3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for the ramekin
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for the ramekin
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Confectioners’ sugar, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 425 degrees and butter a 10-ounce ramekin. Dust the buttered ramekin with granulated sugar.
Combine the chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter in a heat-safe bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, combine in a bowl and microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring in between, until melted and smooth, about 1 minute.) Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and salt. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick, foamy and pale, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour until smooth.
Using a spatula, add the chocolate to the egg mixture and stir gently until combined.
Pour the mixture into the ramekin. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are set and puffed, but the center is still soft when lightly pressed. (You can also cover and refrigerate the batter up to a day in advance. Add an additional minute or 2 to baking time if you are baking the cake directly from the refrigerator.)
Use an offset spatula or small knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the ramekin. Place a plate over the ramekin and carefully invert the warm cake. Use an oven mitt or clean kitchen towel to remove the ramekin, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool briefly, and serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.
In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together butter, egg, sugar, vanilla and milk. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Spoon dry ingredients into wet and mix until dry ingredients are moistened.
Spray a cheesecake pan (a round pan with removable sides – a 13×9″ cake pan will work as well) lightly with baking spray. Spoon batter into pan and cover the top of the cake evenly with raspberries.
Bake for 35-45 minutes (somewhat dependent on pan), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While cake is baking, whisk together the glaze ingredients.
When cake is removed from oven, gently brush the warm cake with glaze (I removed the sides of my cheesecake pan to brush the sides of the cake as well). Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve!
dmv note: I baked in 9″ cheese cake pan and it really never got done (oven problem as well) next time use 9 x 13 pan.
You can also bake this cake in an 8×8-inch square (I cut this into 16 small squares) or 9-inch round cake (8 to 12 wedges) single cake layer — do so for 25 to 27 minutes, until until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out batter-free. I suspect you’re about to ask me why there is molasses and some white sugar in this cake when molasses + white sugar = brown sugar, but I feel that the white sugar keeps the cake from being too gummy and the molasses adds a slightly intense balance that brown sugar does not.
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1/2 cup (95 grams) packed dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon molasses or treacle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (170 grams) mashed bananas (2 medium bananas, or about 12 ounces unpeeled)
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, well-shaken
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream, divided (half for sauce, half for whipping)
1/2 cup (95 grams) dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt plus more to finish
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make cake: Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 12 standard muffin cups in butter or with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, salt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses, and vanilla until combined. Add mashed banana and whisk again. Add eggs and whisk until incorporated, then buttermilk. Sprinkle baking soda and baking powder on batter and whisk until combined and then (don’t skip this), 10 to 20 more times, ensuring that it very well dispersed in the bowl. Add flour and mix only until it disappears. Divide batter between 12 cups.
Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out batter free.
While the cakes bake, make the toffee sauce: Combine butter, 1/2 cup of the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a larger saucepan than you think you’ll need over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer, whisking frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes — the mixture thickens slightly. Add a couple pinches of salt and vanilla.
… And whipped cream: In a medium-large clean bowl, beat remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream with an electric or you-powered whisk until it forms soft peaks. Don’t add sugar to this; I promise it does not need it.
To serve: Remove one warm cake from the muffin tin and either plate it dome side-up or you can cut the dome off the cake with a serrated knife and serve the cake upside-down, as shown. (You can use the cake tops to pacify hangry people in your kitchen.) Ladle the cake generously with the toffee sauce, finish with a big dollop of the cream and a few flakes of sea salt. Repeat with remaining cakes.
Do ahead: I find whipped cream keeps for many hours in the fridge without a problem, but if you’re worried, you can use this trick to keep it for several days. The sauce keeps for a week or two; it can be reheated in about 20 seconds in the microwave, just until it liquefies, or back on the stove in a small saucepan. The cake keeps for 3 to 4 days at room temperature in an airtight container before seeming stale to me. If you can gently rewarm it before serving, all the better.
Banoffee pie was created in 1970s at the Hungry Monk in East Sussex and instantly gained a following. What’s not to love? Shortcrust pastry, sliced bananas, dulce de leche and whipped cream make this dessert an irresistible crowd-pleaser. Shortcrust pastry, aside from taking the frustration out of rolling and fitting pastry into your tart or pie dish, is fun to grate, fun to press and results in an incredibly crispy, buttery crunch. It’s faster, easier and a lot less messy: You may never go back to rolling crusts.
