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Mashed sweet potatoes with banana and rum

Don’t be put off by the “baby-food” look of this dish. The flavor is FAR from baby food! It’s from the Silver Palate cook book and is a super addition to the Holiday table.

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8 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes
3 ripe bananas
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tbsp rum
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
salt to taste
1 cup sliced almonds

Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and add water to cover. Cook covered until very tender. Drain.

Cut the bananas into 1 inch pieces and puree in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the hot potatoes, 4 tbsp of the butter, the rum and the brown sugar.
Process until smooth. Add the grated nutmeg and salt to taste and process just to blend. Keep warm.

Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter in a small skillet. Add the almonds and sauté until lightly browned. Sprinkle wth a little salt.
Top each serving of the sweet potato with a generous amount of toasted almonds or scatter the whole dish with them.

Banana coconut parcels

This has got to be one of my favorite desserts and so easy. You can store the banana leaves in your freezer, so you will always have them around.
This recipe is c/o Saveur magazine.

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12 fresh or frozen banana leaves
2 1⁄4 cups coconut cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1⁄2 cups short-grain sticky rice, soaked for 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
3 firm-ripe bananas, quartered lengthwise

Cut each banana leaf into a roughly 12″x 14″ rectangle, then cut the scraps into 12 thin ribbons for tying; set aside.
Combine the coconut cream, sugar, 1⁄4 cup water, and salt in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook, stirring, until it begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the rice; cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat; let the rice absorb liquid, about 20 minutes. Divide the rice into 12 equal portions.

Working with 1 banana leaf at a time, arrange a leaf with a short edge parallel to you, smooth side up.
Put a portion of rice in the center; top with a banana quarter; press gently.
Shape the rice into a rectangle.
Fold the leaf ends over the rice to make a packet. Tie with a ribbon. Repeat to make 12 packets in all.
Pour water into a wide-bottomed pot to a depth of 1″. Set a colander inside pot.
Working in 2 batches, steam the packets until firm, about 15 minutes.

Spiced Mocha Lassi

This is a terrific recipe from Bobby Flay and the only thing you need to do in advance is make the spiced coffee ice cubes. They are well worth having in the freezer as the flavors are incredible when you drop a cube into this drink. A wonderful and different breakfast drink.

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Serves 4

SPICED COFFEE ICE CUBES:

2 cups hot espresso
1/4 cup sugar
1 strip orange peel
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

LASSI:

3/4 cup to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or more to thin down the drink)
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Make the spiced coffee ice cubes:
Combine the espresso, sugar, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Cool to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Strain the coffee mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl and discard the solids. Divide the mixture among 2 ice cube trays and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

Make the lassi:
Add 3/4 cup orange juice, the yogurt, banana and cocoa powder to a blender and puree until smooth (if you’d like the lassi to be a bit thinner, blend in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice).
Add a few spiced ice cubes to the blender and puree. Pour the lassi into glasses and add 2 more spiced ice cubes to each glass.
Serve immediately.

Pumpkin banana mousse tart

This is delectable and well worth trying, especially for Thanksgiving. Thanks to Ina Garten for this gorgeous and easy recipePumpkin banana mousse tart

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 extra-large egg yolks
1 package (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana, finely mashed
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
For the decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange zest, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Pour into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly into the sides and then the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature.

For the filling, heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until hot, about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl, stir some of the hot pumpkin into the egg yolks to heat them, then pour the egg-pumpkin mixture back into the double boiler and stir well. Heat the mixture over the simmering water for another 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly. You don’t want the eggs to scramble. Remove from the heat.

Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin, banana, and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture and pour it into the cooled tart shell. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

For the decoration, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream decoratively on the tart and sprinkle, if desired, with orange zest. Serve chilled.

Easy caramelized, coconut bananas

Anything to do with coconut, I adore and this is such a simple, exotic dessert to throw together.

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Serves 2

2 tbsp palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
2 bananas, peeled and halved lengthways, then each chunk halved again
5 fl oz coconut milk
coconut ice cream
toasted, shredded coconut, for garnish

Heat the sugar in a small frying pan. When melted, add the bananas and caramelize on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Lift them out and set aside.
Tip the coconut milk into the pan with a pinch of salt, stir into the sugar and bubble until syrupy.
Divide between two bowls, top with the caramelized bananas, then add a scoop of coconut ice cream and scatter with the toasted coconut

Simple banana chocolate chip cake

We love banana bread, so when I found this recipe, it seemed to combined two wonderful flavors. I love cakes that are simple and you don’t have to cream the butter and sugar.

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2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas. The riper the better, as they are easier to mash
6 oz butter
8 oz superfine (caster) sugar
10 oz self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
pinch of salt
2 tsp good quality vanilla essence
3 large eggs
1 packet of chocolate chips (dark or milk)

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Grease and line the bottom of an 8 inch tin, round or square
Melt the butter and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the sugar and butter mixture and mix well.
Mash the bananas and mix in the vanilla essence to the bananas
Beat the eggs
Add the banana mixture and eggs to the mixture and beat together.
Leave the mixture to cool before adding the chocolate chips, otherwise they will melt.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for approximately 1 hour. It’s cooked when it’s a nice brown color and if you put a skewer in, it comes out clean.

One-bowl easy banana cake

 

This is the easiest one-bowl banana cake recipe. Use a flat rectangular baking tin for this, as it will cook  more evenly.

4 bananas
11 oz superfine sugar (caster sugar)
4 large eggs
8 fl oz sunflower oil
15 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2  tsp salt
5 oz walnut pieces
4 oz raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Mash the bananas until they are smooth. A potato masher is good for this.
In a large bowl, put the mashed bananas, and add all the other ingredients, one by one, stirring with each addition. It doesn’t matter in what order you put them in, except I recommend putting the raisins and walnuts in at the end.
Lightly grease your baking tin and pour the cake mixture in.
Bake for 1 hour.