Banana Pancakes

I can’t believe it’s 3 months since I last took part in the Secret Recipe Club.  I may have missed one of my favourite activities, but the good thing is, I have a lovely house to live in now with a big kitchen, which has definitely become my favourite room in the house.   I just wish I had more time for cooking in it.

Well, this month I was paired with Judee from Gluten Free A-Z Blog.  I don’t have much experience of gluten-free cooking but I soon decided to make her delicious-looking banana pancakes.   I’ve never made pancakes without milk and flour before and I was intrigued to see what they would be like, made with just 2 ingredients, as well as being completely drawn in by the picture.  They were served with raspberries and blueberries and looked so healthy as well as delicious and I also felt they would be perfect for my picky little daughter to eat.  Unfortunately she decided they were better to play with than eat!

The pancakes were very quick to put together and cook so you could make these in about 5 minutes if you were pushed for time.   They tasted lovely and you could definitely taste the banana in the batter.   The only issue I had was that they were a bit more watery tasting and had a wetter texture than normal pancakes.   I didn’t this time, but I think that if I made them again I might serve them with chocolate rather than berries, as I somehow feel that would be the perfect combination for these little pancakes.

banana pancakes 1 (500x423)

Ingredients – Serves 2

1 ripe banana

2 eggs

How to Make Banana Pancakes

1. Put the banana and eggs into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan.   Drop the mixture in a tablespoon at a time.  Cook for about 1 minute and then turn them over and cook for another minute.  Repeat until all the mixture has been used up.

3. Serve with berries, cream, chocolate or whatever you normally like to eat with pancakes.

To see what other Secret Recipe Club participants have made, click on the link below.

Chocolate Microwave Cake

A few years ago someone asked me if I’d ever made a microwave pudding before.  I hadn’t.  They raved about it, how easy it was, how good it tasted and I thought it was worth a try – they even printed out the recipe for me.  Somehow or other though, I never actually got around to making it.   I suppose I thought it was cheating a bit.   Microwaves are for heating up soup or making porridge in my little world and I usually feel if I’m going to make something, I should make it properly, not that I very often do make puddings or cakes so even a microwave pudding is adventurous for me.

Anyway, it’s a long time since I was unsuccessfully encouraged to give microwave puddings a go and I have long ago lost the recipe I was originally given to try.    In fact, I might have forgotten about these puddings altogether, except for the fact that just before Christmas I was looking at one of my favourite blogs, Culinary Flavours, when I came across this recipe, called Mug Cake or Five Minute Cake and it reminded me of that conversation I’d had a few years ago.

I made a few small alterations to the recipe.   I only had olive oil, which I thought might flavour the cake in the wrong way so I used butter instead.  I also used one tablespoon less sugar and added some milk chocolate.  When I turned out the pudding on a plate there was a lovely hot chocolatey sauce on the top of the pudding.   I’m not sure if this was supposed to have all turned to sponge in the original recipe, and whether it was that it needed 30 seconds more in the microwave, or maybe it was just all the melted chocolate.   Whatever caused it, I am certainly not complaining,  it turned the cake from a plain chocolate sponge to a more impressive dessert.  Of course, it’s not as good as a homemade chocolate fondant, but it is just as good as something like Gü, as well as being far cheaper and easy to throw together at the last minute.

I am sending this to Tina’s Crazy Cooking Challenge.  The theme this month is chocolate cake.

I am also linking it to Chocolate Lover on Daily Cuppa ,La Cocina de Leslie for Food of the Month, which this month is chocolate and Lisa at Sweet as Sugar Cookies for Sweets for a Saturday.

Ingredients – serves 2-3

1/4 cup self-raising flour

4 tbsp sugar

40g milk chocolate

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 egg

3 tbsp milk

3 tbsp melted butter

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

How to make Chocolate Microwave Cake

1.Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave.   Chop the chocolate into chips.  Then put all the ingredients in one bowl and mix until there are no dry bits and you have a thick batter.    Pour the mixture into a microwave-proof soup/cereal bowl.

