Afternoon tea in the garden

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By Robert Harland

What’s Cooking?

Monday, July 28, 2014


I'M STILL here in England. The weather is hot (for once) so we are enjoying long walks in the forest as well as some scrumptious traditional afternoon teas in the garden.

My sister, Rosemary Jones, who lives in nearby Southampton and part of the year in Spain, brought us one of her delicious cakes for tea the other day. It's called Spanish Bizcocho Sponge.

Bizcocho is the name given in the Spanish-speaking world to a wide range of pastries, cakes and cookies. The exact product to which the word bizcocho is applied varies depending on the region or country. In Spain, bizcocho is exclusively used to refer to a sponge cakes and that is what we are dealing with today.

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Bizcocho Sponge

This is a very traditional recipe which my sister uses. Apart from the eggs, baking powder and milk, all the other ingredients are measured in the yoghurt pot (usually 125 mL to 150 mL) which is being used.

Ingredients

3 eggs
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 small fruit flavored or plain yoghurt (125 to 150 mL)
1 cup milk
3 yoghurt pots white flour (Spanish bizcocho flour is best but any type of white flour can be used)
2 yoghurt pots granulated sugar
1 yoghurt pot olive oil

Method

Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The Spanish say to get the perfect sponge, add the ingredients in the same order as listed above. Mix well to a fairly runny batter. Pour into a lined and greased cake tin and cook for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350°F. This mixture can be divided between two smaller cake tins or loaf tins but the timing needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Banoffee Pie

Another recipe my sister gave me was for Banoffee Pie which, she pointed out, is not suitable for anyone on a diet!

This is a dessert made with bananas, cream and toffee from boiled condensed milk on a pastry base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter. Some versions of the recipe also include chocolate, coffee or both.

Its name is a portmanteau from the words banana and toffee. The word has entered the English language and is used to describe any food or product that tastes or smells of both banana and toffee.

Credit for the pie's invention is claimed by Ian Dowding and Nigel Mackenzie, the chef and owner, respectively, of The Hungry Monk restaurant in East Sussex, England.

They claim to have developed the dessert in 1972, having been inspired by an American dish known as "Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie," which consisted of smooth toffee topped with coffee-flavored whipped cream.

Dowding said the dish was so popular with their customers that they "couldn't take it off" the menu.

Ingredients

For the base:
250 gr Graham Crackers, crushed
100 gr butter

For the filling:
100 gr oz butter
100 gr soft brown sugar
400 gr condensed milk

For the topping:
4 bananas
200 gr cream

Method

Melt butter and add biscuit crumbs. Press into a loose-bottomed pie dish and chill.

Melt butter for the filling, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add condensed milk and bring gently to the boil stirring all the time. Boil gently for approximately 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken, taking care not to let it burn. Pour over chilled biscuit base. When cool place in ref for about 1 hour until firm.

For the topping whip the cream until stiff, slice bananas and fold half into the whipped cream. Spread this over the toffee mixture. Decorate with remaining sliced bananas and finish with grated chocolate. Serve chilled.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 28, 2014.

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