Banana brownies and caramel banana icecream

Well here we are after a mammoth Christmas and with new year resolutions to not waste any food produce or purchases.

I declare 4 very over-ripe bananas, half a bag of walnuts, a pot of full fat yogurt, half a jar of salt caramel sauce, a small pot of readymade custard – for these two recipes anyway.

First, the banana and walnut brownies. Cannot tell a lie – I have been forced to sample them this afternoon on the pretext that I cannot put anything on this site without having tasted it first. That’s my excuse anyway. I am now slightly woozy on a rich chocolate hit.

Brownies are probably the easiest cakes to make. Melt 250g butter with 150g soft brown sugar and 200g dark chocolate then take off the heat. Beat 3 eggs with 3 overripe bananas and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix all this with the melted butter mixture. Then stir in 150g self raising flour and 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 120g chopped walnuts. Some recipes will indicate using more sugar than this but quite frankly if your bananas are as overripe as mine you won’t need it. So stick with these measures for success.

For those with a nervous disposition I suggest eating these in the morning where medical attention will be easier to access. If you eat them later you probably won’t sleep at night. Certainly I don’t expect to sleep tonight. The cardiac arrhythmia has already started and the medication is lined up on the work surface. 70% cocoa solids? Yay!

These quantities are sufficient to fill a standard sized lined baking tray. Halve the quantity if you want to about a dozen. Though why you would I cannot imagine. The whole street will be rhythmically sleepwalking to your door with noses in the air as the waft of warm chocolate and walnuts drifts out of the extractor fan and infiltrates all available open windows.

Pour the mixture into a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 35 minutes. Check after 25 minutes and place a single layer of parchment paper on top if it looks as if the edges are getting too brown.

Then remove the tray from the oven. I challenge you to not touch them till they get cold. No, that’s not fair; in fact my advice is don’t leave them till they get cold. They are mouth-wateringly delicious whilst still warm. If you want to be really decadent try them with leftovers icecream.

Leftovers icecream: Mix one medium sized (300ml in this instance) pot of full fat plain yogurt, with one small pot of readymade custard and about 30% of a jar of salted caramel sauce and a mashed banana. Pour into a container and freeze. Eat it all about 5 hours later – possibly with a warm brownie. You don’t have to eat it all. But it seems to make sense. And to eat it with a brownie or two, given that this combination is a marriage made in heaven.

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