The first thing that came to mind when I read that this months Sugar High Friday theme was "toasted" was well.. toast! Bypassing the idea of nuts and spices, there is nothing more quintessentially linked to toast than the humble slice of bread.
Bread is employed for many uses in the kitchen: crumbed as a filler for meatballs and turkey stuffing, fried to add layers of textural interest to pasta dishes and salads, rolled fresh around a hot grilled banger with bbq sauce and baked to create a quick and easy foundation for canapes. But nothing is simpler than the humble sandwich - two bits of bread slapped together with something slathered in-between.
In primary school my mother often packed me a sandwich for lunch. And being Asian, more often than not I would open my lunch box to find a fried egg sandwich of some description, accompanied by nearby screams of "Ewww! What's that smell?!". Needless to say that primary school was filled with embarrassing moments. She eventually stopped and the egg sandwich was replaced with horribly soggy bread holding together a combination of soft tomato, iceberg lettuce and a slice of plastic cheese. So it was quite a revelation in high school to discover that other not-so-disgusting things were available.
Peanut butter, chopped banana, marshmallow fluff and chocolate spread were my favourite sweet sandwich fillings so here I've combined the essence of all four items into a sweet, totally unbalanced and seriously unhealthy dessert: toasted peanut butter and choco banana sandwich with peanut butter marshmallow, chocolate + brown butter mousse and banana milkshake foam. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
Toasted Peanut Butter Marshmallow
420 g castor sugarCombine sugar, glucose, salt and 200 g water in a small pot.
20 g glucose
4 g salt
300 g water
7 gelatine leaves (gold strength)
2 (70 g) egg whites
140 g peanut butter
Bring syrup to 127ºC while whisking egg whites to stiff peaks in an electric stand mixer.
Bloom gelatine leaves in cold water until soft then dissolve in 100 g of boiling water.
Strain gelatine into sugar syrup then immediately begin pouring (slowly) into the egg whites, whisking continuously.
Continue whisking on medium setting until cool and thickened.
Mix a little into the peanut butter to lighten and then fold gently through the remaining marshmallow.
Pour into a greased and lined 6 x 10 x 1.5" brownie pan and leave at room temperature for an hour or two until set.
Cut marshmallow into desired shapes and toss lightly in cornflour.
Transfer to a plate and blowtorch one at a time.
a small handful of peanutsHeat oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat until 180ºC.
enough vegetable oil to cover
Drop in the peanuts and let them fry for a minute until just starting to colour (you'll need to take them out just before they're golden as the residual heat will continue cooking and colouring them as they cool).
Strain peanuts from the oil and spread them out onto a baking sheet lined with paper.
Sprinkle them generously with salt and shake them around to coat.
Cool at room temperature and store in an airtight container.
You'll need to wrap a croissant tightly in clingfilm and place it in the freezer until firm to allow for easy slicing. Unwrap the croissant and slice it as thinly as possible. A long serrated bread knife is the best tool for the job. Place the slices straight onto a tray and pop it in the oven at 110ºC for 30 minutes or until it shatters loudly when broken.
Chocolate and Brown Butter Mousse
200 g milk chocolate, meltedCombine ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until light and thickened.
200 g cold pouring cream
40 g brown butter, cooled to room temp
Do not refrigerate as it will set.