Saturday, June 11, 2011

Banana honey cake for the nurses - success

Really moist and delicous
Thanks to my housemate for buying a whole bag of bananas and leaving them to get nice and smooshy and ripe on the table.
The kitchen I was using had nothing useful in it. I could only make something that doesn't require anything more sophisticated than a set of scales, a bowl, a cake pan and a spoon and fork.

2 eggs
80g caster sugar
50g runny honey
3-4 small bananas mashed - make sure they are extra ripe and full of flavour
50mL vegetable oil
50mL olive oil
150g SR flour
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp mixed spice

Icing sugar
Lemon juice
Small knob of butter
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 20cm square pan.

In a large bowl mix the sugar and eggs until as white and fluffy as you can get them. Add the honey, oils and banana and mix well.

Add the flour, bicarb soda and mixed spice over the top. Gently stir to combine.

Pour into the cake tin and cook for 35-40 mins until springy to the touch. Cool in pan for 5-10 mins then turn onto a cake rack to cool. Ice once cold

In a bowl mix together icing sugar, a knob of softened butter and lemon juice to make an icing consistency. I always do it by hand so don't have any quantities for this part. Just add lemon juice slowly a little at a time until it is the right consistency.

The secret is ANCHOVIES - fettucine bolognese

Last day in Bunbury.
Not much food left in pantry...
Nothing fresh.
Found: Frozen mince, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, stock powder, onion, garlic....anchovies


Best bolognese i have ever eaten, in less than 30 mins.
Imagine this with the benefit of another 30 mins slow simmering, a bit of pancetta, a bit of chilli to spice it up, some fresh herbs (I'm thinking basil and parsley) to jazz it up at the end. It would be unbeatable.

Buy some anchovies. Use them. Love them.

Honestly, the only secret to making this amazing is to melt the beautiful anchovies into the olive oil. It will smell really fishy. This is the flavour. Don't be scared, it is beautiful with the beef.

This will make enough sauce for about 4 people. Serve the pasta with a salad and you can stretch it further.
1/2 a large brown onion, chopped
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped (I hate to say this but I had no fresh garlic so used a big heaped tsp of garlic from a jar!)
6-8 anchovies in oil - about 2 large tsp full
250-300g beef mince
2 tbsp tomato paste
A generous glug of red wine
1/2-1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp veg/beef/chicken stock powder
Freshly ground pepper

Grated parmesan cheese and cooked fettucine to serve

Gently soften the onion in a good couple of glugs of olive oil, you do not want them brown, just a very light golden, if you have pancetta add it now. Add the garlic and anchovies and turn down the heat. Mash the anchovies with a spoon and let them melt into the oil. At this stage I would add some freshly chopped chilli if I had any.

Turn up the heat and add the mince. Cook until brown. Add the tomato paste, the wine, chopped tomatoes, stock powder. Put a lid on it and then simmer gently until the sauce is thick and dark and delicious. This could be anything from 10 mins to 1 hour depending on how hungry you are. I left mine for about 10 mins and it was wonderful and thick and delicious.

Just before serving add lots of freshly ground pepper. Season with salt. Stir through any fresh herbs at this stage.

Please don't be scared of the anchovies.
Just jump in and try them.
They are the best little fish in the sea!