Tuesday, 09 June 2015 00:00
Caramel Banana Puddings & Chocolate Cake Squares Written by 
Caramel Banana Puddings & Chocolate Cake Squares Caron Turner

A great joy in life is gathering a group of friends together to share in a meal.

However, feeding friends on a budget is difficult and often, dessert gets the boot which is both incredibly sad and completely unnecessary. Baking doesn’t need to break the bank and these two recipes are easy to mix up on the sly before work, quickly before dinner guests arrive, or during a festive soiree. We believe that in this case it is possible to have your cake and eat it too.

These lovely layered desserts are simple and delightfully sweet. They also require so little effort that it’s almost laughable. You could even get your dinner guests to make their own ‘puds’ themselves and it’ll be a blast.

While banana and caramel is a winning combination, this is one recipe that can be improvised - throw in other fruit and berries, biscuits or ice-cream and watch new desserts emerge.

Health tip: Treating yourself is not a problem, the trick is learning to control your portion sizes. Banana is a great source of nutrients and to make these a tiny bit healthier, substitute the cream or caramel for low fat caramel yoghurt or coconut cream. Or throw some nuts over it – that’ll also add some crunch.

Caramel Banana Puddings

Serves 4caramel
Time: 5 minutes
Cost per portion: R7.50

2 bananas
½ pkt tennis biscuits
125ml cream
15ml milk
½ tin caramel treat

Equipment: 4 x bowls or glasses, whisk/beater

1. Prepare your ingredients - slice bananas.
2. Whip cream.
3. To loosen up the caramel, mix in the milk and stir thoroughly.
4. Line up your bowls or glasses - start with a layer of sliced bananas.
5. Crush biscuit over the sliced bananas
6. Spoon whipped cream, and a dollop of caramel over the bananas.
7. Repeat another layer or two, or until your ingredients are finished.
8. Finish with a flourish of crumbled biscuit or sliced banana – desserts deserve to be beautiful.
9. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Everybody needs a great chocolate cake recipe in their corner. This basic chocolate cake recipe can be gussied up or dressed down for any occasion. Drape with chocolate ganache, slather in buttercream icing or sandwich cream between two layers and you’ll have a truly magnificent cake worthy of any celebration. Or, throw in handfuls of chocolate chips and nuts and slice into squares and call them brownies - each way you look at it, this chocolate cake is an easy-going type of gal. Best part about it, this recipe is easy and affordable.

Its hip to be square: by pre-slicing a square cake, you’ll find that it goes further. Slicing round cakes is harder than we let on and to ensure that you can feed the hungry hoards, pre-cut into pretty squares.

Chocolate Cake Squares

Makes 16chocolate
Time: 45 minutes
Cost per portion:

1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
5ml baking powder
5ml bicarbonate of soda
45ml cocoa powder
7.5ml instant coffee
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
125ml cup milk
30ml cooking oil
5ml vanilla essence
125ml boiling water

To serve:
15ml icing sugar
Fresh berries (Optional)

Equipment: square cake pan (18cm)

Tip: if you are making a round cake, this will make one layer. Double up on the recipe for a double layer cake.

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 ℃, and grease baking tin.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together - sieve sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa and coffee.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla together until properly mixed.
4. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Add the boiling water a little at a time - mixing well after each addition. Don’t over mix after the last addition.
6. Pour batter into greased tin and bake for 20 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and cool - remove cake from tin once cooled.
8. Slice cake into squares.
9. Dust with icing sugar: hold a sieve above the squares and sift icing sugar lightly over the top of the cake. Add fresh berries if so desired.

Alternative icing: to make amazing whipped chocolate ganache, heat 100ml cream on the stove until boiling. Remove from the stove and break 200g chocolate into it. Stir until the chocolate melts – refrigerate. Once solid, use a beater to whip the ganache. Using a piping bag and nozzle, pipe ganache onto each cake square.


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