Caramelised doughnut peach

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I was craving something sweet after lunch today, but didn’t want to fall off the wagon too catastrophically. So, what do you do when a piece of fruit won’t cut it? Caramelise it and serve over Greek yoghurt. This is so simple it doesn’t warrant the title of recipe; merely a method for serving fruit is more fitting.

Simply slice a doughnut peach (or pretty much any fruit you fancy), add to a dry, non stick, searing hot frying pan for a few minutes tossing frequently, until the natural sugars start to caramelise and the fruit takes on some colour. Now, for the super health conscious you could serve it as it is over yoghurt and it would be fine, however, adding a little knob of butter to the hot pan means the residual natural fruit sugars are picked up and you’ll be left with a tiny amount of delicious buttery caramel to elevate your pudding to a new high. Spoon over some yoghurt, drizzle over the caramel and sprinkle with fresh mint. Yum!

Fuss free Banoffee Pie

This is probably the easiest, quickest but most liked dessert recipe in my repertoire. If you don’t try it, you’re definitely missing out!

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300g ginger nuts, a large knob of salted  butter, a can of condensed caramel, 3 or 4 bananas, a splash of lemon juice and chocolate curls/smashed up Scottish Tablet to decorate, and you’ve got a very indulgent and very tasty dessert.

Blitz the biscuits in a processor and slowly drizzle in the melted butter.  I didn’t actually weigh mine,  but you want it the consistency of wet sand.  It needs to be able to stick together and contain all that sticky caramel. Press it into a springform tin and push it up about an inch and a half up the sides.

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Cover the base with a layer or sliced bananas and drizzle over a little lemon juice to offset the sweetness slightly.

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Empty the caramel into a bowl and beat with a spoon to loosen it to a pourable (I’m not sure that’s even a word!) consistency. Drizzle over the bananas.

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Lightly whip the cream, spread it over the caramel and sprinkle with crushed Scottish Tablet and dark chocolate curls. To make chocolate curls lay a slab of chocolate on a worktop, smooth side facing up, and drag a large sharp knife firmly down it holding the tip of the blade as well as the handle.

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Leave to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before carefully removing the tin to reveal your masterpiece. Enjoy as is… This certainly doesn’t need any accompaniments.
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Decadent chocolate caramel brownies

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This week I had half a can of delicious condensed caramel sitting in the fridge after making mini banoffee pies last weekend. I wanted some inspiration for using up the remaining and came across this delicious recipe from Carnation. It was a huge hit with our Life Group on Wednesday night, so much so I decided to make a double batch for Church and our monthly Contact the Elderly tea party tomorrow. I doubt we’ll have leftovers. They are truly divine and super easy to make.  If you’re doubling the batch you’ll need a bigger pan and of course you’ll need to lengthen the cooking time. Mine took about 55 minutes at 180oC.

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Caramel Apple Cake

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Today, some friends and I went to a food festival at the beautiful Stonyhurst College. We decided (largely due to the lure of free entry) to each enter a cake into the ‘Great British Cake Off’ competition. I found the recipe for my entry, Apple Caramel Layer Cake in ‘Delicious’ magazine, and delicious it was (although, evidently not as delicious as some of the other entries as sadly I didn’t win!).

I’ve made the recipe a couple of times, but changed it slightly for this competition in that I only included two layers to make it easier to transport and slice. I also put apple puree and extra caramel between the layers as well as the Greek yoghurt and caramelised apple slices to give it a bit of extra bite. Caramelised apple slices and spun sugar finished it off nicely.

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I’d encourage you to give this one a try. It really is beautiful and a lovely way to use up all those seasonal cooking apples! Enjoy.