How not to make banoffee pie

Kiera Knightley never looked as lovely as when she was in the 2003 flick Love Actually, standing by the door of Andrew Lincoln (Walking Dead), and uttering the words, “Banoffee pie?” Oh, get inside, woman.

Banoffee pie is one of the few desserts that makes me forget I’m not too keen on desserts.

Years ago in Manila, there was a furniture store and cafe called Area, which gave me my first memorable taste of banoffee pie. Slices of bananas covered in sweet, soft toffee and whipped cream and resting on a buttery crust. I’ve loved it ever since.

Perhaps, it’s because of some anxiety (I try to distract myself when I’m anxious) or seeing the British rom-com again a few weeks ago, that I decided to try and make one. I looked online for recipes; my only requirement being no oven required. I don’t have an oven yet, so I tend to do no-bake desserts (refrigerator cakes, crepes, and whole lot more I discovered courtesy of my friend Kris’s old blog Married2Chocolate when she used to do No-Bake Mondays).

I chose to do this banoffee pie recipe below from All Recipes, because the time spent in front of the stove, cooking the sweet toffee filling, was shorter compared to the other recipes I found. I didn’t get to strictly follow the procedure though, so this is how it turned out…

Ingredients

Base:
100g butter, melted
250g digestive biscuits, crushed (I used Graham Crackers)

Filling:
100g butter
100g dark brown soft sugar
1 (397g) tin condensed milk

Topping:
4 ripe bananas, sliced
1 (300ml) tub whipping cream, whipped (I got regular cream and I didn’t whip it enough)
cocoa powder for dusting

Procedure
Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 30 mins | Extra time: 2 hours, chilling
1. Line base of a 20cm round springform tin with parchment paper, then grease base and sides.
2. For the base: Combine butter with biscuits and mix well. Press firmly into prepared tin. Chill for at least 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Gently heat butter and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Pour in condensed milk and gently bring to the boil, stirring continuously until thick. Do this slowly, to avoid getting any lumps. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool until just warm. Spread on biscuit base and chill for 1 hour.
4. Just before serving, fold 3/4 of the sliced bananas into the whipped cream. Spoon over toffee layer. Decorate with remaining bananas. Dust with cocoa powder and serve. Makes: 1 pie (Recipe is courtesy of allrecipes.co.uk)

How I actually did it:
1. I neither had a springform tin pan nor parchment paper, so I  greased the ceramic pie plate of my mom’s. Amateur. It was no surprise I had a hard time taking a slice from the plate every time.
2. I forgot to melt the butter. I mixed the crumbled biscuits with slices of butter in the mixer. Apparently, I don’t know how to follow a recipe.
3. I know toffee is primarily sugar and butter (really healthy stuff), but only when you make it yourself do you realize how much sugar and butter is involved. (Made me think of the time I made mayonnaise from scratch. Oil and eggs and oil and oil.) I just removed the butter-sugar-condensed milk mixture from heat after 30 minutes over the stove and I thought was thick enough.
4. The whipping mechanism of the mixer didn’t make the cream all whipped and fluffy. I think it also had something to do with the fact that I had no idea what I was doing at this point, but the crust and the toffee layers were set, so I thought, best to soldier on. Lastly, I decided to give the pie more hours to set in the fridge, because of the ‘non-whipped’ cream.

First attempt at banoffee pie (yes, there will be others)

Result: Taking a slice from the plate revealed a too-crumbly crust that disintegrated, and a creamy topping that slid off the toffee layer.

It was the least photogenic pie you can imagine.

As for its flavor, I’m happy to report that it tasted like, well, banoffee pie. Not memorable banoffee pie though, or Area’s or even Starbuck’s. The toffee was cloyingly sweet and I told myself it would be better if next time I fold in the bananas with the toffee or do several layers–as how the other recipe from AllRecipes indicated. Or maybe just follow the procedure more strictly next time.

(PS. Have you ever made banoffee pie? How do you do yours? And where do you get the best banoffee pie if you don’t make your own?)

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9 thoughts on “How not to make banoffee pie

  1. Ya, Area had good banoffee pie. Banapple is known for their banoffee pie but I found it had too much cream and too little of the heavenly banana+toffee combo. When I removed half of the cream, I couldn’t decide if what I had on my plate was a parody, or a travesty.

    I should stop talking about how I don’t like too much sugar. I went to Subspace the other day and the nice barista who took my order wanted to make sure and asked Thor, “Sir, diba si Ma’am yung hindi sweet?” Thor giggled and said, “Oo, hindi yan sweet.”

  2. Haha! Thanks, Kris! I still need to work on the crust and the damn whipped cream.
    Man, I miss Area cafe. Never knew it was the Gameplan hangout–eh di sana na-pick up ko na si Peejo early on. Hehe.

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