Wednesday 27 June 2012

June 27, 2012 - Banoffee Success! I hope I made you proud, England!

There are two kinds of food blog visitors; those who read and those who primarily look at the pictures. If you're one of the readers, then you'd know that I had my annual heritage potluck lunch today at the office. There are a few different nations that make up my traceable heritage and one of them is England. I decided to bring an English delicacy called Banoffee pie (or at least my version of it). I'd never made it before! So I used all of my coworkers as guinea pigs. Before long there were only crumbs of it left. I got many appreciated compliments. That's got to be one of the biggest rewards of being a foodie - positive feedback when you take a risk!

For any of you who aren't familiar, "Banoffee Pie" is banana and toffee pie. The flavour profile when combined with either a crumbly biscuit or pastry foundation, light whipped cream, and a note of chocolate is decadence amplified. There are many different ways that you can play with those combinations. Not only is it a delicious treat, but very simple to execute. Mine turned out quite a bit shallower than what you might consider the height of an average pie (maybe more of a dessert pizza than a pie). Personally, considering the amount of sweet richness concentrated in it, I found it to be just right. It also allowed the crust to have a larger playing role in the whole experience. Originally I had planned on putting the banana slices over the whipped cream, but the more I thought about it the more I feared that it would get messy and collapse under its own weight. At the last minute I decided to put the bananas on the toffee first, then top with the whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I'm glad I did. That way it stayed together as long as it needed to (and took to slicing quite well). Although I did leave about an inch or so along the perimeter uncovered to expose the banana and toffee underneath.

Traditionally, the way you go about making the toffee bit is by removing the label from a can of sweetened condensed milk and leaving it submerged in boiling water for about three hours. The sugars in the condensed milk slowly caramelize and you're left with sweet, gooey caramel right out of the can. I didn't quite have the luxury of that kind of time so I used a different method. I brought butter and brown sugar to the boil and incorporated condensed milk while stirring constantly. The good part about that is not only do you save time but you end up with a bit more of the finished product than just the contents of one can. The downside is that you substantially increase the amount of sugar and fat. So that call is entirely up to you.

So again, if you're one of the readers, please check out the recipe and the picture of my Banoffee pie below. If you're one of the photo voyeurs... why do I bother... you're there already.

Be happy and stay fed.


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