So yesterday, we did Reci-Tweets! It was a fun packed night filled with food, whale-sharking and Nintendo! I made caprese salad, pesto gnocchi and banoffee pie.
If you want to watch it, here’s the link
I should confess: I didn’t successfully make gnocchi. It was an utter failure. In fact, it was more like potato mush. I think I already know what I did wrong, though. I overcooked the potatoes by at least 30 minutes and I didn’t have nearly enough flour. Our friend Paul remedied it by adding pancake mix instead, so it was only 60% a failure.
In my defense, the pesto was pretty good. And the starter and dessert were perfect!
Banoffee pie is a wonderful English dessert made with bananas and caramel. It is not actually made with toffee despite what the title would suggest...
So… I just googled the man responsible for this fabulous dessert. His name is Ian Dowding. He lists the ‘original banoffee pie’ recipe on his website and refers to caramelised sweetened condensed milk as toffee.
Ian…caramel is made with milk and is soft and gooey. Toffee is hard and is made with butter. Your invention is made with sweetened condensed milk. Sweetened condensed milk is…well…made of milk. Therefore, boiling it will make caramel…or technically dulce de leche. I’m sorry, you are a God amongst men, but this pie should be called Banaramel Pie! Or Caranana Pie?!
Also, I decided in advance that I would only boil one can of sweetened condensed milk for hours. Don’t ask me why. Once I took a bite after it was done, I didn’t even want to make banoffee pie anymore. I just wanted to eat all the caramel and that would be that. Maybe whilst watching a James McAvoy movie.
I am sad now.
The caramel is staring at me and now I have to take pictures of it before I put it in the banoffee pie and do anything except put it into my mouth. Right. Now.
I like to make caramel myself rather than buy the pre-made stuff. I also think it tastes nicer for some reason. If you are strapped for time though, there are some caramel fillings/dulce de leche cans you can purchase at the supermarket.
Banoffee pie (makes one 9 inch pie)
For the crust:
- 75g of butter (5 tablespoons)
- A 10oz pack of digestive biscuits such as McVities (or Hob Nobs which are even better), crushed (This is approx. 21 biscuits or 283g)
For the filling:
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (or two if you want an extra thick caramel layer!)
- 3 bananas
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. fine sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla essence
- Grated chocolate (I like to use Lindt)
- Before you do anything, you will need to prepare the caramel. If you have bough pre-made dulce de leche then you can skip this step – Remove the paper label on the sweetened condensed milk and pierce 3 holes on the top (Please do not skip this step as it prevents the can from exploding!). Place it in a saucepan with the water level ¾ the way up the side of the can. Keep a lid on the pan and simmer for approximately 3.5 hours. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes before opening.
- Set the oven to 350 F (180 C). Melt the butter briefly in the microwave for approximately 20-30 seconds and mix together with the crushed up biscuits. There are two ways to crush the biscuits. You can put them in a food processor and blend them with the butter until combined. Alternatively, and I like this method, you can put the biscuits in a Ziploc bag and bash it with whatever hard object you can find until there are no solid or hard biscuity pieces. You can then mix the butter in with your hands.
- Press this mixture into a 9-inch tart pan making sure it is evenly distributed. Place the pan on a baking tray and put this in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. This will toast the base lightly and ensure it is well set. Leave to cool.
- Give the caramel a stir and pour it into the piecrust. Put it into the fridge to cool for an hour (or overnight).
- When you are ready to serve, slice the bananas and place them on top of the caramel. Whip the cream to soft peaks, adding some vanilla essence and a tablespoon or two of sugar (to your desired sweetness) and then spread on top of the bananas. Don’t forget that the caramel will be pretty sweet so the cream should only need a little bit. Sprinkle with some chocolate shavings.* If you would like to follow the traditional version, Coffee Powder is normally sprinkled on top.
* I made my chocolate shavings by shaving a bar of lindt chocolate (at room temperature) with a potato peeler!