Thursday 25 July 2013


Our house is a mere 15-20 minutes drive from Ikea. We go there quite often, just to have coffee, a meal or just to meander around crockery, candles and flat pack furniture. The last stop is always the food shop where I get my stash of gravy mix, lingonberry jam, crab paste and the occasional pack of frozen meatballs. Yummy stuff those. I have heard that people smuggle them on the plane to bring to Ikea-less countries.

Tuesday 9 July 2013


Bananas have been branded as boring by some. The lack of fruit choices, except for bananas, have been bemoaned too many times.

In fairness to bananas, I'd like to dispute the fact that they are boring. They are the perfect comfort fruit. Its custardy taste, creamy texture and non-acidic flavour is the perfect baby food, grown up snack or faddy eater bribe.

Bananas are a good standby fruit. They are friends with ice cream and peanut butter. If they go past their prime, then they can be made into pancakes or loafs. If by chance you find someone still unconvinced, surround it in rich custard and put it in a pie shell. Whip some cream and dollop on top to seal the deal. 

I am a bit OCD about bananas. I like them at a perfect stage of ripeness. I have to catch them at their peak, just as they emerge from being under ripe and before they go too soft and too sweet. This is when they are perfect for pie.

I like the traditional banana cream pie but I was thinking of a custard enriched with more egg yolks and condensed milk. I love using condensed milk because it gives a gooey texture and caramel like flavour to desserts. This dessert sets just so that when sliced it remains gooey.

Ingredients for the biscuit base:

1 1/2 c. of digestive biscuit (about 13 biscuits) or graham cracker crumbs 
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted


Tip: It is easier to take a cheesecake out of the pan if you put the base the wrong side up.

Line the bottom and sides of a spring form pan. Secure the paper to the pan with clips so that it doesn't move while filling.

The easiest way to make the crumbs is in a food processor. Add in the melted butter and sugar and give it a whizz to combine. 

Put the crumbs in the lined pan. Using the flat bottom of a measuring cup press the mixture firmly and evenly into the base.

Ingredients for the filling:

1/3 c. of plain flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tin of condensed milk
1 tin of evaporated milk
6 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsps. butter
4 ripe bananas, sliced into 1" thick chunks
1/3 c. whipping cream, whipped


Put the flour and salt together in a heavy pan. 

Mix the condensed and evaporated milk in a bowl together with the egg yolks.

Add this mixture a little bit at a time to the flour while whisking until a smooth lump free mixture is achieved.

Put the pan on low heat and cook the mixture while stirring. Cook until very thick and leaves a lasting trail when drizzled on itself. Add the butter and vanilla and blend in.

Transfer to a dish and cover with a piece of baking paper. Leave to cool until just warm.

Spoon about 1/3 of the filling into the prepare crust. Arrange half of the bananas on top of the custard. 

Repeat the layers ending with the custard. Swirl the top. Chill in the fridge. 

Top with the whipped cream just before serving.

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Wednesday 3 July 2013


Colonel Sanders must be the most popular American, next to Uncle Sam. His name is a byword worldwide. His face is in every street corner. Millions of people are addicted to his world renowned fried chicken.