Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel


 
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

I am an absolute shocker at buying bananas and then not eating them, which results in more banana baked goods than bananas being eaten in this household. I always have good intentions to make smoothies, or have them as a snack with some nut butter (which I love, I just always forget), so they inevitably end up weird and spotty, and I bake with them. It’s not the worst problem to have, seeing as I am married to someone with a banana bread addiction, so we always have some on hand in the freezer, pre-sliced, so rich can just pop it in the toaster when the need arises.

I’ve been wanting to work on a banana bundt cake for a while now, and a week or so ago we had an intense backlog of brown bananas, so I started testing. The testing process was actually quite quick, as my go-to banana cake recipe, which I use for a regular layer cake (super old photos, please excuse) and also a sheet cake, bundted like a champ, and I hardly had to make any tweaks. It’s always a little hit and miss when you try baking a recipe you know in a bundt pan - it either is a spectacular fail (like the first test of this cake), or it works first time and all is right with the world (this devil’s food bundt did exactly that and it was just the best day ever).

I topped these mini banana bundt cakes with a coffee caramel - infusing caramel is super easy as it is cream based, so to inject flavour all you have to do is infuse the cream. This time I steeped it with some coffee, and it came out great. Always remember that the flavour will be diluted once it is made into a caramel - I always get a bit worried for a second when the cream is super strong! The caramel was so lovely against the banana, and the coffee flavour complimented it perfectly. You definitely don’t need a caramel topping, but it looks amazing and is a little something extra!

I originally tested this in a regular sized bundt pan (I used this one), and it worked great, so if you don’t have these mini babies, then you can double the recipe - I have popped some instructions in the notes.

A few wee tips:

  • I made a single batch of this recipe twice so that I had 12 little cakes. I found flour settled in the grooves, so I just used some baking spray to help prevent sticking. I used this pan!

  • If you would like, you can double it and put it in a 10 cup bundt pan (I tested it in this), and bake for 55-60 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 min before turning out. Make sure the pan is well greased with baking spray and flour.

  • I like to give the caramel an overnight rest, which means it will likely have to be microwaved to get to the right texture once you are ready to use it, but if you like you can also make it before you make the cakes and leave it to cool while you bake them - if you put it in a shallow container to cool (rather than a jar) it will cool quicker because it has more surface area! I usually just pop it in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight because #lazy.

  • You want your bananas to be waaay on the ripe side for this if possible. Like, if you look at them and are like “ooooh that’s almost rotten” - that’s great. Regular spotty bananas work too!

  • This recipe has a slightly weird step in it - it gets you to dissolve baking soda in milk. This is how I’ve always done it, because this cake is adapted from the banana cake I grew up on. I think it may be to reduce the risk of baking soda bombs in the cake (when you bite into a lump), I guess NZ bakers are bad at sifting their baking soda, or it is to help it disperse? Anyway, it’s there because that’s how I’ve always done it, would love to know if you know the reason! If you don’t want to do this step you can probably just add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, and add the milk along with the vanilla and banana.

 

 

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel

- Makes 6 cakes -

Note: I made this recipe twice in order to give me 12 cakes - I baked them, then let the pan cool while I mixed up the next batch.

Cake adapted from "Edmonds Cookbook"

Coffee Salted Caramel
230g heavy cream
30g coarsely ground coffee
200g sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt

Banana Mini Bundt Cakes
125g butter, at room temperature
150g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g very ripe bananas (about two bananas), mashed
40g whole milk
1 tsp baking soda
250g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 

- PROCESS -

COFFEE SALTED CARAMEL

Place the cream in a small saucepan. Heat over gentle heat, until you start to see movement around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the ground coffee, stirring to combine. Cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down to get as much infused cream out as possible. Clean the saucepan. Weigh the cream, and top up to 120g if needed. Place over a low heat while you prepare the caramel.

Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the infused cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely - either in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours.

BANANA MINI BUNDT CAKES

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla bean paste and mashed bananas, and mix to combine.

Warm up the milk either in the microwave or in a very small pan, then add the baking soda and mix to dissolve. Add to the mixture and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the mixer, and mix on low until just combined.