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (95 grams) plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks/170 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg yolks
4 large bananas
One (14-ounce) can dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk with the labels removed (see NOTE)
2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy cream
Finely grated dark chocolate, for topping
Flaky sea salt, for topping (optional)
Place the flour into a food processor and pulse a few times to aerate. Add 3/4 cup (95 grams) confectioners’ sugar, the butter and salt and pulse until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the yolks and process until a crumbly dough forms. Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead just until smooth. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle.
Cut the chilled dough in half and grate the halves on the large holes of a box grater. Using your fingers, press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan to create an even layer. Don’t worry about making it perfect — it looks better a little scraggly and uneven. The bottom should be about 1/4 inch thick and the sides about 1/2 inch thick. (Work swiftly, as you don’t want the dough to warm up too much.) Poke the bottom of the crust all over with a fork and freeze for 15 minutes.
Place a large piece of foil on the chilled crust and weigh it down with pie weights (or pennies). Bake the tart shell for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rim is light golden brown. Remove the foil and baking weights or pennies, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until rich golden brown. If the bottom of the crust puffs up in the second part of baking, weigh it down with weights while it cools.
Peel 2 bananas and slice them into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. (Don’t slice on the bias, as it makes it difficult to layer.) Starting from the outside and working your way to the center, arrange half of the bananas in concentric, overlapping circles in the tart shell.
Transfer the dulce de leche to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 45 seconds to 1 minute. It should be just warm, not hot, and soft enough to be spreadable. Spread the dulce de leche on top of the bananas as evenly as you can. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Place a large bowl in the refrigerator to chill.
Peel and slice the remaining 2 bananas and layer them on top of the dulce de leche. Return the pie to the refrigerator.
Combine the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar in the bowl that has been chilled. Using a handheld mixer or a whisk, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator and spread the whipped cream on top so that it covers the bananas. Sprinkle the grated chocolate and flaky sea salt, if using, over the top and serve right away.
NOTE: If using condensed milk, place the can in a large pot and cover it generously with water — the water should cover the can by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 3 hours. Watch the water level carefully: Be sure the can is covered with at least 2 inches water the entire time (this is critical for safety). Add boiling water to the pot if the water level starts to get too low.
Remove the can from the pot and let cool completely; if not using the same day, refrigerate until ready to use.
Make ahead: The crust can be made, wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The pie, minus the whipped cream, can be made, covered and refrigerated up to 12 hours ahead.
Now, preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Then all you need to do is whip up the meringue first until it is stiff and pulling up in peaks, then beat in the caster sugar one spoonful at a time.
Now add the cornflour, stir in lemon zest made from the skin of the lemon, add two teaspoons of lemon juice, and gently fold everything in together.
Spoon the meringue onto a lined baking tray and push it into the shape of a circular cake. Make sure the top is completely smooth, which you can do with a knife. Once shaped, put the meringue in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 150C. Cook it for an hour.
After it has cooked, allow it to cool down. Once completely cold, put it onto a plate with the bottom of the pavlova now the top part.
Whip the double cream, until it is completely stiff. Spread the lemon curd all over the top of the meringue, being careful not to press down too hard or the meringue will crack. Add the whipped cream on top and, if you like, finish off with a sprinkle of lemon zest and the almond flakes. Serve.
Watch Nigella make her Lemon Pavlova in the video below. Honestly, it couldn’t be easier.
150 millilitres vegetable oil (plus more for greasing)
150 grams caster sugar
275 grams coconut milk
2 lemons (finely grated zest, plus 3 x 15ml tablespoons of juice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE COMPOTE:
150 grams blueberries
1 x 15ml tablespoon lemon juice
1 x 15ml tablespoon caster sugar
50 millilitres cold water plus 1½ teaspoons
1½ teaspoons cornflour
FOR THE TOPPING:
250 grams coconut-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ teaspoons icing sugar
You will need 1 x 20cm springform cake tin / 1 x 8inch spingform cake pan
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F. Grease the sides and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking parchment.
Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl large enough to take all the other ingredients later.
In a wide batter jug (or another bowl), whisk the oil, sugar and coconut milk together, followed by the lemon zest and juice and the vanilla extract.
