If you’ve never had good old fashioned Banana Pudding then you are seriously missing out! This creamy dessert is so popular that there’s even a 2 day festival in hour of it. I kid you not; there’s a National Banana Pudding Festival the first week of October in Centerville, Tennessee!
It’s generally associated with the Southern part of the United States but it’s popular in all parts of the country. It’s not really known exactly how the dessert became a Southern Icon but it’s been a Southern specialty since the 1940’s if not longer.
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding is pretty similar to the English Trifle in that it’s layers of creamy custard, fruit, and a soft spongy cookie which can be topped if desired with a dollop of whipped cream, or in some homes meringue.
This iconic dessert was further popularized by the Nabisco company when it published the recipe on the box of every Nabisco brand Nilla Wafers, which of course is featured as Wone of the key ingredients.
So back to the beginning, if you’ve never had good Old Fashioned Banana Pudding you’re missing out. So to rectify that here’s a recipe for this yummy dessert. And no instant Banana Pudding from a box doesn’t count!
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
1 Tbs. Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Salt
4 Cups Whole Milk
4 Egg Yolks
1 Tsp. Vanilla
4-5 Ripe Bananas
1 Box Vanilla Wafers (the Nabisco brand are called Nilla Wafers)
Whisk flour, sugar, salt, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a saucepan.
Cook on medium heat about 15 – 20 minutes or until thick. Keep stirring mixture as it cooks so it won’t scorch and stick to the pan.
Remove from heat.
Layer vanilla wafers in the bottom of a dish or bowl.
Add a layer of banana slices, one on each wager works well.
Pour 1/2 of pudding over the layers.
Repeat a layer of wafers and bananas on top of the pudding layer.
Pour the other half of the pudding over that new layer.
Top with crushed wafers if desired.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Delicious, sweet and fruity pud, great served with cream or ice cream – make the case with bought pastry
ready in 1½ -1¾ hours, plus chilling time
500g pack shortcrust pastry at room temperature, thawed if frozen
8 ripe figs, stalks trimmed
finely grated zest and juice of one large juicy orange
1 tbsp clear honey
200g softened butter
200g golden caster sugar
200g packet ground almonds
2 medium egg yolks
1. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a shallow loose-bottomed 25cm flan tin. Make sure the pastry comes above the rim – it may shrink in baking and the filling could spill. Chill for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut the figs in half lengthways and sit them cut side up on a roasting tray. Mix the orange juice and honey in a bowl, pour over the figs and roast for 10-12 minutes until just soft. Drain off any juice into a saucepan and reserve.
3. Prick the base of the chilled pastry case all over with a fork, then line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to fan 130C/conventional 150C/ gas 2. Leave the pastry case to cool slightly before filling.
4. Cream butter and sugar in a food processor or with an electric beater until smooth and pale. Tip in the ground almonds and zest and whizz briefly to combine. Add egg yolks and 1 tbsp of the reserved fig juice and whizz again until smooth. Spread evenly over the pastry case.
5. Gently press the figs cut side up into the almond mixture. Bake for 11⁄4 hours or until it’s golden all over (don’t worry if the centre still seems soft – a little gooeyness is good). Leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove sides and transfer on its base to a wire rack to cool.
6. Before serving, take the tart off its base and transfer to a flat platter or board. If you have juice left from roasting the figs, bring it to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sticky and syrupy. Brush this over the figs and serve as soon as possible, while the syrup is still glossy on the figs (it will start to seep through into the filling if you leave it too long).
I recently found myself with several over ripe bananas and leftover Buttermilk. I know over ripe bananas usually mean a batch or two of Banana Bread, but I still had a few loaves in the freezer. Besides I wasn’t in the mood for Banana Bread.
I was however in the mood for cake! So why not bake some banana cupcakes? Then I remember that a local bakery sold this yummy banana cake with Chantilly Icing. I think Chantilly icing must a a local Hawaii favorite because the recipe isn’t too easy to come by.
You might be wondering what Chantilly Icing is. Well it’s sort of hard to describe, it’s sweet, creamy, and buttery; kind of but not quite like the frosting on a German Chocolate cake.
In Hawaii Chantilly icing is used on Chantilly Cake which is very similar to a German Chocolate Cake but with macadamia nuts instead of coconut flakes. It’s also used to top Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs, those delectable chocolate cream filled puffs. It’s also used on Banana Cake!
So to make these really yummy Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing I used 2 different recipes. The Banana Cake recipe and a recipe for that delicious Chantilly Frosting. The frosting I made was more than enough to ice the cupcakes. I refrigerated the leftover frosting and used them on a chocolate cake a few days later.
3/4 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed
2 Tsp. Lemon Juice
3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
Line Cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time.
Beat in vanilla and cinnamon.
Add lemon juice to mashed bananas and stir until smooth.
Add to butter mixture.
Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together.
Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture.
Pour batter into cupcake wraps about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool.
Frost when completely cooled.
1 2/3 Cup Butter
1 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 Cup Baker’s or Caster Sugar
2 Tsp. Vannilla
2 Egg Yolks
2 Tbs. Corn Starch
Melt Butter in saucepan over medium low heat.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Whisk in milk, sugar, and vanilla.
Then whisk in eggs and yolks one at a time.
Cook on medium hear until it comes to s low boil. Whisking is it intermittently.
Once it boils cook for another 2 minutes continuing to whisk intermittently.
