An easy banoffee pie recipe...

When I went out for dinner a few weeks ago, we had the usual 'what dessert to have' debate. Part of me wants to experiment, but part of me knows that I love Crème brûlée and cheesecake. After much debate, we decided to share a banoffee pie... Not my favourite dessert in the world but ok, it'll do. Anyway, it was delicious and I've wanted to make one ever since. 
I made it with a Hobnob base rather than the usual digestive base, purely because I like Hobnobs more than digestive biscuits. I don't know whether they're called Hobnobs the world over, but they're just oaty biscuits for any international readers! 
Also – I didn't make my own caramel. If you want to, go ahead, but I wouldn't waste your time. 
It's pretty big and probably has around 8 good servings. I made it in a 24cm loose bottom cake tin. Find the recipe below, and enjoy!

You will need:
- 2 packets of Hobnobs (or any oaty biscuits, you can even use digestives if you're boring)
- 80g melted butter/margarine
- 397g tin caramel (I used Nestle Carnation)
- 3 large bananas
- 284ml pot of whipping cream
- 1tbsp icing sugar

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/fan 170c.

The best part of this recipe is bashing up the biscuits. Just put them in a food bag, squeeze out the air, tie a knot and smash them up with a rolling pin. You could also use a food processor if you have no stress to let out... 

Mix the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and press it into a greased loose bottom cake tin in an even layer. Build up the edges around 5cm high. Pop the base in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the base has set. You might have to remove it half way through and press the base down with a spoon as it rises up.

Leave the base to cool and then pour the caramel over the base. Cut your bananas into thin slices and layer them over the caramel. Put it in the fridge until the caramel is set. 

Whip up your cream with a tbsp of icing sugar and spoon it on top of the caramel and the bananas. Pop it back in the fridge until you're ready to serve it up.

If you like this recipe, then you'll probably also like my Lemon Crunch recipe that I posted ages ago!

Weekday dinners: pancetta & courgette linguine

There seems to be a bit of a theme running through the few posts I can get up on my blog lately, and that's quick and easy weekday dinners.
I made the pasta a few weeks ago and it's been sitting in the freezer just waiting for a meal like this! You can find my pasta recipe (I promise it's not as hard as you think!) in my butternut squash and gorgonzola ravioli post, and the recipe (serves 2) for this pasta below:

You will need:
- Fresh pasta
- 2 courgettes
- An onion
- 1 crushed garlic clove/a spoonful of lazy garlic
- Small pack of pancetta lardons 
- 50ml double cream

This is probably the easiest and tastiest recipe ever. 

First of all, place 2 whole courgettes in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.

Whilst you're waiting for them to cook, finely chop and onion and fry it in a liberal drizzle of olive oil.

Throw in the garlic and the lardons and cook until the onions are starting to brown. 

When you can put a knife into the courgettes easily, take them out of the water. When they're cool enough, cut them into cubes and throw them in to the frying pan. 

When it's all sizzling away, throw the pasta into a pan of boiling water (if it's fresh pasta it should only take a few minutes, if you're using other pasta then make allowance for the cooking time.)

Take the frying pan off the heat and stir in the cream and add salt and pepper. 

When your pasta is cooked, stir in the sauce and you're done! 

Easy butternut squash and gorgonzola ravioli recipe...

For the pasta dough: 
- 2 cups of 00 flour
- 4 eggs
- Tbsp olive oil
- Tbsp water

For the filling:
- Gorgonzola cheese
- Butternut squash
- Olive oil
- And a bit of chorizo if you like

There's a lot of rambling in this recipe, so I'll bold the important bits... 

There are two ways of making pasta- the Italian way and the no-faff way that I did it. If you want to do it properly, then you should probably go to Lauren's Latest (where I go the dough recipe from).
However, to do it my way, pop all the pasta dough in a mixer with a dough hook and leave it for around 10 minutes until it's all kneaded for you. Call me lazy, but I'm making Friday night dinner, not preparing a meal for the Queen. You could also do this in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and knead it, it's really up to you. I highly doubt it makes any difference to the finished product. 

Anyway, leave the dough to rest for around 20 minutes. In the mean time, cut the butternut squash into cubes, season it and put it in a microwaveable bowl. Cover the bowl in clingfilm and pierce a little hole in the top. Put it in the microwave for 10 minutes. 
(If you're one of those people who doesn't like to use microwaves for whatever reason, you can boil it. I am a microwave advocate, they're brilliant.) When it's done, take it out, add a bit of olive oil and mash it up.

Flour a work surface and and rolling pin and start to roll out the dough. You want to get it super thin, as thin as you possible can with a rolling pin. It helps to pick it up and stretch it out. The dough is quite sturdy so don't worry too much about it breaking. 

Cut the rolled out dough into strips, around 4 inches thick and as long as you can get it. 

Spoon the butternut squash mash and gorgonzola filling on to half the dough, then fold the dough lengthways and press around the filled pockets to remove any air bubbles. 

Cut the ravioli in to shape and press the edges with a fork to keep all the filling in. 

Pop into a pan of boiling salted water. It's done when it rises to the top. 


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