New horizons: Banoffee pie, kneading dough, and spring
“Banoffee pie” was once a term only ever used by me as a reference point for awfulness: “Ergh, you mean like bannoffee pie?” I guess this is because the only banoffee pie I had ever seen or smelt in real life was from a box, a pallid, half-hearted caramel colour, with equally pale looking chocolate. They tasted about as good as they looked, which is to say not very good…in fact, downright bleaugh-inducing. I made one for Will who adores the store-bought stuff, but the first one didn’t turn out right – no boring details, suffice to say this one rocks, and I no longer fear banoffee pie.
Like lots of home-made, from-scratch pies, the three layers look a little daunting, and I won’t lie, this requires considerably more patience than waiting in line at the supermarket (unless you shop at rush hour). However, the steps themselves are remarkably easy, although you do want to make the toffee with care.
It’s definitely the toffee that won me over.
The ganache, sea salt and cacao nibs helped.
The base looked a little thick, but was just right to balance out all the glorious stickiness.
Post-conversion to banoffee fandom. Just don’t tell anyone.
More revelations: kneading dough is so under-rated. I made some sandwich bread and used this technique to knead my dough. Yuuuum. Definitely helped achieve that tear-apart texture that all sandwich bread aspires to. Furthermore, it’s free exercise with awesome home made bread as a reward. Yeah, that’s right. Why pay for a gym membership?
This is the last stodgy recipe you’ll see for some time, because FINALLY, it’s warming up and spring is hopping along nicely. Eating fairly seasonally has really given me an appreciation for cooking new things in new ways from what’s around and cheap. However, I’m still relieved that there’s going to be a LOT more green in my diet. Last night I made some pasta with broccoli parmesan sauce, minus the leek and with a little toasted garlic instead, then topped with soft boiled eggs and truffle salt. Oh my. Try it. I used peas in mine as well, which was super tasty, but any other green veges you have would work just as well.
makes one little pie in one of those crappy pie tins, but you can make it in an 8″ springform tin. If you double the topping quantities, this would also make a great 8×8″ square banoffee slice!
Crust (based on “world peace cookies“) – use whatever chocolate crust you want though, I just like this one now
- 88g flour
- 15g cocoa
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 75g salted butter, softened
- 60g light brown sugar
- 25g white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3c white sugar
- 25g salted butter, cubed
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed and beaten – you should be able to see lots of bubbles in the mixture. DO NOT use bananas with even the slightest hint of green in their stems!
In a small saucepan or frypan (use one that’s lightly coloured so you can see when the sugar starts to go golden), scatter a light, even layer of sugar in, on medium heat. After a few minutes the sugar will begin to melt – scatter over more sugar, which will gradulaly also melt, and continue doing this until all the sugar is gone. You can whisk it lightly to help things along and prevent one patch from burning too quickly – if it starts going brown before you’ve added most of the sugar, take it off the heat for a bit. Once everything is melted and golden, whisk in the butter quickly, until it’s incorporated – it’ll bubble like mad, so be careful you don’t get caught by stray toffee! Remove from heat and stir in mashed banana. If your crust is cool, pour it straight in,* otherwise let sit or scrape into the bowl you used for mashing the banana.
*If you want a softish crust, fork the crust after it comes out of the oven all over. The bannoffee filling will wander in and soften up the crust.
Ganache (double if you want a thicker banoffee pie and you’re using a springform pan)
- 50g/ml whipping cream
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped
- a touch of brown sugar (if you like your ganache to be sweeter)