Remove from heat then quickly sift in cornstarch while whisking. Whisk cornstarch quickly and hard to prevent it from lumping.
Pour into a shallow bowl and cool to room temp.
Cover and refrigerate about 3 hours or until it’s in a spreadable consistency.
Ensaymada is one of my favorite Filipino treats. It has been a popular Filipino roll for over 4 centuries ever since it was adapted from the Spanish pastry called Ensaimada which originated is Mallorca, Spain.
There or many versions of this Filipino roll which like a brioche is sweet and fluffy. Many bakeries specialize in this yummy pastry, a couple of my favorites are Goldilocks and Red Ribbon. Unlike the brioche which has no topping Ensaymadas are slathered in butter, dipped in sugar and sprinkled with cheese, in many cases “queso de bola” the Filipino name for Edam.
Since it’s a family favorite it’s no wonder that the aunties have their own favorite recipe. In fact there are one or two aunties who are known for making Ensaymada, a treat which they bring to most family gatherings.
But one can’t rely on the aunties to make this favorite roll, specially since we all live so far apart. That’s why I’ve started making Ensaymada at home, using auntie’s recipe of course!
The ensaymada dough is rolled and placed into tart pans, it’s the best way to ensure uniform size and shape. I use these 5″ aluminum tart pans I buy from Amazon. I’ve found it was the least expensive way to buy them. And of course being Asian I wash and reuse them!
If I can’t find Edam cheese I use grated cheddar cheese instead. The other ingredients are things you probably already have in the pantry and fridge. It also calls for a dozen egg yolks, I know you’re left trying to figure out what to do with the egg whites! How about making Pavlovas? Here’s my Pavlova recipe, it’s definitely worth a try!
The Ensaymada recipe is pretty easy, but it does take several hours because the dough has to rise. I usually start early in the morning and am done sometime in the afternoon, depending on how fast the dough rises. I use the dough hook on my stand mixer to knead the dough, but you can also knead it by hand.
Homemade Ensaymada may take time and patience, but it is definitely worth the effort!
1 Cup Warm Water
2 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. Yeast
8 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Sugar
12 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Butter softened
24 Tsp. Grated Edam
1 Stick Butter softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
Mix Warm Water, 2 Tbs. sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl.
Let stand in a warm place for 20 minutes, it should be foamy.
Add 1 Cup of flour to yeast mixture and mix well.
Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes, set your timer so it doesn’t over rise.
Add milk, 1 cup sugar, egg yolks, and butter to the yeast mixture, mix well.
Add remaining 7 cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time. Mix well between additions.
Knead dough until flour is all combined, do not over knead.
Divide dough into 24 balls working 1 tsp. cheese into each ball.
Flatten each ball with a rolling pin to about 1/2″ thick then roll into a cigar shape that’s about 10″ long rope.
Coil rope into each tart pan.
Place in a warm place and let rise for 3-4 hour. Top of roll will be above tart pan rim.
Pre-heat over to 325 degrees. Once it reaches temperature wait 10 minutes then put ensaymada in the over. (I place tart pans on a large baking sheet and slide the whole sheet in the oven.
Bake 7 Minutes then rotate pan 180 degrees and bake for another 7 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Remove from pans and brush tops with softened butter.
Dip each roll in sugar then sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Wrap each roll in plastic wrap.
Rolls may be frozen by placing wrapped rolls in a freezer bag. Warm frozen rolls in microwave for about 1 minute.
My all time favorite Filipino dessert is Cassava Cake. What you may ask is Cassava Cake? It’s a sticky dessert made from the Cassava (Manihot esculenta) a starchy tuberous root widely cultivated in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. It is a staple in the developing world. When it’s dried its to a powdery or pearly extract we call it tapioca!
In the Philippines cassava is grated and used as the main ingredient for desserts including Suman, a sticky dessert wrapped in banana leaves. I like that too, but my favorite is Cassava Cake the way my grandma used to make. This so called cake isn’t really a cake, at least not in consistency. It is not “cakey” or “spongy” at all, instead is has a sticky consistency similar to “mochi”.
I’ve had several versions of Cassava Cake, made by different friends hailing from other provinces of the Philippines. From what I have observed it seems that different regions prepare it differently. I like our version the best, the bottom part has that same sticky consistency, but it has an almost custardy top layer. My version is also pretty sweet, just perfect for my sweet tooth. I do have to say that Cassava Cake may be an acquired taste, some folks love it and others can’t stand it.
This recipe has been in our family for years! The only difference in we’ve “modernized” it. Back in the day my grandma and aunts would spend a day grating the cassava and coconut, then the evening soaking the grated coconut and squeezing out the milk. These day we buy the frozen coconut milk and grated cassava, so much easier. You can use canned coconut milk instead of the frozen one, but my aunt insists the frozen coconut milk is best. You can buy both the frozen grated cassava and coconut milk at most Asian markets. I hope you like it!
1 16 oz. bag frozen grated cassava, thawed
1 16 oz. bag frozen coconut milk, thawed
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1 Can Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
6 Egg Yolks
1/2 Stick Butter, Melted
Mix all ingredients is a large bowl. Stir well to make sure sugar dissolves and milks are well blended.
Pour into 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
Place filled pan into a larger roasting pan.
Fill roasting pan with water until is reaches the half way point of the panning containing the cassava mixture.
Place both pans in a 350 degree oven and steam for about an hour or until the middle is set.