10 February 2009

Banoffi off

Well, my boss laid down the challenge - make a banoffi pie and compete against colleagues with other colleagues tasting and rating.

I've heard of the concept of Banoffi or Banoffee, which apparently is the older spelling. And I think I might have had some a few years back, don't remember really. It's not a dessert I would have tried out, but a challenge is a challenge and when it's one for cooking, I can't really resist.

A quick google hit upon the original recipe from The Hungry Monk.

The lack of experience in banoffi and Lundulph sitting next to me and reading along pointed me in the direction of following this to see what'll happen.


Besides, boiling unopened cans of condensed milk for hours on end was very novel. I'll have to open one of the unboiled ones to see what normal condensed milk is like. It was quite amazing that after 4 h of boiling and allowing the tins to cool down, would turn into toffee coloured thick cream. I had to work it up a bit to make it pliable enough to spread over the pie crust.



I also had to get up early this morning to line with bananas (to stop them from going brown) and cream (to stop it from collapsing). I wisely kept the pie in my car in the cold until it was time for the tasting session.


Obviously the other 5 contestants had a bit more experience than me, because they didn't use the condensed milk, but made proper toffee, which was a lot sweeter. They all made the pie base from crushed biscuits, one had used ginger biscuits which was rather nice. Another had used Philadelphia cheese in the cream, also quite nice. A third had over-done the toffee and it had partly turned to fudge. Combined with pecans, I think it was the winner.

I came second to last and a lot of the pie was left to take home. We had some after dinner at which point I realised that something had gone badly wrong with my pie crust - it was well salty! Not sure what happened, but no wonder no one liked it.

I also need to get a slightly smaller pie dish too, to avoid making such massive amounts.

The recipe recommended making as many tins of toffee as possible in one go, since it's to boil for so long, might as well do en masse, they store just as well and long after the treatment. So now I have three cans of toffee in the larder. I'm keen to experiment with bits of fudge next time.

Also maybe some lemon zest in the cream would be nice to offset the sweetness.

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