With a name like Banoffee, people often imagine this dessert hails from Ireland. But no, it is a thoroughly decadent creation dating back to 1972 when it was introduced in ‘The Hungry Monk’ pub in East Sussex in the UK where it achieved immediate success. It consists of bananas and toffee, hence the name, but the key ingredient is a tin of condensed milk. Without this, you can’t make it. Unfortunately it isn’t available here in Turkey but if you can get hold of one, I do recommend this desssert as it’s a real crowd-pleaser, finger-licking good, ideal for those with a sweet tooth!
A few days ago I took the opportunity to check out some banoffee recipes on the internet. I had a special request to make one for Christmas Eve, you see. It seems that the traditional way to make the toffee filling is to boil the unopened can in a saucepan of water for two or three hours. My eyes were standing out on stalks when I read this and one of the comments caught my eye: someone wrote that her mum tried this about ten years ago. She went off to dry her hair and promptly forgot all about it. The pan boiled dry, the can zoomed out, made a hole in the kitchen counter, the lid came off and the toffee spurted out all over the ceiling and took weeks to clean off! This struck me as hilarious but, being a cautious type, I thought no way am I going to try that.
Then I saw a video clip of how to make banoffee pie. By this time, I was really curious about the toffee so fastforwarded to that part. I saw this earnest cook pouring the condensed milk into a rectangular pyrex dish, covering it with a double layer of foil, then putting it in a large baking tin surrounded with water. The whole thing went in the oven for again about two and a half hours. What a laborious procedure, I thought! No way.
Finally, logic prevailed: I went to Carnation’s own recipe and here it is:
Ingredientsuse a 20cm/ 8” loose-bottomed cake tin, greased
- Crush biscuits in a food processor. Stir in melted butter. Press the mixture with your fingers into the base and 4cm/ 1 1/2” up the sides of the tin. Chill the base while you make the filling.
- To make the filling: place the butter and sugar in a non-stick saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk and bring gently to the boil, stirring continuously. When the caramel has started to boil, remove from heat and pour over the biscuit base. Cool, then leave to chill for about 1 hr, till firm.
- To serve: remove pie from tin and place on serving plate. Slice the bananas, fold half of them into the softly whipped cream and spoon over the toffee base. Decorate with the remaining bananas and finish with grated chocolate.
- The internet is useful for photos as to how the final banoffee should look. Personally I like this one which is how the Carnation recipe presents it.
- I didn’t remove mine from the tin before adding the filling as the logistics of getting it to its final destination were tricky. So here you see mine with the filling still in the tin. I removed it once there and it was fine.
- I actually baked my pie crust in the oven 180C/350F for 10 mins before cooling and adding the filling.
- Some recipes advocate using 2 tins of condensed milk. I think that would be too sweet for words.