Banoffee pavlova

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This is my second banana based post in a row – a sign that we always seem to have some bananas that need using up in the Little Birdie household! A couple of weeks ago we were off to dinner at our friends house so I rustled this up as a dessert. If you like banoffee pie you’ll definitely like this pavlova. I had originally bought the caramel I used for this pavlova for the banana and caramel bundt I made – luckily a can was enough to make both. It’s a recipe from the Tesco food website that you can find here. You can of course use any meringue recipe to make the base – I did consider trying a brown sugar meringue to add to the caramel flavour but then decided that might be caramel overkill.
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Banana and caramel bundt cake

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I made this a couple of weeks ago as a Friday treat for us at work. As I’ve said many time before I do love banana cake and this was no exception. I did seem to manage to eat quite a few slices of this banana and caramel bundt cake (my excuse being I’ve been burning lots of calories with my Moonwalk training!). This is a lovely moist banana cake that visually looks very impressive. I’ve not used my Nordicware Heritage bundt tin very much; every time I use it it reminds me I really should use it more often as anything baked in it always looks so good. This is Delicious Magazine recipe. You can use any 2.4 litre bundt tin.
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Salted caramel brownies

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Happy bank holiday to you! I hope the bank holiday weekend has provided you with sunshine (however fleeting this may have been), relaxation and the opportunity to bake. Today was the first opportunity in quite a while that I had to bake. Life has been a little crazy recently with SATs tests to organise at school, residential visits, sponsored walks and car shopping.
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Salted Caramel Billionaire’s Flapjack

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This post comes with a warning. If you are on a diet, trying to avoid fat, trying to avoid sugar or trying to avoid your dentist this is not the recipe for you! This was an experiment. On our way home from Devon after the Easter weekend we stopped at a Morrisons where we picked up some Billionaire’s Flapjack (chocolate flapjack with a caramel topping). Mr Birdie then suggested I would like to try making my own. After a bit of investigation I decided to give it a go but add a salted caramel twist. This is by no means a perfected recipe as I think the proportions need a little tweaking. It went down well at work and was a revelation to my colleagues who had never tried salted caramel before. I used a 17 x 25cm rectangular baking tin however I think a slightly bigger one would have helped make the proportions better by reducing the thickness of the chocolate flapjack.
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Caramel Shard Cookies

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I requested John Whaite’s ‘John Whaite Bakes’ as one of my Christmas presents and was lucky enough to receive it. Yesterday was a day to bake cookies and after trawling through some recipe books I remembered spotting this one and decided to give it a go. I will be honest and say I wasn’t 100% happy with how they turned out. I’m not sure what quite went wrong (although I suspect it’s either baking them for too long or making them too small in size) but they still taste ok. They are crunchy rather than chewy in texture. The recipe is supposed to make 20 however I only managed to make 17.
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Toffee Pecan Roulade

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Christmas is a time for catching up with your favourite people which is just what we did yesterday afternoon. We went for a pre-Christmas lunch at our friends Simon and Louisa’s yesterday and I offered to make dessert. After much trawling the Internet I decided upon a toffee pecan roulade. It’s a popular dessert at this time of year – if you Google it you will find all the major supermarkets offer their own version.This is a recipe by Ruth Clemens that you can find on her Pink Whisk website here.

I’ve only ever made a roulade once before (this chocolate and cranberry one) so I’m not really an expert. I was in a bit of a rush yesterday and didn’t have a big enough tin so it ended up as more of a flat rather than circular roulade. The meringue was also quite chewy – I don’t think I cooked it for long enough. It did taste good though – you can’t really go wrong with toffee and cream can you? I would definitely make this again and would highly recommend it for your Christmas festivities. A bonus is that it is also suitable for freezing.
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Marbled Millionaires Shortbread

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As the summer term comes to an end in schools across the country, attention turns to the members of staff leaving for pastures new. We have two amazing ladies leaving us and so are holding a tea party to celebrate their many years of service – so of course I had to offer my baking services!

Tray bakes were the order of the day so after my successful banoffee pie I decided I would try another caramel-based adventure – marbled millionaires shortbread. Not ideal in this baking hot weather but a classic favourite and hopefully a safer bet than cupcakes (icing in this weather – not a good idea!)

I used a combination of a Nigella recipe from ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ and a recipe from the Carnation website which you can find here. The Nigella recipe said to use a 23cm tin and the Carnation recipe a 20cm tin but I used a 21cm and it seemed to be ok.

They were a big hit – it’s just a shame they didn’t survive the weather particularly well – squidgy millionaires shortbread is never nice! If you’re making them in our current heatwave make sure you keep them in your fridge.
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Banoffee Pie

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Summer has finally arrived and it is barbecue season. Our friends Simon and Louisa (and their super cute son Finn) joined us this afternoon for a barbecue in the sunshine and to cheer Andy Murray on (well done Andy!) I was tempted to make Nigella’s Forgotten Pudding or her Strawberry Shortcakes but Mr Birdie requested banoffee pie so banoffee pie it was!

There are hundreds of recipes for banoffee pie on the Internet. After much perusing I opted for a Hairy Biker’s recipe from the BBC website which you can find here. I made some changes such as not putting banana in the cream on top and not putting any banana on the top. It is a simple recipe and it is super tasty. After a few baking disasters recently I was happy to get back on track and enjoy some baking success!
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Eggtastic Take 2 – Cadbury’s Caramel Egg Cookie Bars

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Keeping to the Easter baking theme I also made Cadbury Caramel Egg Cookie Bars. I found these via the Six Sister’s Stuff website (www.sixsistersstuff.com) which has some tasty recipes which are worth checking out.

The actual recipe is on the Something Swanky website and can be found here. It’s an American recipe but I just used a conversion website to make it a bit easier!
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