Category Archives: vanilla

Banana and chocolate chip bread and butter pudding

This is a quick and easy dessert that uses up two kitchen perennials: over ripe bananas and slightly stale bread.  I tend to use a two inch deep pyrex dish for this  as I love the cruchy/caramelised topping and my partner prefers the mushy creamy underside.   If you like the topping better, use a shallower dish to provide more surface area.


  • 2 overripe bananas (I pop bananas in the freezer as soon as they start turning black.  You can peel and slice them straight from the freezer)
  • A loaf of slightly stale bread (I wouldn’t use rye or anything savoury, of course but this works great with just about any bread: raisin loaf, white, whole wheat, panettone, brioche… whatever!)
  • Vanilla
  • Turbinado / Demerara sugar (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • a handful of chocolate chips


  1. Cut the bread up into good sized chunks (about 1 inch) and place in dish.
  2. Add the sliced up bananas and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
  3. In a large measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla.   Add butter and microwave until milk is hot enough to finish melting the butter.  Whisk and pour quickly over the bread (you want the butter to be fairly homogeneously distributed).
  4. Sprinkle with the sugar.
  5. Bake in a hot oven (about 180 but that depends on your oven) until the whole thing puffs up a bit and the edges of the bread pieces on top start to darken.
  6. Serve immediately topped with vanilla icecream.  (left overs can be warmed again, or eaten cold)

Strawberry Rescue Sauce

So last night as I was making that Shrimp & Spinach salad, I noticed that my strawberries were starting to look a touch over-ripe.

Letting strawberries rot is sacrilege as I see it.    So instead, I’ve extended their life by making Strawberry Rescue sauce.

In a saucepan,

  • Put 1 tablespoon of sugar for every 100g of strawberries you need to rescue.
  • Pour enough vanilla extract in to wet the sugar.
  • Add the washed and hulled strawberries.
  • Cook over a high heat only until they’ve rendered a red juice.   allow to cool.


  • If your strawberries were in particularly bad shape and you were only able to salvage bits of them, turn this into a coulis by puréeing the cooled sauce.   This works brilliantly over ice cream.
  • This is a lovely topper for a piece of bread or a scone.