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! 🙂

“Extra” French Toast

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What do you eat for breakfast on Christmas Day?  Well, for starters, is there even time?  I mean, do you shove down a couple of slices of toast and a cuppa before the kids come stampeding into the bedroom with their stockings?  Do you just skip it and starve yourself knowing that you’ll be cradling a turkey-sized food baby in a few hours time?  Or, do you put away the Terry’s Chocolate Orange from the bottom of your stocking whilst parked in front of The Life of Brian(Knowing that I have no children, which one of these scenarios is moi, d’you think?  I’m a very naughty boy girl!)

Well, I’ve got the answer; how about whipping up a batch of “Extra” French Toast the night before?  Pop it in the fridge on Christmas Eve and then bake it on Christmas morning while you’re busy unwrapping those presents.  Is it “Extra” because it’s made of croissants – and so, extra-French?  Is it “Extra” because it’s got a shot of cream liqueur in it?  Or, is it “Extra” because it’s definitely a breakfast for this side of Christmas (my husband might or might not have called it a heart attack on a plate when I put it in front of him over the weekend…)?  Whatever the reason, it makes a perfect (and easy) treat for Christmas Day. 🙂

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Extra French Toast (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 croissants
  • 1 slice of bread cut into stars (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 50 ml of cream liqueur (I love Penderyn Distillery’s Merlyn ♡)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g fresh raspberries
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • a dusting of icing sugar
  • 25g gold crunch (optional)
  1. Roughly chop up your croissants (and bread) and arrange them in an oven proof dish with the raspberries and chocolate chips.
  2. In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and cream liqueur and then pour over the croissants.  Cover with foil. (If you’re making it the night before, you can whack it in the fridge overnight at this stage).
  3. Set the oven to 180 and bake for 20 minutes with the foil, and 10 minutes without.
  4. Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle over the gold crunch.

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What do you like to eat for breakfast on Christmas Day? 🙂

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? 🍳

Cherry and Almond Parfait Pots

I fell head over heels for yoghurt parfait pots on my trip to Canada.  We stayed in a tiny log cabin in the middle of the woods run by a lovely English lady and her gorgeous black lab, and the homemade breakfasts they served up were seriously incredible.  As well as vanilla pancakes, maple bacon and breakfast quiche, they also served up yoghurt parfait pots – which are simple and healthy, but practically like having dessert for breakfast.

So, when I got back to Cardiff I had to whip up my own little parfait kit so I could scoff them at home.  A little prep involved, but once you’ve made up the “kit” these sweet pots with cherry jam and almond granola make a speedy and satisfying breakfast in the week when you’re in a rush. 🙂


Cherry and Almond Parfait

Ingredients

For the Almond Granola:

  • 200g porridge oats
  • 100g shaved almonds
  • 100g dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150ml maple syrup
  • 100ml coconut oil

For the Cherry Jam:

  • 100g of fresh pitted cherries
  • 100g jam sugar
  • 100ml lemon juice

To Serve:

  • Natural Yoghurt
  • Fresh Cherries
  • A glass jar
  1. To make the granola, mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl and then spread evenly on a lined baking tray.  Bake the granola in the oven at 160 for about 45 minutes – making sure you pop in and rearrange it so that the mix bakes evenly.
  2. Once it’s cooked, leave it out to cool and dry out to ensure a good crunch, then transfer into an air tight container.
  3. To make the jam, blitz your pitted cherries (for a smoother jam) and then pour them into a saucepan with the jam sugar and lemon juice.  Turn up the heat, allowing the sugar to dissolve and then allow it to hit a roaring boil for around 10 minutes.  You can check whether the jam has set by putting a plate in the freezer and then using it to test a blob.  If it runs when it hits the plate then it’s not ready, if it sticks, then it’s done!  Transfer into a sterilized jar, allowing the jam to cool before you seal it up.
  4. How you make up your parfait pots is entirely up to you – I like to mix a little of the cherry jam into some natural yoghurt and then layer it with some more, plain natural yoghurt.  I top that off with another generous blob of jam and plenty of granola and then garnish with some fresh cherries. 🙂

You can catch a video of me whipping up this parfait pots over on Instagram TV.  If you’re not following, you can find me right here; just click the IGTV link in my profile to see this recipe and more.  Cheers to the weekend! 🙂

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! 🙂