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New horizons: Banoffee pie, kneading dough, and spring

September 3, 2011

“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.

Banoffee Pie

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
Beat butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in sugars and vanilla until fluffy and light. Sift over cocoa, flour and baking soda, and fold through until you get a crumbly mixture without specks of flour/cocoa. Tip into a grease pie pan or 8″ springform tin and use a glass and your fingers to push the crumbs together and form a crust. Put in the freezer and preheat your oven to 160C (320F), with a rack centred.
Twenty minutes after you’ve turned your oven on, remove the crust from the freezer and bake for about 35 minutes. When you touch the base it shouldn’t feel almost liquid, but it shouldn’t be totally firm – a bit like a dense cake I guess. Let cool in the pan on a rack while you make the banoffee filling and ganache.
Banoffee filling (double if you want a thicker banoffee pie and you’re using a springform pan). Great step-by-step pictures at Pastry Pal.
  • 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)
Heat cream with sugar until the sugar melts. Whisk in the chocolate.
Assemble: If you haven’t already, pour the banoffee filling into the crust, spreading it a little if necessary. Drizzle the ganache over top – there’s not much of it because my pie pan is really shallow, so you may need to spread it lightly with a spatula. Refrigerate until the ganache has set (or put in the freezer if you’re feeling impatient).
Most people seem to serve their banoffee pie with ice cream, but this is pretty rich. I topped mine with extra sea salt to enhance the flavour and offset the sticky-sweet richness of this tart and cacao nibs for crunch, and I don’t think this needs any more cream!

Currently Clickalicious

Magic sauce @ 101 Cookbooks

Tomato jam @ Savour Fare
Jasmine tea poached pears @ Pearl of La Perla (in Russian, but the idea and photos are awesome)
Pesto goats cheese & olive stuffed mushrooms @ The Hot Plate
15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2011 5:44 pm

    Can’t say I’ve heard of this one. But not only is it fun to say, it looks extraordinary.

  2. September 3, 2011 10:25 pm

    I never had banoffee pie, but I guess that yes, the chocolate has to be good, not pale :-).


  3. September 4, 2011 3:15 am

    Mmm, looks like rich and chocolatey satisfaction :)

  4. September 4, 2011 9:49 am

    Wow, I’ve never heard of Banoffee pie but it looks so good!

  5. September 4, 2011 11:55 am

    :O Maybe banoffee pie is a kiwi thing then?

    The double-chocolate creamy toffee banana flavours are pretty neat though :)

  6. September 5, 2011 9:33 pm

    YUM. When I first moved to NZ I had banoffee pie in a cafe and thought it was the best thing ever made. And then I had a storebought one and lost most of my enthusiasm for them… and haven’t really thought about them since. However. This has totally rekindled my love of banoffee. Which is a good thing. Maybe not for my waistline. But good nonetheless!

  7. September 5, 2011 9:38 pm

    M: Yeah, I suppose there are a few ok-ish storebought desserts but I feel like they’ve stripped all the fun out of it :D
    Was so gorgeous outside today I feel like I’m weeks late with this recipe! No one wants sticky desserts like this on the verge of spring, but I say fill out those bikinis hehe.

  8. September 5, 2011 10:47 pm

    I never thought banoffee pie might be unique to NZ! Man we need to claim that – it’s something to be proud of.

    So I am totally making this. My husband ACTUALLY won’t let me not. Expect to see it on De La Casa sometime soon with a tribute to you! I wonder though, where do you source cocao nibs? I’m wondering if they are in bulk bins somewhere? Thanks for the recipe!

  9. September 7, 2011 8:12 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had proper, ‘good’ bannoffee pie – there’s a lot of oversweet blah stuff masquerading under that name! Yours looks absolutely stunning though.

    And…I love kneading bread! Will check out that technique. When I’m not running late for work…

  10. September 13, 2011 9:35 pm

    I love your precise layers – the pie looks super rich and chocolatey. Ones I’ve had in the past have all had light pastry base and banana cream toppings. Had one recently at friend’s and it was really good. Years ago in Edinburgh there was a very good tiny American restaurant and their banoffee pie or tart was a specialty – still remember it years later. I think yours is the best looking yet, though!

  11. Chad and Becca permalink
    February 24, 2012 6:13 am

    i’m pretty sure the only time I’ve heard of banoffee pie was in Love Actually, and I had no idea what it was. this. looks. awesome! adding it to a “must make” list! thanks for sharing!

  12. July 6, 2012 12:04 pm

    OMG I’m am SO kneading my dough like that next time!!!!! I can’t believe I didn’t watch that video first time round. Finally watched it when I came back for the pie recipe! That guy is AWESOME. No more tearing MY dough out of the bowl after rising.. and adding copious amounts of flour…


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