Pour the jug of liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, whisking to combine, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes, by which time the top will be golden brown, the sides shrinking away from the tin and a cake tester should come out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave the cake to cool completely in its tin. It may sink slightly as it cools, but this need not concern you in the slightest. While you’re waiting, you can get on with making the blueberry compote.
Put the blueberries, lemon juice, caster sugar and the 50ml / 3 tablespoons of cold water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring gently every now and again, for a couple of minutes until the blueberries have softened in the now garnet-glossy liquid.
Take the pan off the heat and, in a small cup, slake the cornflour with the 1½ teaspoons of cold water and stir this paste into the pan of blueberries, making sure you scrape every last bit out. Stir together, put the pan back over the heat and stir gently for about 30 seconds, by which time the sauce will have started bubbling again and will have thickened. If you feel it has become too jammy and thick, simply add a little more water and stir it in over the heat. Pour the compote into a small heatproof bowl or jug to let it cool. It will set once cold.
Do not assemble the cake until just before serving. So: unclip the completely cold cake from its tin, unmould it and turn it over (so the underneath is now on top) onto a cake stand or plate.
Mix the coconut-milk yogurt and vanilla together, spoon the icing sugar into a tea-strainer, then sieve it over the yogurt and stir it in, too, before spreading and swirling this soft mixture over the top of the cake. Thrash the blueberry compote a little with a fork to loosen it, and gently spoon it on top, leaving a gleaming white frame. Serve immediately.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 1 1/2 teaspoons ground espresso (optional) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 tablespoon honey 4 ounces finely chopped chocolate (a mix of dark, milk, and white) 2 ounces finely chopped nuts (optional) Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, coffee, spices, and salt; set aside.
Working with a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), mix the pieces of cold butter and both sugars on low speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture forms clumps and then comes together. You’ll see pieces of butter here and there—you’re supposed to. Add the dry ingredients all at once and then pulse the mixer on and off, just until the risk of flying flour has passed. Mix on low-medium speed until you’ve got a bowl of crumbs, about 3 minutes. Lightly whisk the egg and honey together. With the mixer on low, add the egg mixture gradually and then continue to mix until the dough forms clumps. Squeeze a bit of the dough and it will hold together. Beat in the chocolate and nuts, if using.
Reach into the bowl and press the dough into a ball. Turn it out onto a sheet of parchment paper.
Press the dough down, cover it with another sheet of paper and roll it out until it’s about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick. It can be any shape—round, oval, rectangular, raggedy-edged or pristine. It will probably be about 12 x 15 inches (30 x 38cm), but the thickness is more important than the dimensions. Being neat doesn’t buy you anything with this cookie. Slide the sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour (or for up to 3 days). If you prefer, you can wrap the dough well and freeze it for up to 2 months; keep it at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking.
When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°F (180°F). Remove the top sheet of paper; leave the dough on the paper-lined baking sheet. If you’re using the sanding sugar, sprinkle the dough with about 2 tablespoons’ worth.
Bake the cookie for 20 to 24 minutes—the edges will be darker than the middle.
Press the center of the cookie and it should be firm with just a tiny bit of give; it will feel firmer as you work your way out. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookie to come to room temperature. If you’re not eating it immediately, you can wrap the cookie well and keep it at room temperature for about 4 days.
You can serve the cookie whole, letting everyone break off pieces (of course there will be crumbs—they’re part of the cookie’s charm), or you can break or cut it in the kitchen and serve the pieces as you would any cookie.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on high until homogenous, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and salt, mixing until just combined, about 30 seconds.
2. Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 350°F.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and dust with a sprinkling of flour. Roll it out to a 1/4-inch thickness with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes and carefully transfer to a lined or nonstick baking sheet. (Work quickly; the colder the dough, the easier it is to cut, transfer, and bake.)
5. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges. Cool completely on the baking sheet before glazing and decorating.
6. With a knife, palette knife, or piping bag fitted with a small round tip, outline or frost the top surface of each cookie. Decorate with sprinkles before the frosting hardens.
I love using this glaze on pound cakes, muffins, and layer cakes in addition to cookies. Plus, the recipe takes all of two seconds. Make it right before you need to use it; it’ll harden up if you make it in advance, though you can revive it with 5-second bursts in the microwave until it is zapped back to glaze state.
1. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly stream in the liquid of your choice until smooth.
2. Color the icing if desired. Frost away. Makes about 1 cup