Tag Archives: caramel


24 Mar

This time the challenge came from my younger son, Peter, who dreamed up the idea of the  ultimate combination of all his favourite things in one cake. Bannoffee pie meets cheesecake meets Nutella. What could I do? Obviously it had to be attempted.




After three months of not baking or even eating anything cake-like I wasn’t even tempted to lick out the bowl or my fingers as I proceeded, so I’m pleased with myself twice over. Firstly for accepting and executing the challenge, and secondly for having one small slice of the finished product and not feeling inclined to pig out on any more.

To make this overindulgent concoction I started with a biscuit base, using about twenty amaretti biscuits, finely crushed and mixed with 50g melted butter. Spread this onto the base of a 23 cm round springform tin and bake for about ten minutes at 180 C to set and crisp up the base. Here’s a little tip – wet your hands under cold running water, shake off the excess then use your cool, damp hands to spread and flatten the biscuit crumbs. Much easier than the back of a spoon.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

Place 500 g  of Philadelphia (or similar cream cheese) into a blender along with a big blob (about 100 g ) of Nutella, three eggs, 170 ml soured cream, 3 Tablespoons self-raising flour and 175 g golden aster sugar, and whizz until smoothly blended.


When the base is cool. slice 2 large bananas and place on top of the crumb base.



Then spread half a tin of caramel over the bananas. Keep the remaining half to use later.



Now pour on the smoothly delicious cheesecake mixture. it will be rather runny at this stage. Carefully place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Keep an eye on it. You want it too be set in the middle but not dried out.


Leave to cool on a wire rack.  Make sure it is completely cool (I left mine overnight) before decorating . Spread the remaining half tin of caramel on top of the cooled cake. Swirl in a bit of Nutella if you wish, or just finish with a big blob of the stuff. Slice another large banana, sprinkle it with lemon juice to preserve its colour, and use the slices to decorate the top of your cheesecake.

Probably best eaten on the day. I’m not sure how well this will keep – it will probably go a bit gooey. It’s rich and decadent and a little goes a long way, but my sons and their friends gave it the thumbs up, and that’s all that matters.




Billionaire’s Shortbread

8 Jun

Want to make something impressive, something with the wow factor? Try these – completely divine and as easy as can be.

Billionaire’s Shortbread

Making shortbread is a doddle, and once the shortbread has baked and cooled, the topping is as simple as opening a tin and melting some chocolate. You could make your own caramel – you could – but this is the lazy, easy method and it requires nothing more challenging than a tin opener.

Let’s start with the shortbread.


225 g Butter
65 g caster sugar
275 g plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
65 g cornflour

Tin of caramel sauce (I used Carnation)

200 g dark chocolate
100 g white chocolate

You’ll need a brownie tin, greased and lined with baking paper.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together.
  3. Add all the other ingredients and mix to a smooth, stiff dough.
  4. Turn into the prepared tin and press down lightly with yous fingers.
  5. Prick all over with the tines of a fork.
  6. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until lightly browned – a nice biscuity colour.
  7. Leave in the tin to cool completely on a wire rack.

Baked shortbread

When the shortbread has cooled completely, spread the tinned caramel over the surface.


Now melt the dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water or the chocolate will become granually. Melt the white chocolate in the same way. Remove both from the heat and beat with a metal spoon until smooth.

Pour the dark chocolate all over the caramel and smooth with the metal spoon.

Spread on the melted dark chocolate…

Drop blobs and trails of white chocolate over the dark chcocalte.

Blob on the white chocolate

Use a skewer or wooden toothpick to drag the white chocolate into marbled patterns.


Leave overnight in a cool place (or in the fridge) until completley cool. Cut into slices using a sharp serrated knife. You may need to dip the knife in boiling water to make the cutting a little easier.

Best eaten in a bowl, as it’s rather messy. Calories count? A billion!

Mmmm, enjoy!


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