Saturday, 24 November 2012

Evie's Pudding

Some weeks ago I was reading a restaurant review by Jay Rayner in the Observer. His description of menu disappointment struck a chord. 'After eating there I wanted to nick the menu and give it to someone with enough talent to realise its potential. It is one long masterclass in disappointment.' (The Observer. 4th November 2012)

Only days before I had ordered 'Butterscotch Banana Cake' for dessert in a restaurant. I anticipated light sponge moistened with a buttery caramel banana topping. I was served a huge slab of dry cake that vaguely tasted of banana with no hint of buttery caramel whatsoever. Bitter disappointment. 

I do not handle food disappointment well. It tends to turn into an obsession about the failed potential. It is a stubborn obsession that remains until I find those promised tastes and textures. Often, this means some experimentation in the kitchen: the silver lining of poorly executed menus is new recipes back home. 

Originally, in the restaurant, I had imagined an upside-down cake similar to the apple cake that I posted last month but with buttery caramel hugging the bananas and seeping into the cake. But in the meantime I have had a yearning for my mum's Eve's pudding. She would often make this for my brother, sister and I when we were children, sometimes with the traditional Eve's apple, often with tinned peaches and a sprinkling of almonds on top of the sponge. 
My daughter is affectionately known as 'Evie', and ever since she was a baby trying her first foods bananas have been one of her firm favourites. She's also becoming quite the baker herself; she makes a mean crumble topping and is becoming quite the expert at creaming butter and sugar, though her egg breaking needs a little work. So it seemed to make perfect sense that a butterscotch banana Eve's pudding be known, in our household at least, as 'Evie's Pudding'.

Evie's Pudding

For the butterscotch sauce

50g. butter
50g. light muscovado sugar
50g. golden syrup
a pinch of sea salt

For the sponge

75g. sugar
100g. self-raising flour
2 eggs

3-4 bananas, sliced.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a saucepan on a medium heat and add the butterscotch ingredients. Melt together and simmer gently for a few minutes until thickened slightly. If you wanted to turn this into butterscotch sauce for pouring over ice-cream you could stir in 75ml. of cream at this stage. Take the butterscotch off the heat.

Take out a couple of tablespoons of the butterscotch and reserve for later. Put the sliced bananas into the pan and stir gently before transferring them to an ovenproof dish scraping any of the butterscotch that sticks to the pan over the top of them.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating them into the mixture before folding in the flour.

Dollop the cake batter over the butterscotch bananas. Use a teaspoon to swirl the reserved butterscotch through the cake batter. 

Bake in the oven until the sponge is cooked through and golden. Serve warm with cream or ice-cream. The antithesis of a dry slab of cake. Enjoy, V xxx

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