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Christmas Happenings, Banoffee Pie & Tirimisu

Posted Dec 30 2010 12:00am
Hello, and welcome again :)

I hope you had a wonderful christmas. As for me, my christmas was lovely but went much too fast, we all ate way too much and recieved and gave way too many gifts. In December I had loads of catch ups, dinners with friends, birthdays, work christmas celebrations, went to carols by candlelight, did loads of christmas shopping and caught a cold just in time for christmas eve!

I did want to post a photo of our tree prior to christmas but didnt get around to it, my December was pretty crazy. So here is our tree, we get a real tree every year from the christmas tree farm. This year the tree was a perfect shape, almost looks like a fake one doesnt it?

This year I bought this unusual christmas ornament for my dad, a oragami santa, completely made out of paper!

My mums side of the family always celebrates on Christmas Eve, so this year we headed up to my aunties farm for dinner. The weather was lovely and warm and we had lots of lovely food. I made mini vegetable pies, filo veggie slice and banoffee pie (recipe later in the post).

Above: Me, Mikey and Cousin Laura

Above: My mum, my brother and me.

On Christmas day Mikey and I headed to his grandparents place for lunch with his family and then we arrived back at my house to open presents and have dinner with my family, my mum had worked the morning shift.

Here is me and Mikey opening pressies :)

Above: the beginning of our wrapping paper pile!

I recieved loads of lovely gifts! Below is just some of my pressies, I also recieved a massage voucher, a vintage chain-mesh gold purse, gift cards, a great veggie cookbook, a pretty plate set, a cutlery set, towel set and more.

Above: Candle, pretty mug, diary, necklace, hand cream, bed wand, pj's, flowery belt, purse, purfume, earrings, christmas ornament, CD, soaps, cake decorating set.

I mentioned that I made banoffee pie for Christmas Eve, well, let me tell you this is one of the best desserts ive made!

I think this is best made a day or two in advance as it seemed to set and hold together better a couple of days later. The caramel part was a little runny as you can probably see but it didn't make it sloppy, next time I will add more cornflour.

I based my pie on this recipe for the centre but made a different base and topping.

Banoffee Pie

Crust300g Digestive biscuits or similar
50g Margarine

Filling3 Bananas
4oz Brown Sugar
4oz Margerine
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
100ml Rice milk
1 dessert spoon Cornflour
1/2 tsp Vanilla Esscence


1) To make the crust blend or bash biscuits into crumbs, I used the stab blender. Then mix melted margarine with the crumbs, so that it turns into a sticky mixture. You may need more or less margarine. Press firmly into base of pie tin and refridgerate for an hour.
2) In a saucepan with sugar thermometer attached, gently heat the sugar, margerine and and golden syrup.
3) Constantly stiring the mixture with a non plastic spoon, boil upto soft ball stage. Simmer at this temperature for 5 minutes, making sure not to let the temperature go any higher. I did use a candy thermometer but you could *try* bringing it to the boil and then turning it down to the lowest heat while still simmering.
4) Heat the milk and heaped dessert spoonful of cornflour in the microwave until a thick white sauce is made. Stir in the vanilla.
5) Take the toffee off the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
6) Beat the toffee whilst slowely adding the white sauce to it. Mix thoroughly, removing any undisolved lumps of cornflour.
7) Slice the banana thinly and line the base of the pastry case evenly with a couple of layers of banana.
8) Once cooled to room temperature, carefully poor the toffee mixture over the top, making sure as to cover the bananas completely.
9) Refridgerate until completely cold. Next add your choice of cream to cover the toffee banana layer and then top with more banana and grated chocolate. Refridgerate for a few hours before enjoying. The longer you leave it the firmer and less runny the toffee will be.

Here are a couple of other things ive made in the last month....

As you probably know by now, gnocchi is one of my favourite foods. I only recently discovered that there are two types of gnocchi, the more pasta like traditional gnocchi made from potato and flour and roman gnocchi, which is made using semolina. I based my roman gnocchi on this recipe making a few changes. I decided to make a bake with the gnocchi and finely chopped up some cauliflour and broccoli, placed it in the bottom of the dish, covered it with the gnocchi and then made a decent amount of white cheezy sauce to cover the gnocchi.

If you make Roman Gnocchi, deffinately dont expect anything similar to the 'traditional' gnocchi. And beware, it is quite plain so make something tasty to add with it.

A few weeks ago our friends invited us for dinner. They said we didnt need to bring anything, but I always feel terrible going to someones house for a meal and not bringing something. So we set about making Tirimisu!

I had never actually eaten Tirimisu before and I quite liked this, although it didnt beat my banoffee pie ;) I was inspired by this recipe.

You can use a bought sponge cake, but I baked my own. I cant remember which recipe I used for the cake, but there are millions of recipes out there. Then we brewed some coffee, you can use any coffee - instant, from a plunger or coffee machine. We layered the cake and then poured the coffee over the cake to soak in. Next was cream and then the layers were repeated and then topped with grated chocolate.

Ive found loads of lovely things in the post-christmas sales - clothing, accessories and more. To be honest its dangerous for me to go shopping at the moment! Anyway I will be showing you these things in an upcoming post! I also bought a couple of things for a little giveaway in the new year.

New Years Eve is tomorrow and I cant wait for 2011 to roll in!

What do you have planned for your New Years Eve!??
I think Mikey and I will be walking down to the beach to see the local fireworks display and for dinner were making homemade pizza-the best type! The temperature is going to be 43 degrees C tomorrow which is indoors weather as far as im concerned :) Following new years day when the temperature has cooled were in for a delicious BBQ, a great way to celebrate the new year I think.

Whatever it is your doing to celebrate the new year, I hope you have a blast! And I will see you again in 2011! Finally, thankyou so so much for stopping by and reading my blog throughout 2010 :)

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