~ Jonathan Swift
The Banoffee Pie bug has been on my son's mind for quite some time. Amongst us all, I guess he is the most adventurous when it comes to trying out anything new in a restaurant. Anything unusual or exotic sounding on the menu will always catch his attention and then he just has to try it out, though its another story that he might not even end up liking what he ordered. A visit to Pizza Hut some time back had him trying out their Banoffee Pie and since then he has been constantly requesting (or rather should I say pestering) me to make the pie at home.
Thinking it to be a lot of work, to my best efforts, I have been procrastinating it, hoping he would eventually forget about it in some time but little do we all know about the little devils perseverance.
I finally had to surrender to his demands and mission making "Banoffe Pie" began.
Banoffee Pie is an English dessert pie made from bananas, cream and dulce de leche (which is basically a toffee like confection made by caramelizing condensed milk), either on a pastry base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter.
I could see, my work was cut out for me. (I do hope sometime, far ahead in future, our precious darlings do realize the great lengths their mothers go through to fulfill their 'sweet' desires.)
I began with making Dulce de leche, which translated literally means "sweetness of milk". I found several methods on the net and decided to take the simplest way out - that is in a slow cooker or a rice cooker. This method seemed the most hassle free to me, which involved just dropping the can in the rice cooker with lots of water and forgetting about it for 4-5 hours, simple and with hardly any supervision required. (But please make sure that the can must be kept inserted in water at all times, otherwise there are chances of its bursting)
And Voila!! You have a deliciously rich, caramelized fudgy confection ready to use and 'lick'. Once you taste it, it is most difficult to keep away and stop licking, as it is so divine in taste, almost addictive.
Some things are engraved in your childhood memories, and believe it or not, the taste of this dulce de leche took me years back. I still remember as a kid, one of dads friend posted in Kalimgpong (a hillstation near Darjeeling) had brought these fudge candies (which I am sure quite a few of my fauji friends would remember) for us, which I absolutely and totally fell in love with and thought them to be the best thing I had ever tasted in my entire life. The last few years, infact till quite recently, I had been requesting friends who were posted in Kalimpong to see if they could get me the 'Kalimpong candies' as I just haven't been able to get the taste out of my mind. Unfortunately, none of them could find the candies there, as quite probably, as we used to get them a long time back (almost 30 something years back), they might have just stopped making them.
Imagine my heights of delight, when I took a lick of the dulce de leche, I was thrilled to bits to rediscover the same taste of the 'Kalimpong candies'. Its amazing how some tastes from your childhood linger on.
So, I actually have my son to thank, as he was the one to coax me into trying out this recipe.
The flavors of the dulce de leche, chocolate, bananas and whipped cream come together fabulously in this banoffee pie. Believe me, nothing can be more indulgent and addictive as this pie.
You can check out the various methods of how to make Dulce de leche at home here and choose whichever one appeals to you most.
100 gms melted butter
250 gms digestive biscuits, finely crushed
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
200 gms dark chocolate, melted
1 can dulce de leche
2 large bananas
300 ml whipped cream
20 cm loose bottomed tin
Tip the biscuits crumbs into a bowl. Add the cocoa powder and the melted butter and mix in till thoroughly mixed. Press the mixture firmly with the back of a spoon into the base and part way up the sides of a 20 cm (8 in) spring form cake tin. Chill for atleast 30 minutes.
Open your can of condensed milk. Isn't it amazing how the condensed milk has got transformed into this amazing fudgy caramel inside? Take a lick and get ready to be blown away by its taste. So delicious!!
Melt the chocolate gently in a double boiler.
Whip your cream till soft peaks form. (Yes, that is my precious new kitchen aid :) )
Mix your melted chocolate and Dulce de leche thoroughly.
Spread the filling over the chilled biscuit base. Chill again for about 1 hour, until firm or until ready to serve.
Slice the bananas and layer them over the chocolate base. If you like you can also fold half of them into the whipped cream. I didn't want too many bananas and lose out on the chocolately taste, so I have just layered them on the chocolate base.
Top the bananas with whipped cream and enjoy.
The moment of truth - hold your breath when you slice through your pie and keep your fingers crossed that the biscuit base does not crumble!!
Thankfully mine didn't!!