If you are a baker, a cook or even a mum, I think you can relate to the situation I faced the other day. After a few years of cooking and baking I have developed a fair amount of concealed muscle from hand kneading bread and my hands show the battle scars of sugar craft and knife work gone wrong. Anyone who cooks has some mark on their hands and arms that shows that they have been in kitchen. If you don’t, you have not been the kitchen long enough or you are some freak of perfect nature.
I am talking about the phenomenon I like to call developing baker’s muscles and cooks hands. I am sure there is more correct term for it but in short it is the physical traits you obtain from your hobby or job that signifies you are a part of social group. So for baker’s kneading gives you very good muscles and cooks have very scarred hand from their work with fire and knifes. I am a little of both, so I unfortunately have the worst of both worlds. So where ever I go people automaticity look at me weird.
Anyway this means I am hesitant when I have to show my arms and hands to people. I am not sure if they think I am just really clumsy but you never know; people tend to make a big deal out of scars and burns. Believe me, being called “emo” one too many times has caused me to rage on people. Right now spring has dawned upon Australia and we just had to lose an hour for day light savings; this tell me that I can no long cover up my arms anymore. Great….
On this particular day I was buying white rice, and in an Asian family white rice is staple of everything (as much as I hate it). My family buys rice from the local Asian store down the road, normally in 10-15 kilo bags. On this occasion I had to go, and let’s say I have learnt my lesson about being absent minded about my baker’s muscles and cooks hands. I am not a big person (5 foot 1’ to 5 foot 2’ ), so to the shop keepers surprise I picked up the big bag of rice with one hand and processed to walk around the store with it (I cannot help it, I like walking around food stalls) Cause my absentmindedness because a minute later I was told in Chinese (translated to best of my knowledge), “My gosh you have lots of strength and so many scars like a man”
Like really, I am already Self-conscious about my body, let alone a complete stranger telling me I have arms like man. The perils of being in an ABC (Australian born Chinese), your fellow older Asians have no filter when it comes to opinions.
A least these pudding cakes do not have anything to hide. I made these on the off day it was hot then cold in Australia. Now these are not the American Style pudding cakes but the English kind often served warm with sauce and double cream. So very comforting and it is hard to resist the toffee sauce from Nigella Lawson.
While I made mine with light syrup, I have made it before with molasses, treacle, maple etc. and it turn out fine too. I am sure I am not alone in preferring wholegrain whenever possible, so for denser cakes I do like to use grain flours. Not to mention it add to the flavour, nuttiness without the nuts.
Now, you WANT a big crack in your cakes for the sauce but if you do not have one you can poke a skewer a few times into the cake to help the toffee sauce get in. The crunchy topping is something I added after having a wild idea to turn my stale pancakes into croutons. It is like pancake flavour times 100X, who is going to complain about that?
Banoffee pie is such a loved classic, try your hand at turning it into a warm dessert for those times you need extreme comfort ( like me after being called a man…)
Spelt banoffee pudding cakes with pancake crumbles.
Adapted from Taste.com
Make 6 large Texas muffin sizes cakes
250g spelt flour
50g brown rice flour
160g brown sugar (light)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nut meg
2 cups of mash banana ( about three bananas)
130ml vegetable oil plus 50g melted butter
2 egg yolks plus 2 eggs, whisked together
1 scraped vanilla pod
80ml golden syrup or (treacle- deeper, heavier, slightly bitter syrup)
Pre heat oven to 180C, Grease a texas muffin tin with butter and then flour the sides.
In a large bowl shift your flour, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a large jug combine the bananas, sugar, oil and butter mix, egg mix and vanilla bean.
Make a hole in the middle of flour mix and pour our wet mix in to the hole. Fold in the two mixtures with a wooden spoon until just mixed.
Pour into prepared muffin tin, with the batter coming up to ¾ of the tin. Smooth out the surface and place in oven,
Once in the oven turn it down to 160C and bake for 30-40 minutes or until skewer comes clean. Allow them to cool in trays for 10 minutes once baked then transfer to wire cooling rack.
4-6 medium stale wholemeal pancakes
Crumble up your stale pancakes into small pieces about 5mm to 1cm big.
Lay on a lined baking tray.
Bake at 120C for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes for even browning.
Turn off oven and leave to dry overnight. Store in air tight container until use.
Serve warm with Sticky Toffee sauce (I used this one here from Nigella Lawson) and Pancake crumble.