I love the recent trends towards old puddings. You can barely move for these luxurious, decadent classics. Trifles, summer puddings and arctic rolls seem to be cropping up on the menus of fine-dining restaurants and pubs alike.
Just the other day I popped round to a friend’s house and we had banana split for afters – a refreshing reminder about how delicious this simple dessert can be. Ice cream, bananas, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, maraschino cherries and toasted, chopped pecans sprinkled over the top. Does life get more pleasurable than that?
Nostalgia plays such an important part in the food we eat – both smell and taste are especially evocative and can transport us instantly to another time or place. The current trend to revisit our childhood classics can only be a good thing, taking modern techniques and subtleties and creating dinner party-worthy fare.
My most recent effort was a peanut butter and chocolate sundae – a trip down memory lane for some, a twist on a retro classic for others. This recipe encompasses the best in salty and sweet. Large scoops of ice cream, salted peanuts rolled in chocolate and dusted with sugar combined with a deep chocolate and a rich butterscotch sauce, topped off with a peanut butter brownie cookie. Over-the-top, but utterly delicious.
Peanut butter and chocolate sundae (makes 8)
For the chocolate peanuts
- 50g salted peanuts (not roasted)
- 50 g dark chocolate
- 1 tsp sugar
- 70g sugar
- 50g butter
- 150ml double cream
- Large pinch of sea salt flakes
- 100ml double cream
- 1 tbs sugar
- 50g dark chocolate
- 1 tbs golden syrup
- 200g dark chocolate
- 60g butter
- 35g flour
- 2 medium eggs
- 150g caster sugar
- 4 tbs crunchy peanut butter
- Pinch of salt
- 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 8 scoops chocolate ice cream
First, make the cookies. Break chocolate up into pieces and melt with butter over a low heat. Once melted, remove from heat. In a bowl whisk eggs with sugar until light and pale. Add salt and melted chocolate and butter mixture. Mix thoroughly and add peanut butter, beating it to incorporate thoroughly. Sift in flour and mix again.
Chill mixture for an hour or. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a sheet of greaseproof on a baking sheet or in a tin. Divide mixture into 8-10 balls, rolling them in your hands to make spheres. Spread them out evenly on the greaseproof, leaving a few centimetres around each. Bake for around 12 minutes – you may have to do this in batches. They will be very squidgy when they come out. Leave them to cool.
Make the sauces. For the butterscotch, melt ingredients – bar the salt – together in a pan and cook for five or so minutes on a medium heat. The mixture should thicken. Add salt, stir and then set aside to cool. For the chocolate sauce, melt ingredients together in a pan. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to get the right consistency. Set aside.
Next make the chocolate peanuts – break chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of water. Roll peanuts in the chocolate and spread onto a non-stick tray or on a lightly oiled plate. When they have cooled slightly but not set, sprinkle over the sugar and refrigerate.
To serve, take eight large glasses or bowls. Put a ball of each ice cream into the bowl. Crumble the peanuts slightly and sprinkle over. Spoon over some of each sauce, then break a cookie into three or four, placing it around.