It's nearly 3am, I should be asleep. However, events and temperature have conspired to keep me awake.
Eating a slice of chilled, caramel-chocolate shortbread in front of my fridge while guzzling glasses of iced-water is the only thing that's helped cool me. Doing so got me thinking about my Summer in DC - or more specifically, the sweet treats I made when the mercury rose.
So I've decided to share some of my favourite warm weather treats with you, my beloved readers. .
Frozen Banana Cream Pie
(For a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin)
Crust: 250g crushed dark chocolate digestive biscuits, 100g melted butter
Filling: 1 can of condensed milk, 500ml of double cream, four chopped bananas
Topping: 200g milk chocolate (Aldi's own brand is best for this)
Mix crushed digestives and melted butter together. Press into the bottom of the cake tin using the back of a spoon to flatten. Set to one side.
Mix the condensed milk and double cream toegether (by hand) in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes. Add in sliced bananas and stir. Pour mixture on top of biscuit base and freeze for six hours (approx).
Remove pie from freezer one hour before consumption. When you're ready to serve, melt chocolate in bain-marie then pour on top of the filling.
A Cherry Nut Dream
(Using an 8 inch x 8 inch dish, makes about nine squares)
Crust: 1 cup of plain flour, half a cup of toasted pecans, half a cup of melted butter
Filling: 8oz of cream cheese, 1 cup of icing sugar, 1 cup of double cream, 2 cups of cherries
Topping: (optional): half a cup of toasted pecans
Combine flour, pecans and butter and press firmly into baking dish. Bake for fifteen minutes at 190 degrees. Leave on wire rack to cool.
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese on a low speed for two minutes (or until smooth if doing so by hand). Add the sugar and beat well. In a separate bowl, beat the double cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the cream cheese/sugar mixture.
Spread the filling onto the crust. Dot the cherries on top of the filling. Cover everything with clingfilm and chill for two hours. Cut into squares and sprinkle pecan halves on top to serve.
(For a 1.5lb bread loaf tin)
Note: This came about as a result of a craving for chocolate biscuit cake without the traditional ingredients being at hand. It's since become a regular favorite of my family and friends and is beyond easy to make.
Ingredients: 6 chocolate bourbon biscuits, 6 chocolate oreos, 6 chocolate covered digestives, half a pack of plain digestives, 400g of milk chocolate, 200ml of single cream.
Break up all the biscuits in a bowl. Deliberately ensure that the sizes are all different - crumble some, leave others chunky, etc.
Melt chocolate in bain-marie. Pour your cream into a bowl and allow the melted chocolate to cool before pouring onto the cream. Mix the thoroughly.
Place broken biscuits into loaf tin. Pour over the chocolate cream mixture. Chill in fridge for 4 hours before cutting into slices/squares.
... And Some Extras
All of these go amazingly with ice-cream/cake/straight from the tub with a spoon....
Caramel Sauce: 1 tin of evaporated milk, 80g of dark brown sugar, 30g of butter ---> In a medium pot, combine ingredients and place over medium heat. Stirring constantly, allow mixture to heat and bubble. Continue stirring throughout (about 20-25 minutes) until the mixture darkens and thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving.
Marshmallow Drizzle: 4 cups of miniature marshmallows, one third cup of double cream ---> Heat in bain-marie for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Lemon Curd Filling: 12 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of grated lemon zest, half a teaspoon of lemon extract, 1 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 and a half cups of caster sugar, 1 cup of cubed butter ----> In a medium pot, whisk first five ingredients together until combined. Place over a medium heat and stir constantly. Remove from the heat and add the cubes of butter, one piece at a time, stirring to incorporate. Refrigerate overnight until firm.