Heavenly Banoffee Pie
The first time I had Banoffee pie was years ago after my final year exam. That evening I went out with my Malaysian friend to a restaurant in Covent Garden. We only went there for a glass of rosé and a dessert. I still remember the ambiance of that restaurant very clearly, long candles inserted into emptied old wine bottles which were placed along the staircase and windows, the melting wax dripped on the sides of the bottles, very mysterious I felt at that time.
Looking into the dessert menu, the name and description of banoffee pie intrigued me most so I order that and it became one of the most unforgetable desserts or puddings (in British saying) ever since. There is rumor that this is Mrs. Thatcher’s favorite pudding! Unfortunately that restaurant no longer exists, I had tried banoffee pie elsewhere but it was never that good. Since this pie needs to be consumed fairly quick as the top cream layer will not stand or it will flop over time. Therefore I think some restaurants put some gelatin in the whipped cream and let it stand better which I do not like at all, I can tell immediately when it contains gelatin.
I have wanted to make this dessert for a long time but I found making the caramel from boiling cans of condensed milk sounds rather dangerous to me and also time consuming. Until recently when I was in UK, I found ready-made Carnation Caramel (Dulce de leche) is available in the supermarkets, so without hesitation, I bought a can to try. It came out to be so much more efficient and fuss free to prepare this pudding.
So I made this yesterday for Peter’s birthday and it was so divine that every one kept making “hmmmm” while eating, they all agreed that this is an indulgent dessert. Since this is a very rich and scrumptious pudding, it’s ideal to make for special occasions.
For pie base:
- 1 pack (250g) Digestive Biscuits
- 90g melted butter
- 375ml full cream or double cream
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 can of Carnation Caramel (Dulce de leche)
- 5-6 ripe bananas
Garnish on top:
- Grated dark chocolate or cocoa powder
- Ground unblanched almonds 0r walnuts or pecans
- Put the digestives in a clean Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. Alternatively, a quicker method is to crush them in a food processor. Transfer the crushed biscuits to a mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small pan or microwave at low power and let it cool down a while.
- Add the melted butter to the crushed biscuits, mix well with a wooden spoon and then transfer into 9″ (20cm) or 10″ (24cm) loose-bottomed cake tin. Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, add the coffee granules and caster sugar into the cream and whipped until thick, smooth and stiff (the cream should not fall when you turn the bowl upside down), be careful not to over whipped! Keep this in the fridge.
- When the biscuit base is ready, spread the caramel evenly onto the biscuit base.
- Peel the bananas, thinly sliced them and lay them on the caramel, gently push the banana into the caramel so the bananas are submerged in the caramel, this will also prevent the bananas from getting darkened.
- Spread the whipped cream over the bananas and smooth the top using a spatula.
- Put the cake tin into the fridge and let it chill and set for 2 hours before serving. This will make the cream stand better.
- Finally, garnish the top by sprinkle cocoa powder and ground nuts on top. You can grate some dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder if you like. Gently remove the ring of the cake tin and serve.