I’ve mentioned before going to boarding school at 11. A small, very old school, rich in tradition; with a parallel language. Almost everything had a nickname. From compulsory activities – Gravel Crunching, Spud Bashing, Squizzing, Sticking And Licking. To teachers, the chalk lobbing Chemi T and the feared threesome, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. Named with the malice only a girl’s school can muster. Food, of course, had comparable names. Flabby tinned peaches and custard became Dead Goldfish, Bullet hard boiled eggs in cheese sauce, became Convent Eggs and the most anticipated rare treat, Chunky rectangular slabs of shortbread, slightly soft in the centre, with jugs of thick chocolate custard were affectionately named Thames Mud And Barges. This is my re-invention of that much loved dessert, using the caramelised bananas from my banana bread recipe.
Caramelised Banana Shortbread And Chocolate Sauce
Thames Mud And Banana Barges
For The Chocolate Sauce (Thames Mud) adapted from The Perfect Scoop
- 500mls double cream
- 85g unsalted butter cubed
- 2 tablespoons of glucose syrup (available in the baking aisle)
- 125g sugar
- 230g good quality dark chocolate, cut small
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste
For The Banana Caramel
- 150g caster sugar
- 50mls water
- 250g chopped bananas
- 15g unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
For The Shortbread Barges
- 450g self raising flour
- 375g cold unsalted butter
- 170g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- Sprinkle evenly the sugar in a large frying pan, add the water and swill to wet the sugar. Do not stir
- Place on a high heat and bring to a boil, continue boiling until a rich caramel colour is achieved
- Reduce the heat and add the bananas, 15g unsalted butter and vanilla paste, stir until the bananas break up and the butter has melted and combined
- Set aside to cool
- Put the flour, remaining butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter (like making pastry or crumble)
- The mixture will form clumps, but be sure that the butter is rubbed into the flour and sugar and not left as big blobs
- When all the elements are combined add the cold banana mix and gently fold in. This will be quite sticky and help to combine the dry buttery ingredients. You want it marbled rather than fully mixed in
- Pour into a greased, 20cm (8inch) square baking tray and bake in the centre of the pre heated oven for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown but still a little soft in the centre.
- Leave to cool slightly in the tin and cut to size, then leave to cool completely.
- Meanwhile Put 250mls of the cream in a medium size pan.
- Add the glucose syrup, and sugar and bring to the boil, boil, stirring, until the mixture combines and thickens
- Take off the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until completely melted, gradually add the remainder of the cream stirring continually
- Serve warm in cups, dipping the shortbread into the chocolate sauce.
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