Saturday, January 15, 2011

Roasted Banana Cheesecake and Toffee Sauce for Athol

Last night we were invited out for dinner to my friend Marley and her husband Tim's newly renovated (and very beautiful), house way up in the wop-wops, (well actually it was about a 40 min drive from our place so I think that qualifies as the wop-wops). The occasion was Athol's birthday and with respect for him I won't divulge his age other than to say he looks pretty fabulous for his age. I, of course, took dessert as I always gravitate to the sweet stuff and I always have a ton of recipes I want to try. After much perusing of my cookbooks I was trying to choose between Dorie's Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake and this one from my new Ripe cookbook called Roasted Banana Cheesecake. I thought I would go for this one as I often get a new cookbook then don't end up using it all that much as I load up on other new cookbooks....I'm sure those of you amongst us who baking/cooking obsessed can ideantify with this! This was also very easy to make and it also meant I could prepare it all the day before leaving me the whole day free without having to cook in a hot kitchen. I think cheesecakes are one of those desserts that anyone can make as they are pretty straightforward and don't require a lot of skill which makes them a perfect choice for the new baker so if this appeals give it a go.

This one was well worth making. Although the recipe didn't call for it, I thought a toffee sauce would be perfect to pour over the top. Had I been serving this at home I would have topped each piece of cheesecake with some caramelised banana and drizzled the sauce over each piece. But as I was taking it somewhere I poured it over the top of the cheesecake which I thought also looked really good. I took the caramelised bananas in a separate container and served it alongside with some softly whipped cream...whipped in Marley's new food processor....which she has yet to fully discover. 

The cheesecake was a rich and decadent as cheesecakes are meant to be. It is definitely a treat dessert which you will understand when you see the list of ingredients. There was a real depth of flavour probably due to the fact that the bananas had been roasted first. The toffee sauce recipe I got from Annabel Langbein's new cookbook. It was tooth-achingly sweet but really worked well with the cheesecake. This sauce could be kept for awhile in the fridge and would be great poured over ice cream or on a sticky toffee pudding if you don't eat it by the spoonful first. The caramelised bananas were a good accompaniment and were easy to make. I think I would make these again to have with pancakes or pikelets for a nice breakfast- good yoghurt as well would put these in the sublime breakfast category.

Roasted Banana Cheesecake (from 'Ripe')

250 gm malt biscuits
100 gm butter

Put into a food processor and process until all crumbly and mixed well. Put into a lined 26 cm springform tin (I just lined the base), and put into the fridge to chill.

4 bananas left intact
1 kg (yes 1 kg!) cream cheese
6 eggs
1 c caster sugar

Oven to 170 C. Roast bananas on a lined tray for 15 mins until soft and blackened. Remove form the skins and leave to cool. I found quite a bit of watery juice came out so I drained some of that off. 

Put the other ingredients into a food processor and mix well to make nice and smooth. Add the cooled bananas and mix again. Pour over the base and bake about 45 mins until the top just jiggles a bit when you move the tin. Leave in the tin overnight in the fridge.

Caramelised Bananas

3 bananas
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter

Melt the butter and sugar in a frying pan and add the bananas which have been cut in half lengthwise. Cook over a medium high heat until caramelised turning over so both sides get a nice colour. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.

Toffee Sauce ('The Free Range Cook')

I made half the recipe which gave me about 1 1/2 c of sauce.

Put 1/4 c water into a pot. Add 1 c caster sugar and place over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and comes to the boil. DO NOT STIR as the sugar will crystallises, instead swirl the pan to mix.Boil about 8-10 mins until it goes a nice golden caramel colour. Remove from the heat and pour in 1 c cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir over a low heat until the sauce smooth. Store in the fridge.

Just starting to boil

Starting to colour

Just about ready for the cream

With the cream added

Final product and lovely smooth, sweet, rich toffee sauce

Finally here are a few pics from last night....

Marley, Dons, Athol

Athol, Ingrid, Margaret

Charmaine, Tim, Mike and Marley (husband swapping!)

Me, Athol, Charmaine, Marley, Ingrid

 Thanks for a great night Marley and Tim and Happy Birthday Athol!

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