Caramel – there was no replacement for what I wanted – no, not even that. Ms Nigella Lawson was as obliging as ever, her recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce claimed to be fast and easy, perfect for my quick hit (and yes I was intending to eat it all with a spoon, and no I was not intending to confess it had ever existed).
As I rushed across the room, to search for the evil ingredients, I brushed past the fruit bowl. The cloud of fruit flies that arose drew my attention to the rapidly blackening bananas and, behold, the Banana Bread Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce was born.
100g light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
100g Golden syrup
250ml double cream
150g unsalted butter
1tsp maldon salt
350g ripe bananas (peeled weight)
180g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
160g soft, light brown sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
Make the caramel sauce first as this keeps in the fridge for a couple of days (but only if hidden very, very carefully). To bake the banana bread I use a 1½ litre square pyrex dish, a small roasting tin will also work.
In a pan melt the sugar, butter, and syrup. Stir constantly until the sugar has melted. Bring to the boil and simmer for three minutes. Add the cream and salt and simmer for a further minute. Pour into a jug and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the banana bread, preheat the oven to 180C. Beat together the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric whisk, until they lighten in colour. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, adding a little at a time until they are completely combined. Finally mash the bananas and fold into the mixture with the nuts.
To assemble the pud, pour about a third of the caramel sauce into the bottom of the dish and pour the cake mix on top. Put into the oven for about 45 minutes or until you can put a skewer in and it comes out clean. Heat the caramel sauce in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and heat for another 1½ minutes.
Serve the sticky toffee banana bread pudding immediately from the oven, topped with oodles of warm caramel sauce, vanilla icecream or a generous dollop of clotted cream.