A childhood classic given a modern twist, this fruity split is the perfect dessert to share with a crowd. Place all the separate elements in the centre of the table and arm your guests with their own bowl and spoon. Ready, set, go!
1 tub good–quality vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Salted peanut honey wafers
35g (¼ cup) plain flour
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
85g (¼ cup) honey, warmed slightly
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg white
100g salted roasted peanuts, very coarsely chopped
Chocolate fudge sauce
185g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), chopped
185ml (¾ cup) pouring cream
1 tablespoon honey
Caramelised Honeyed Banana
6 firm, ripe bananas (about 170 g each)
20g butter, diced
2 tablespoon honey
150ml thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1½ tablespoon icing sugar
To make the honey and peanut wafers, preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Combine the honey, butter and egg white, add to the dry ingredients and use a balloon whisk to stir until just combined and smooth. Pour the mixture onto the lined tray and use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture evenly into a thin 25 cm x 30 cm rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with the peanuts. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 25 minutes minutes, turning the tray around after 15 minutes to help bake evenly, or until dark golden and the centre is cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray (this will take about 30 minutes). Break into large pieces and set aside.
To make the Chantilly cream, combine the cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and use a balloon whisk or an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover place in the fridge until ready to serve.
To make the chocolate fudge sauce, combine the chocolate, cream and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts and the sauce is smooth. Transfer to a heatproof jug, cover and keep warm.
To make the caramelised honeyed bananas, peel the bananas and cut each in half lengthways. Melt half the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in half the honey and then add half the banana slices in a single layer. Cook for 2-4 minutes each side or until the bananas are golden and caramelised. Transfer to a serving bowl, wipe out the pan with paper towel and repeat with the remaining butter, honey and banana.
To serve, place the caramelised banana, wafers, fudge sauce, cream and ice-cream in the centre of the table for guests to assemble their own dessert.
The wafers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
The chocolate fudge sauce will keep in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a small saucepan or microwave until smooth and warmed through.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
These clever cookies are the hybrid of a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie – dark, rich and chewy on one side and crisp, simple and familiar on the other. The perfect cookie really!
Chocolate chip cookie dough
125g butter, softened
110g (½ cup) granulated white sugar
55g (¼ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
1 egg, at room temperature
185g (1¼ cups) plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
125g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), coarsely chopped
Salted peanut brownie dough
125g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), chopped
100g butter, cubed
165g (¾ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
150g (1 cup) plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g salted roasted peanuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper.
To make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Sift together the flour and baking powder, add to the butter mixture with the chopped chocolate and mix on the lowest possible speed until just evenly combined. Cover and place in the fridge while making the salted peanut brownie dough.
To make the Salted Peanut Brownie Dough, put the dark chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir occasionally over low heat until just melted and smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly. Use a balloon whisk to stir the sugar, egg and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until well combined. Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda, add to the chocolate mixture with the peanuts and use a wooden spoon to stir until evenly combined. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes or until the same consistency as the chocolate chip cookie dough.
Take half a tablespoonful of both doughs and roll them together into a ball, keeping the different colours separate. Place on the lined tray, with the join between the two doughs running down the centre. Flatten to about 4cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Repeat to fill the tray, leaving about 5cm between the cookies.
Bake in for 12 minutes or until the chocolate chip half is golden and cooked through and the brownie halves are still slightly soft to touch. Cool on the tray. Repeat with the remaining cookie doughs in two more batches.
These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days – the longer they are kept the softer they will become.
This shortbread is simple and super quick to make - only 10 minutes preparation! Even though you need to chill the dough before slicing into the biscuit shapes it is perfect to make ahead of time and keep in the fridge or freezer for when you need it.
150g butter, diced, at room temperature 110g (½ cup) caster sugar 150g (1 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 30g (⅓ cup) cornflour 70g (⅔ cup) almond meal 1 orange or lemon, zest finely grated 50g candied orange peel strips (optional), finely chopped, to sprinkle
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor except the candied orange peel and process for 1 minute or until the mixture starts to form a dough – be careful not to over-mix.
Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured bench top, bring together with your hands and then knead briefly until smooth. Divide into two equal portions and roll each into thick sausages about 4cm in diameter and 15cm long. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Unwrap the biscuit dough, slice into 1cm-thick rounds and place on the baking trays about 2cm apart to allow for spreading. Sprinkle each biscuit with a little of the chopped candied orange peel if using.
Bake for 20 minutes, swapping the trays half way through baking, or until pale golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays.
If you don’t have a food processor, leave the butter at room temperature for about 30 minutes for it to soften slightly and then just use your fingertips to rub the butter through the dry ingredients and then your hands to bring it together into a dough.
Keep in an airtight container or jar for up to 1 week.
The uncooked dough, rolled into logs and wrapped well in plastic wrap, can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week. It can also be kept in the freezer, sealed in freezer bags or an airtight container, for up to 1 month. Thaw the rolls in the fridge before slicing and baking.
These macaroons are commonly crumbled and used in the traditional Danish Lagkage (layer cake), a traditional Danish birthday cake. They are wonderfully crisp on the outside while being mor-ishly soft on the inside and are truly addictive as a ‘sweet’ treat. While not traditional, I’ve taken the liberty of adding a sprinkling of flaked almonds for extra texture.
100g almond meal 100g pure icing sugar, sifted Good pinch of bicarbonate of soda 2 egg whites, at room temperature Pinch of salt 25g (¼ cup) flaked almonds, to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Put the almond meal, icing sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a medium bowl and mix until evenly combined.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites and salt in a medium clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the almond meal and icing sugar mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until evenly combined.
Use two metal teaspoons to spoon slightly heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined tray about 4 cm apart to allow for spreading. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and then bake in the third top of the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden and aromatic.
Cool the macaroons on the tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 20 macaroons in total.
These macaroons will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Reminiscent of the good old Digestives, these biscuits easily swing between savoury and sweet. Serve them with blue cheese or dip them in dark chocolate to give them the flavour preference you prefer.
150g wholemeal plain flour
130g (1 cup) oat bran
75g (⅓ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
125g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
60ml (¼ cup) milk
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Put the flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture with the milk and use the pulse button to process until the mixture starts to come together as a dough. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and bring it together with your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out until about 5 mm thick. Use a 6 cm round cutter to cut the dough into discs and place them on the lined trays about 3 cm apart. Prick the tops of each biscuit twice with a fork. Reroll any off cuts and cut out more biscuits.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden around the edges, aromatic and cooked through. Cool on the trays.
These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Place the butter, sugar, flour, cornflour, cocoa powder, hazelnut meal and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor (see Baker's Tips) and process for 1 minute or until the mixture starts to form a dough (be careful not to over-mix).
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, add the chocolate and bring together with your hands to combine evenly.
Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays about 5cm apart. Flatten each with a fork so that they are about 1cm thick.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can make these shortbread by hand. Leave the butter at room temperature for a little while for it to soften slightly. Put the sugar, flour, cornflour, cocoa powder and hazelnut meal in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the vanilla and then use your fingertips to rub the butter through the dry ingredients until it starts to come together and forms a dough. Continue the recipe from Step 3.
These shortbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.