So. The Olympics are over and normal life has resumed. Does anybody else feel like there’s a gaping hole in the shape of fiver inter-linked rings in their lives now? At least it’s only for a couple of weeks until the Paralympics start (hurry up already!), but in the mean time, comfort food is clearly the order of the day. What’s that? The point of the games was to inspire everybody to go be sporty and all? Well that’s all good, but people still have to eat, so comfort food wins out for today. I’ve got the perfect comfort dessert for you – not only is it delicious, but it’s also exceptionally easy and quick to prepare… Fast food with no McDonald’s in sight.
After last month’s excuse for a nosy snoop around other bloggers’ bookshelves, we’re going “back to the very beginning” for this month’s Random Recipes, meaning back to the original rules of randomly picking a book, then randomly picking a recipe from said book. Simple. I used the random number button on my calculator as usual, which directed me to book number five, which turned out to be Cuisine Express, a convenient choice since the recipes are all fairly quick to prepare, though a fair few of the shortcut ingredients aren’t very easy to find outside of France (and are usually expensive if you do), which isn’t ideal. I needn’t have worried though, since the random number button directed me to page 146, giving me a choice of several different quick fruit mousse recipes.
As delicious and tempting as the raspberry or peach mousses sounded, it’s very much not raspberry nor peach season here, so I chose the banana express mousse. It definitely lives up to its name as it only takes ten minutes to prepare, although it does require at least two hours of chilling in the fridge before serving. But actually that’s great because it’s a dessert that can be prepared in advance or even the night before, which is always helpful. The mousse itself is lovely and creamy and smooth, and the banana flavour comes through strongly, which is great. I added some honey on a whim since I’ve got a bit of a sore throat so I’m adding honey to things left, right and centre at the moment and that was a delicious little added extra, as were the banana slices and toasted walnuts. They’re all optional extras, but they can take this from an everyday dessert to one presentable enough to finish up a dinner party without much extra effort (always a bonus!). Serving it in martini glasses or champagne coupes also automatically makes it look fancier. Here’s to speedy comfort food!
Banana express mousse
Adapted from Cuisine Express
Although very quick to prepare, don’t forget to plan for the 2h of refrigeration. The mousse can be refrigerated for longer, even overnight if necessary – the lemon juice keeps the banana from going all brown. This can work as a fancy dessert served in martini glasses, champagne coupes or other fancy glassware, or an everyday dessert served in little ramekins or bowls. The decorations on top are totally optional, but do add a little bit of pizzazz to the presentation. Whilst brown sugar would go really well with the bananas, I decided to stick with white sugar as I’m not sure that using brown would result in the most presentable of colours.
5 bananas (includes 1 to serve which is optional)
40g caster sugar
200ml whipping cream
20g icing sugar
6 walnut halves (optional)
Honey, to serve (optional)
1. Peel four of the bananas (keep the fifth one unpeeled until needed) and pop them in a blender along with the juice of the lemon and the caster sugar. Whizz together until totally smooth.
2. In a large bowl, whip the cream. As it begins to firm up, add the icing sugar and continue whisking until firm. Gently add the banana mixture to the whipped cream and carefully fold together. Split equally between four martini glasses/champagne coupes/ramekins/bowls. Refrigerate for at least 2h.
3. Whilst the mousse is chilling, roughly chop the walnuts and toast in a frying pan over a low heat until fragrant. Allow to cool and set aside until needed.
4. To serve, peel and slice the last banana, lay three slices of banana in the middle of each individual mousse, and top with the toasted walnuts and a drizzle of honey. Serve immediately.