Khmer Banoffee Pie

I’ve just spent the most amazing two and a half weeks in Cambodia – mostly pleasure, but a little work thrown in too, as I ran a social media workshop for some charities while I was out there. It was an amazing Christmas – I got to catch up with some old friends, and made some new ones too.

Khmer BananasIt made me fall in love with Cambodia all over again. I adore Cambodian cuisine – and I had such a blast filling up on my favourite fruits, like mangoes, passionfruit and bananas!

You can get some pretty unusual varieties of bananas in Cambodia – like the green ones above (they stay green, even when they’re ripe) and the famous chicken egg bananas, which are tiny, incredibly sweet, and so delicious.

Cambodian Chicken Egg BananasI wanted to do something a little different while I was out there, so I put together a gluten free banoffee pie – and it was probably the most delicious thing I have ever baked.

Cambodian BananasI used three types of bananas on top, and I also made use of some ingredients I was able to get fairly easily from the markets there, like banana sugar and desiccated coconut. I really enjoyed using some unusual ingredients, especially in the base – it made a subtle difference to your usual banoffee pie, and I skipped the whipped cream on top as I find it way too sickly sweet!

Banana Sugar, Khmer Banoffee Pie RecipeGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated Coconut

Gluten Free Khmer Banoffee Pie
 
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I made use of some traditional Cambodian ingredients to do a twist on a classic - the banoffee pie.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cambodian
Serves: 1 Pie
Ingredients
  • 100g gluten free flour
  • 150g banana sugar (demerara also works!)
  • 200g butter
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 3 bananas
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder and desiccated coconut (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. In a saucepan on the stove, melt 100g butter, 100g sugar, and all of the condensed milk.
  3. Melt over a low heat, and then bring it to a rapid boil for a minute, stirring continuously.
  4. Once it is a golden caramel, set to one side to cool until firm.
  5. In a bowl, combine the flour, coconut, almonds, baking powder and the remaining sugar and butter.
  6. In a greased 20cm tin, add the base mixture from the bowl and bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
  7. Leave the base to cool on a rack, and then top with the caramel mixture and sliced bananas.
  8. Top with cocoa powder and desiccated coconut before serving.
Gluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutThe condensed milk coconut for this was so flavourful, which I think is all down to the banana sugar in the caramel mixture.

Gluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutI had a great time experimenting with new ingredients – it’s always fun cooking with something new!

Do you have an unusual banoffee pie recipe? Have you ever made anything with banana sugar? I’d love to hear about it! Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Hillary’s Crafternoon at Drink, Shop, Do

I’ve wanted to go to Drink, Shop, Do for ages. It’s a great place for doing crafts, playing board games and a good night out – what more could you want?

Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop Do
Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoI was invited to go along for Hillary’s Crafternoon, where we would be making our very own jewelry boxes.

Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoWe were in the back room, which was decorated with some ‘punny’ totes and a disco ball. There was a wide selection of cakes, and a gluten free chocolate orange one for me, so I was very excited!

Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillary’s sell a selection of curtains, blinds and home accessories in a variety of different patterns. We used some of these to decorate our boxes with.

Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop Do
Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoAfter grappling with pins, glue guns and reels and reels of ribbon, it became very apparent to me that I am not at all blessed with crafting skills. While everyone else around me began to create beautiful boxes, mine looked totally amateurish! (Although the lovely people at Hillary’s did include a photo of it on their blog!) Luckily, I was able to munch and chat the afternoon away with the lovely Chynna and Olivia, who I was sat next to.

Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoAfter we were done with the boxes, we used some of the extra material for our own little projects. I ended up making a fascinator with some netting, which didn’t turn out as badly as I thought it might!

DSCHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop Do05736Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoAll in all it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon, and Drink Shop Do is such a great space – it’s got something for everyone!
Hillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoHillarys Crafternoon at Drink Shop DoHillary's Crafternoon, Jewelry Box Making, Drink Shop DoMany thanks to Hillary’s for hosting the Crafternoon. I was invited to attend, but all opinions are my own.

 Have you been to Drink, Shop, Do? Are you as useless at crafts as I am? Be sure to comment below, and don’t forget to follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Drink, Shop & Do Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vanilla protein pancakes [gluten free]

I was introduced to this gluten free pancake recipe by a friend of mine, and its become a firm favourite. It’s a simple recipe perfect for Saturday or Sunday brunch – I had mine with some dragonfruit, figs and honey, but would also go well with maple syrup and bacon, too.

Vanilla protein oat pancakes (gluten free)

The vanilla protein powder gives it a bit of flavour which is a nice accompaniment to the oats. If you prefer a smoother texture, whizz the oats in a food processor, or go for oat flour. Personally, I’m a fan of the texture so I left them as is.

I went for the Sun Warrior blend vanilla protein powder from Planet Organic: it’s dairy, soya and gluten free.

Vanilla protein pancakes [gluten free]
 
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This gluten free protein pancake is a firm favourite - perfect for a morning energy boost.
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten-free
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: One Batch
Ingredients
  • 200g gluten free oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk (semi-skimmed or full fat)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Butter
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a pan: pour in batter for each pancake.
  2. When the mixture bubbles, flip the pancake over – the first side is done.
  3. Repeat for the second side.
  4. The batter should be enough for four people: I made it for two, and froze the pancakes individually. This makes it easier to pop frozen pancakes in the toaster: perfect for a quick weekday breakfast.
Vanilla protein oat pancakes (gluten free)

I’m always on the lookout for interesting, gluten free breakfast options: any suggestions would be appreciated! Comment below, and be sure to follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

The Cake and Bake Show 2014 [gluten free]

I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the Cake and Bake Show 2014, which took place in the exhibition centre at Earl’s Court (thanks, Baking Mad!).