Spray a 6-well bundt cakelet pan with baking spray (see notes on making this a full sized bundt cake), and evenly divide the batter between them. Tap firmly on the bench to help remove any air bubbles. Place on a sheet pan.

Bake the mini bundt cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

ASSEMBLY

Place the cooled bundts on a wire rack over a baking sheet. If your caramel has cooled, warm it up in the microwave slightly until it is a pouring consistency.

Drizzle the cakes with the coffee caramel, and finish with sea salt if desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. If you aren’t planning on eating them all at once, you can store the caramel and cakes separately and assemble before eating to prevent them going too soggy.

Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars


 
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
https://www.phaidon.com/store/food-cook/simple-and-classic-9780714878119/
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread

Hi hi! I’ve been wanting to share a caramel slice recipe on here for the longest time! Caramel slice was a classic bakery treat I grew up eating (we call a ‘bar’ a slice in New Zealand), and they are an absolute favourite of mine. They are essentially a baked shortbread base, which then has a salted caramel mixture poured over it, followed by a dark chocolate ganache topping, and, if you like, a heavy sprinkling of salt. I love to get them out when I am at a bakery, but they are also super easy to make at home, and make the perfect sweet treat. From a quick google, it seems as if this is called a bunch of things - salted caramel shortbread, millionaire’s shortbread, caramel slice, etc. They all seem to be iterations of the same recipe, but all super delicious.

This version comes from a beautiful new book I was sent by the lovely folks at Phaidon - it is the newest from Jane Hornby, called ‘Simple and Classic - 123 Step by Step recipes’. The idea behind it is super clever - it is jam packed with recipes, ranging from sweet to savoury, all with step by step photos accompanying each recipe. So often in cook books there will only be one hero image of each recipe, so it is amazing to see not only step by step photos of each part of the recipe, but also broken down ingredient shots. This book would be perfect for a visual learner, or for someone who is beginning to cook and needs a little more guidance in terms of breaking down the recipe steps. I have my eye on a bunch more recipes, and have already sent one to a friend as a gift!

This recipe is super simple, but tastes anything but. It starts with a baked shortbread dough, which is baked until golden brown in the oven. Once it is slightly cooled, a thick layer of salted caramel is poured on, and left to set. The whole thing is then finished off with a layer of dark chocolate, and loaded up with flaky sea salt. A little goes a long way with this, but once you start snacking on it, you somehow find it disappearing much faster than you thought it would. The best.

A few wee tips:

  • This looks a little complicated, but I promise that it is not - each component is super simple.

  • I left my caramel to cool overnight, but you can probably just leave it for a few hours if you need - it does hold onto heat for longer than you think!

  • I wanted the top of my slice to have some texture in the chocolate, so I poured the chocolate on, then popped it in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then used an offset spatula to swirl up the chocolate, then left it to set completely.

  • According to Jane, to make this traditional Millionaire’s shortbread, you can add only a pinch of salt in the filling, and leave it out from the top, and then use semisweet chocolate on the top (about 30% milk solids)

 

 

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

- Makes about 12 large pieces, or 24 smaller pieces -

Recipe reprinted with permission from ‘Simple and Classic’ by Jane Hornby

Crust
110g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
50g superfine (caster) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
140g all-purpose flour

Salted Caramel
110g unsalted butter
200g dark brown sugar
80g golden syrup or corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 400g (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate topping
200g bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 Tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt

Flaky sea salt, for topping

 

- PROCESS -

SHORTBREAD BASE

Lightly grease an 8” (20cm) shallow square baking pan, then line with parchment paper. Put the butter into a large bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until creamy and pale. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat again until even paler.

Sift the flour over the creamed butter and sugar. Using a spatula, gently work the flour into the mixture to make an even dough that starts to clump together.

Press the dough into the prepared pan, then level and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Prick it all over with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes, or longer if you like, until firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°f /160°c.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden all over. Let cool completely.

CARAMEL

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup, and salt together gently in a saucepan, then stir in the condensed milk.

Bring the caramel to a simmer, stirring constantly with a spatula, and let it bubble for 4 minutes, or until it thickens and smells like creamy toffee. It should be thick enough for the spatula to leave a trail in the caramel for a few seconds. Don’t leave the pan or stop stirring during this step, because it can easily burn on the bottom.

