I guess it goes without saying that this past month has been the hardest but it’s getting much easier by the day. I also have to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your comments, emails and messages. Your kind words have been immensely healing and I couldn’t be more grateful. Cake and candy for all! :D
These days I’ve been in full Operation Find-a-Pooch mode. The house feels so empty and quiet and it’s definitely time for a new set of paws to tear around this place. The Captain and I are hugely passionate about adopting dogs in need from pounds and shelters but the search hasn’t been easy. Reading so many sad stories and knowing that I can’t help them all, well, it rips me up into a million pieces. Orfy was a happy adoptee and he’s given us so much joy so we can’t wait until we find the one and “start a family again”. We’re planning to meet a few in the next fortnight so fingers cross for us!
Off the soapbox I go and onto dessert! It feels good to get back into the kitchen again so I promise this blog will spring back into life soon. No surprises that it was all about comfort food this month and being a creature of habit, I’ve fallen back into the familiar embrace of chocolate, peanut and banana. Delicious old friends, oh I missed you!
I’ve kept it uber simple; chilled chocolate custard pots with a layer of panna-cotta-esque peanut cream and topped with grilled bananas. A classic trio and one that never fails to put a huge smile on my face.
- 200ml milk
- 120ml cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 Tbl caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 220g good quality dark chocolate, melted
- pinch of vanilla salt (or regular sea salt flakes)
- 220ml cream (35% fat content)
- 60g roasted peanuts, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 tsp gelatin powder
- 1 Tbl cold water
- 60g white chocolate, chopped
- For chocolate custard layer, gently bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until combined.
- While continuously whisking the eggs, slowly pour in the hot milk mixture. Tip this mixture back into the pot and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Be sure to use a gentle heat or you’ll end up with curdled scrambled eggs. Cook until the custard coats the back of the spoon.
- Remove from the heat and stir through the vanilla, melted chocolate and salt. Strain custard through a sieve into a jug then pour into four ramekins or glasses and chill while you prepare the next layer. Makes approx 450-500ml.
- For the peanut cream, combine the cream and the peanuts in a pot and bring it gently to a simmer. Remove from heat then set aside for 15 minutes to steep.
- Meanwhile, combine the gelatin powder and cold water and set aside for about 5-10 minutes to bloom.
- When cream is ready, strain into another pot (discard the nuts) and gently heat until warm. Remove from heat and add the gelled gelatin and stir until dissolved. Stir through the melted white chocolate. Strain into a jug then leave to cool until it’s barely warm in temperature. Pour gently into the four glasses on top of the chocolate layer. Cover with cling wrap and chill for at least a few hours or overnight.
- If you wish, serve it on its own with grated chocolate and/or with grilled bananas. Slice one or two bananas thickly then either;
- 1) sprinkle the slices with sugar and blow torch (example here and here) or;
- 2) add 15g of butter into a pan then add bananas. Sprinkle some sugar over the bananas then fry on both sides until golden (check it out in action here).
- Peanut cream adapted from a recipe on Food and Wine