Cake and Bake Show 2014

The centre was filled stalls of every baked confectionery imaginable. Brownies, macarons, cupcakes, you name it – they had it. There were also the most tempting sausage rolls I’ve ever seen (blood pudding and apple, anyone?), as well as stands with the latest must-have culinary gadgets.

I was really impressed with a lot of the baking that I saw. I couldn’t really believe some of the things were cakes – not all of them looked particularly appetising, but they were certainly works of art. The subjects of the following pictures are all edible.

Scary cake - cake and bake show 2014 bear macarons monkey cake and bake show 2014 paul and mary cake and bake show 2014

(Yes, that is Mary Berry on a unicorn and Paul Hollywood as a zombie.)

troll cake and bake show 2014High heel cake and bake show 2014

On the stages there were various demonstrations and competitions. The crowd was going wild at the sight of some of the celebrity bakers – and I was expecting everyone to be fairly civilised!

As a gluten free baker, I was really interested to see some of the latest trends in GF baking, and to see if there were any special flours I could purchase.

No luck on the flour front, but there were a couple of gluten free brands that I was really impressed with, that I’d like to feature.

One of the biggest qualms I have with gluten free baking is that it often gets relegated to the realm of ‘healthy eating’, or ‘health food’. The only places you can really get a big selection of gluten free flours and products are often health food shops, and, while this is all very well, it doesn’t do much for someone like me who loves baking. I’m definitely more into the aesthetic side of baking – in fact, I don’t really like cake. At all. But I love decorating and baking.

Which is why whenever I see any gluten free baked goods for inspiration, I’m always a tad disappointed. There’s a lot of brown, and it’s not very pretty. So when I came across the Mr. Prempy’s stand, I looked admiringly and then walked away at first, thinking that it was too pretty to be gluten free. But I was in luck – their products are gluten-free, dairy-free and all that jazz, but they look amazing too! I took home a Gerald, a lime and ginger cheesecake made from cashews and coconut oil.

Mr Prempys Gerald cake Mr Prempys cake

The other discovery I made at the show was the visually exquisite work of the Meringue Girls.

Meringue girls cake and bake show 2014 Meringue girls cake and bake show 2014

I have never had meringues like these before. The variety of colours and flavours were amazing. Watermelon, raspberry, lavender, pistachio and rose and salted caramel were among the few I tried. I was absolutely gutted when I found out they’d run out of gin and tonic flavoured ones. I brought a few home with me, and I’m afraid to say these have become my new obsession. The Meringue Girls also do classes, so I’m definitely going to try and get myself on one of them soon.

Meringue girls Meringue girls Meringue girls

Although I enjoyed myself at the Cake and Bake Show, I would’ve liked to see more savoury baking present. Gluten-free baking particularly: I would’ve loved to see some GF pies, or sausage rolls (especially that blood pudding and apple one!). I didn’t manage to spot any gluten-free bread, either. I’d like to see a stall next year filled with all sorts of savoury gluten free baked goods – if not, I might just have to set up a stand of my own!

Wasabi and White Chocolate Cupcakes

A few years ago a woman named Naomi Moriyama published a cookbook called ‘Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of my Mother’s Kitchen’.

I have absolutely no need for this book because as a Japanese woman I know the secret – copious amounts of sake and binge-watching Studio Ghibli films, clearly. All jokes aside, a lot of Japanese cuisine is very healthy, practical as well as flavourful – a theme I hope to explore more within this blog. Take wasabi, for instance. Wasabi is a type of Japanese horseradish, often served in the form of a paste. Historically, wasabi played an important role in the development of Japanese cuisine. The anti-microbial properties of wasabi were really important before domestic refrigeration was a common thing. This is part of the reason why it was served with sushi (top tip: nothing comes close to toro, a type of fatty tuna sashimi with some soy sauce and wasabi).

Wasabi has a hotness to it – if you have too much, you can feel it in your nose. It’s not the same heat you feel with chilli, and is more similar to mustard. It’s great for if you have blocked up sinuses, and they have even developed fire alarms for deaf people using wasabi. How practical is that?

Going back to Naomi Moriyama’s book here for a second – I have never read it. Only because I know that Japanese women do get old, just not like the rest of us. Check out this diagram below:

average_asian_woman_aging

Source

See? And in order not to perpetuate this stereotype further I’ve got a recipe here that’ll make them fat, too!

Wasabi and white chocolate cupcakes copy

I had a lot of fun making these white chocolate and wasabi cupcakes. Check out the link at Baking Mad for the full recipe! I ended up having to make my own paste from powder, something I’ve never done before – but it was so simple and actually quite relaxing. It felt unnerving and unnatural to put wasabi into a cake recipe – I’m so used to snacking on savoury wasabi treats like peas but the flavour went really well with the buttercream, which I find can be a little too sweet sometimes.

2014-02-22 12.22.33

Mmm. Spicy, sweet buttery goodness.