toppings you could try with this one; add some bacon, mushrooms, cheese, roasted tomatos… the possibilities are endless.

2. Stuff it/Sandwich it

Instead of just dunking one slice of bread or brioche, why not dunk two at a time with something tasty sandwiched between?  Again, the possibilities are endless with this one; I like making a bit of Bakewell Tart flavoured one by sandwiching jam and almond butter together and topping it off with some flaked almonds and dried cherries.  You could sandwich them with peanut butter, nutella, or you could even go savoury with cheese.  Yum!

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3. Batter it

This is genius.  Once you’ve dunked your french toast into the milk and egg mix, add a crunchy coating by dunking it in a bowl full of crushed cereal.  The result is essentially battered French Toast – how awesome is that? I like to use Frosties, but you could literally use any cereal you fancy.  Coco Pops?  Go for it.  Cheerios?  Why the hell not?!

4. Top it

Another really easy way to play around with your French Toast is to top it off with something special.  You could use strawberries, or smashed avocado on savoury ones, but personally I love me some grilled peaches, praline and a hefty blob of whipped cream.

What’s your favourite French Toast recipe?  Let me know in the comments!  Have a fab weekend you guys! 🙂

“I haven’t got time for breakfast” Breakfast Burritos

Hey there Monday, here we go again!  So come on then, hands up; who hit the snooze button a few too many times this morning?  Did you have that sudden panic roll out of bed when you realised how late it was?  Did you fog your hair with dry shampoo because you didn’t have time for a shower?  Did you leave a cold cup of tea on the kitchen counter and decide to skip breakfast?

We’ve all had one of those mornings.  So, here’s something to keep in the bottom drawer of your freezer for next time!  I love making these Breakfast Burritos when I’ve got a bit of time on the weekend.  You can put whatever you like inside them, then just wrap them in foil and freeze them for the next time you need breakfast on the go!  Just take off the wrapping and whack them in the microwave for five minutes with a cup of water (nifty trick to keep the tortilla nice and soft 😉 ).  Boom.

Veggie Breakfast Burritos (with Halloumi)

Ingredients

  • 6 Large Tortilla Wraps
  • 1 Large diced Baking Potato
  • 1 Diced Red Romano Pepper
  • 150g Mexican Beans Mix
  • 1 Tin of Chopped Tomatos
  • 1 Block of Halloumi, diced
  • 50g Chopped Coriander
  • 50g Smoked Paprika
  • 4 Eggs
  • 100ml Milk
  • Your favourite grated cheese
  • Butter to grease
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Boil up the potatoes in salted water until they’re just on the cusp of softening (about 15 minutes), then drain.
  2. Add the potatoes, pepper, tomatoes, beans and halloumi into a large saucepan.  Fry on a medium heat with paprika and a little butter for about half an hour until all the flavours have combined, then stir in the chopped coriander and remove from the heat.
  3. In a separate pan, whisk together the milk and eggs with a little butter, then scramble!  Stir into the cooked burrito mix, along with the grated cheese and then share equally between your six tortillas.
  4. I like to wrap them in foil and then freeze or refrigerate them until I’m ready to eat them.  You can heat them up in the oven in around 30 minutes if you’ve got time, or remove the foil and blitz in the microwave.

Can you believe it’s June already?  Yikes!  Have a great week, whatever you’re up to! 🙂

Hair of the Dog Shashuka with Vodka and Lime

The first time I made Shashuka I used the wrong pan.  I used a casserole dish that I assumed was okay to use on the hob as well as in the oven.  Oh how wrong I was.  I was vaguely aware of a popping sound as I started heating the oil and garlic but didn’t think anything of it and continued to cook until everything was perfect and ready to be served up for brunch (and for maybe a photograph or two 😉 ).  Sunny came strolling in to the kitchen just as I was about to lift the pot off the hob and carry it over to the table and, as I did, the whole top half of the pan came off in one clean crack and the shashuka slopped out the side and all over the hob.

I was left holding the top half of the dish in total shock, staring at all my hard work dribble down the side of the counter while Sunny exploded with laughter beside me.  Oops!  🙂

This recipe kind of reminds me of the “Wake Up Juice” that Marty McFly feeds to Doc Brown in Back to the Future Part III when he’s passed out in 1885 (one of my favourite movies of all time!).  It’s got a punch that’ll put you back on your feet after a heavy night out!  The egg and crumbly feta are just the kind of comfort food you need when you’re hungover, while the vodka, lime and chilli flakes give it a bit of a zing.

Summer Shashuka with Vodka and Lime

Ingredients

  • 1 400g can of tomato passata
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 100g diced and crumbled feta
  • 50 ml vodka
  • Juice of half a lime (use the other half to garnish)
  • As many eggs as you fancy 😉
  • 25g chilli flakes
  • Chopped chives to garnish
  • A handful of spinach to garnish
  • Pomegranate seeds to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Crusty bread to dunk 
  1. Firstly, make sure you’ve got a hob proof pan (*eye roll*) and then heat up a little olive oil.  Lightly cook the garlic until slightly brown, add the bell pepper, then pour in the vodka and lime juice.  Add the tomato passata and chilli flakes and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  2. Drop in the diced feta, and then crack in your eggs.  Cook for 5 minutes until the eggs are cooked on the outside but soft in the middle.
  3. Add your garnish; crumble the rest of the feta over the top, drop in the spinach and chopped chives, and sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the top.
  4. Serve with crusty bread. 🙂
Here’s the failed attempt.  (Excuse the bit of Bungle fur stuck to the side – my food isn’t riddled with his fur, promise!)

In case you’re wondering, we had to throw the pot; there was just no saving it. Sunny found it absolutely hilarious – especially as I’d spent such a long time cooking it and then styling it for a photograph if it turned out well. We salvaged what we could of the Shashuka and sat down to eat it and had a good laugh.  “Hey, look on the bright side,” Sunny said.  “At least we don’t have to wash up that pot now.”  Ha.

Have a great week everyone! 🙂