Pour the caramel over the shortbread, then let it cool completely.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING

Melt the chocolate either over a saucepan of water or in the microwave. Stir in the oil, then pour this over the caramel. Sprinkle with the salt and let set at room temperature, or in the fridge if it is a hot day. The oil helps stop the chocolate setting too hard, which can make it difficult to cut.

When the chocolate is just set, mark it into squares, then chill until completely firm.

Cut into cubes to serve. For a really clean finish, wipe the blade of your knife with a slightly damp cloth between each slice. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread

Simple and Classic is copyright Phaidon Press Limited, and was written by Jane Hornby and published in 2019

Miso Caramel Apple Pie


 
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel
Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel

It doesn't feel at all like autumn, even though there are already apples and pears at the green market. The days are still hot and humid, and it's all too tempting to flick on the air conditioning and pretend that it isn't boiling outside. I am right in the middle of a bunch of travel (we leave for the Saveur awards TODAY and I am v nervous but also v excited! You can follow along on stories!), so hopefully once we make it back it will be well and truly warm clothes weather.

I head to San Fran the day after getting back from the blog awards, and then we are going to PARIS!! I am in the middle of an epic planning list, and spend my free time reading up on other bloggers who have been there, just to plan out the list of the eats. I can't wait! We used to travel heaps when I was little, but it was mainly to Canada. Europe is crazy far from New Zealand, so we are going to hopefully make the most of living on this side of the world and visit as many places as we can while we live here!

I'm just going to pretend that it's sweater weather though, because there is pie to be made! I riffed on the traditional salted caramel apple pie, by adding a little miso to the caramel. The first time I made it was when Jill and I made Claudia's miso butterscotch sauce to add to something that we were making. I was super on the fence about adding miso to caramel, but we found ourselves standing over the stove, eating it by the spoonful. The miso adds an amazing umami flavour to the caramel, which cuts through the sweetness perfectly. It goes amazingly with the apples - this is probably one of my favourite pies to date. 

A few wee notes:

  • Both the pie dough and the caramel can be prepared the day before you make the pie - the dough is best if you can give it an overnight rest.

  • Have everything all ready to go when you make the caramel, because things move quickly.

  • I added a braided border to the pie, and covered up the little joins by using stamp cut-outs, which are my fave way to fancy up a pie with very little effort.

 

 

Miso Caramel Apple Pie

- Makes one 9 inch pie - 
 

Pie crust recipe from four and twenty blackbirds

Pie dough
2 1/2 cups (310g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp (8g) sugar
2 sticks (226g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Miso Caramel
1 ½ cups (300g) Sugar
9 Tbsp (135g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (180ml) heavy cream
3 Tbsp white Miso
1 tsp flaky sea salt

Filling
1.2kg (2.6lbs) apples, peeled and finely sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
¼ (38g) cup flour
½ cup (50g) raw sugar

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into two discs, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

MISO CARAMEL

Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Place the cream and the miso in a small pan, and whisk together well. Heat until warmed, then keep on a very low heat until needed. Heat the sugar on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely.

PIE ASSEMBLY AND FILLING

On a lightly floured surface, roll the smaller disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.

Roll out the second, larger disc of dough into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips approximately 3/4 inch wide - these will be used for your lattice. Roll out scraps into a long segment, and cut thin strips using a pastry cutter. Braid the strips into 3 strand braids, to use for the border of the pie. Store the strips and braids on a baking sheet in the fridge until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss together the apple and lemon juice. Leave to sit for 5 minutes, then drain any excess liquid. Add the flour and the sugar, and toss well to combine. Transfer the filling to the lined pie dish, packing the slices of apple in tightly, and mounding in the middle. Pour over most of the miso caramel, reserving about 1/4 cup for serving.

Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving a simple lattice. The Lattice that I did on this pie is the same concept, but you place the first line of strips horizontally, then weave in the other line of strips at a 45˚ angle. (Instead of perpendicular like a regular lattice). Trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish. If you are adding a braid border, brush a little egg wash then place on the braid. I used a couple of cut out pie stamp shapes to cover the joins.

Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven. 

Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling. 

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the extra miso caramel.

Miso Caramel Apple Pie - Flaky pastry, fresh apples, and a sweet/savoury miso caramel