Sweet sweet Friday: Banana Parfait

Last week, when I was moaning about my fruitless search for a banana and chocolate semi-freddo recipe, lovely Peggy of Fake It ‘Til You Make It fame reminded me of the world’s easiest (and best?) dessert. It’s been hideously humid and sticky here (sorry, northern hemisphere readers) and this is just heavenly.

Banana Parfait
Gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, fat-free, child-friendly, budget-friendly – there is a lot to love about this delectable dessert even before you taste it. You could always shave over some dark chocolate (or pour over some chocolate sauce (melt equal quantities of dark chocolate and cream), but it’s hard to beat as it is.

Are overripe bananas cluttering up your fruit bowl? Throw them in the freezer – you can peel them and wrap them in clingfilm if you like, but I just put them in, skin and all.
When you want to eat, take the bananas out (allow one per person) and peel off the skins with a sharp knife. Cut them into chunks and throw them in your food processor. Blitz until they have formed a smooth, icy puree (this makes a hell of a racket, but it’s worth it). Eat immediately. Chill out.

Do you have an end of the week sweet treat? Add a link to it here to spread the sweetness of Fridays…

Sweet sweet Friday: Apricot Chews

My friend Jeremy, a filmmaker, stay-at-home dad and Renaissance man, recently told me that multi-tasking was overrated. Yesterday, after managing to simultaneously burn a pot of porridge and embarrass myself by running down our street in my threadbare nightie to catch the binmen while writing a blog post, I felt inclined to agree. But right now I am writing while consuming possibly the best biscuits I have ever made – and multi-tasking seems like a very good thing indeed.

I’ve had this recipe for nearly nine years and can’t understand why I’ve never made it before. It comes from my dearest friend Anna, an amazingly talented artist, crafter, cook and gardener. Anna and I shared a house together for a year in a funny New Zealand provincial city, where she taught me to bake, sew and occasionally pose for drawing purposes. We’ve been separated by geography for most of the time since then, but my notebooks are full of her recipes and when we talk on the phone her laugh still sounds like music.

Anna’s Apricot Almond Chews
You do need a food processor for this recipe, so if you don’t have one, go and find someone who does. (Put a coat on over your pyjamas first.)

250g ground almonds
80g (1/2 cup) dates, roughly chopped
80g (1/2 cup) dried apricots, roughly chopped
4Tbsp brown sugar
4Tbsp maple syrup (or golden syrup, or date syrup, or a mixture of the two)
grated zest of an orange
1 egg white
about 2/3 cup desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Throw all the ingredients except the coconut into a food processor and whiz until you get a chunky paste. Divide into walnut-sized balls and roll in the coconut. Put on the baking tray and press down slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container. Delicious for breakfast while blogging…

Do you have an end of the week sweet treat? Add it here to spread the sweetness of Fridays…