2. Microwave for 2 minutes on high.

3. Put a plate on top of the bowl and turn it upside down to turn out the pudding.    Serve immediately while still hot.

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Chinese Squid

So, I’m back from Croatia and have discovered lots of ways to eat squid, and not just in a seafood pasta.  The squid I had in pasta was very good but the Croats also seemed quite keen on stuffing small ones with cheese and Dalmatian ham before grilling or barbecuing them.   Nice, but the ones I had were a bit tough and slightly overpowered by the strong cheese and ham.   Anyway, Croatian food aside, this recipe is actually one I made before my holiday but didn’t have time to post.   I’ve called it Chinese squid but I’m not sure if the Chinese really would cook it this way – I never had any squid like this when I was in China.    But, without a better name for it…  It’s really important that the squid is cooked quickly so it’s still tender.   The vegetables should also still be crunchy and  light – but you don’t need to use these vegetables, I just used what I had.   And finally, the lime gives it all a nice zing.

Ingredients – Serves 2

2 squid, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 green pepper, sliced

1/4 white cabbage, sliced into thin strips

3 spring onions, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 clove of garlic, sliced

1 knob ginger, sliced into sticks

1 chilli pepper, thinly sliced

2 tbsp flour

3 tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

How to Make Chinese Squid

1. Make sure everything is prepared before  you start cooking so you can  cook everything quickly.   Heat a dash of flavourless oil in a wok and about 1/2 cm in a saucepan.  If you are serving it with rice, the rice should be almost ready when you begin.

2. Add all the vegetables to the wok.   Keep stirring.    They will only take about three minutes.    Add the soy sauce and the lime juice at the end.

3. Toss the squid in the flour and then add the squid to the saucepan with the oil.   The squid will only take 1-2 minutes.   It will puff up a bit and turn white.   When ready remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and put on kitchen roll to drain off the excess oil.

4. Serve the squid on top of the vegetables.

Inspired by Masterchef: White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce

This week has been hectic for lots of good reasons but it means I’ve had little time to consider what to make for my Inspired by Masterchef challenge, or time to make it.   First I was away visiting my parents and catching up with family and relatives at my nephew’s christening and then I had my birthday to celebrate after I got back.   On the negative side, I’m another year older, but on the positive side, I got taken out to a very nice restaurant. And going back to the negative, I now have a throat infection and have been feeling achy.   As I haven’t been feeling so well,  I really should have been making something light, savoury, healthy and immunity-boosting this week, but I couldn’t remember the Masterchef contestants making anything light, savoury and above all, easy enough to make after work while not feeling so good.   What I did remember was that poor Alice had made an assiette of chocolate which included a white chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce.   Perhaps I remembered this as the judges had not been too impressed and said that the white chocolate was overpowered by the raspberries.   Would that really matter?   I thought.  Well, if I put lots and lots of white chocolate in, I was sure I could  avoid that little problem, and if not, I’d be quite happy to taste raspberries.   I decided to make an eggless mousse, which in reality should probably be called a fool.  I chose this method partly as I’m always a little nervous about using raw eggs and partly as it’s much quicker.   The theme on Masterchef was fine dining, but in my flat it was more like fast food.    It does need a little time in the fridge to set, but in that time you can eat your first course.   You can tell from the picture I did not manage to get a nice background to match the hoped-for sophistication of the wine glass.   Never mind, it tasted good.   And I could still taste the white chocolate.

The next Inspired by Masterchef post will be published on 9 April.

I am also linking this to Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Ingredients – Serves 2-4 (I served 2 but it was a little too much each)

200ml whipping cream

100g white chocolate

2 tbsp water

Raspberry Sauce

70g raspberries

1 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp water

How to make White Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Sauce

1. Put the white chocolate in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water over a pan of simmering water.   Melt gently and stir as it is melting.   Make sure the water underneath doesn’t touch the bowl.   Stop as soon as it has melted.   Leave it to cool for about 10 minutes.

2. Put the cream in another bowl and whisk till it forms stiff peaks.   Add the melted chocolate and fold it into the cream.

3. Put the cream mixture into wine glasses or any individual serving dishes and put in the fridge to chill.

4. To make the raspberry sauce put all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat.  Stir and squash the raspberries with the back of the spoon so they disintegrate.  After five minutes take off the heat.

5. Put a sieve above a bowl.   Pour the pan contents into the sieve.   Use a spoon to help push all the sauce and bits of raspberry through the sieve.   All the seeds will then be left in the sieve and you will have a sweet but slightly sharp sticky sauce in the bowl.

6. When ready to serve, take the mousses out of the fridge and top with the sauce.