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Guilty Dessert: How to Make Banoffee Pie!

The internet was off for almost 11 hours at my home from 10 AM yesterday. I had bought some cooking ingredients to make this dessert which my sister had been persuading us for the whole week. If you know me, I have always been such a newbie to anything related to the kitchen – even the lamest part is I am afraid to turn on the stove worrying it would explode. I guess I will start to get into cooking starting from these no-need-to-bake desserts with my cool sister as my guru.


We made tiramisu a couple of weeks ago. For now, let's bear with the current one, shall we?

Yes, the dessert that we made yesterday is Banoffee – an English dessert pie of banana and toffee (1). Before going to the heart of this post, here are a few fun facts about this dessert:

  • It was invented in 1971 by Nigel Mackenzie, who owned the Hungry Monk Restaurant in Sussex, and his chef, Ian Dowding at Mackenzie's restaurant in Britain.

  • Mackenzie suggested the spell "Banoffi pie" as a portmanteau (2) of banana and toffee.

  • The word "Banoffee" itself has made it through the English dictionary as a word to describe food that tastes or smells of both banana and toffee. 

I swear our pie plate of Banoffee contained a lot of sugar and maybe some fats too. It triggered me and my sister to develop another Banoffee that is sugar and fat-free later on – remembering that our beloved mom had stopped consuming a lot of sugar. Since we love her, we should show love even inside a single pie dessert. 

Ingredients*:

  • A 14 fluid ounce (397 gram) can of soft-toffee (dulce de leche (3))

  • 27 pieces of Marie Regal Biscuits (came with its package sized 230 gram)

  • 400 ml of whipping cream (measured with two regular sized glasses)

  • 250 g mascarpone cheese

  • Two to three tablespoons of any kind of sugar (the white one is most preferred)

  • Two pieces of cavendish banana

  • Shredded dark chocolate

*for two portions in each aluminium foil baking mold with the detail size as below:

Diameter: Upper = 18 - 18.5 cm, Bottom = 13 cm

Height: 3.5 cm

Volume: 725 ml


The making of dulce de leche will take the longest hours. First thing first, remove the label from your condensed milk's can. Place the can on its side into the pot and fill it with room-temperature water. Set overheating and simmering toward the pot for two hours for lighter texture while if you want a darker one, just add an hour extra. Remove the can from the pot and cool it on the room temperature. Well, do not open the can while it is still hot since the pressurized dulce de leche inside the can may spray precariously. When cool, open the can and the dulce de leche is ready to use. For your information, the pretty brown color on dulce de leche is the result of the Maillard reaction (4). (click here to see more details on how to make dulce de leche just like I did)


At the nearest end of dulce de leche's hour, start crushing the biscuits either with blender or manual with hands like we did – sorry, we just realized that we still have a blender in the kitchen when the crumbles were almost perfect. It is okay to make some mistakes while cooking so that you could know the differences and little chance for you to repeat the same mistake. After perfectly crushed, put it on the baking mold as the very bottom layer and store it on the fridge for thirty to sixty minutes.


Awaiting the crushed biscuits, prepare the whipped cream along with the mascarpone cheese and the queen of today's dish: the banana slicing. For the whipped cream, pour two glasses (equals to 400 ml) of whipping cream to the mixing bowl and followed by the mascarpone cheese – mix it together using the mixer by also adding two to three tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form. And for the queen banana, slice it with your preferred thickness.


A tip for me to have a perfect whipped cream is to have both whipping cream and mascarpone cheese cold before mixing. Before telling you this, I have read some scientific explanations along with the remnants of my knowledge regarding this. This one has the best rationales that are easy to understand – see the 'Explanation' section. In brief, the cold temperature of the cream will make the bubbles stay inside the tiny globules of solid fat that will create a light and airy mass cream when being mixed. With a warmer temperature, those solid fats would soften while the globules collapsed making the cream hard to be completely whipped and take a longer time to reach the preferred volume.


Get the cooled baking mold from the fridge. Now it is the time for layering starts with shedding the dulce de leche above the crushed biscuits. Followed by arranging the sliced bananas, spreading the whipped cream, and the last touch is sprinkling the shredded dark chocolate on the very top or you can have cocoa powder as well. Not finished yet, store the layered pie in the fridge for at least twelve hours. After that, voila! you can taste it right away.


Here I slipped a beautiful illustration of Banoffee by my cool sister – the credit goes all to her. Her hands are proven more skilled than mine.

Testimonial and honest reviews from a newbie like me: 

  • Good teamwork and time management are essential. 

  • Tasted very sweet at the first twelve hours but less sweet after being kept for almost 24 hours which had the best flavor of them all – meaning better store it a day to avoid snazzy sweet.

  • The best part was when biting the banana, the queen of the dish. Make sure you will not miss it!


Hopefully my second and umpteenth time making another Banoffee can find the right recipe which does not increase our body sugar levels. May this inspire you to make your own yummy Banoffee!

 

(1): a kind of firm candy made by sugar and butter through boiling until reaching the hard crack stage of 149 to 154°C (300 to 309°F).

(2): a linguistic blend of multiple words. (3): also known as the soft-toffee made of condensed milk (milk and sugar) in an unopened can that boiled in a large pot of water for hours.

(4): a chemical reaction involving amino acids and reducing sugars in food to change the color and flavor of the foods which occurs at 140 to 165°C. Avoid higher temperature to not resulting different reaction of caramelization that is different with Maillard reaction.

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Jakarta, Indonesia