Today I ventured of out of what I like to call my ‘Comfortable Baking Zone.’ My comfortable baking zone includes cookies, brownies, bars et cetera, you know what kind of things I am talking about.
Some very interesting things can happen with people venture out of their comfortability. Some very disastrous things can happen too.
Despite having the excellent guidance from the brilliant Phoodie’s recipe for this Banoffee Pie, I still couldn’t quite manage to pull it off. And when I say pull it off, well, you’ll see what I mean at the end. But I guess that’s what cooking is all about – trial and error (with serious emphasis on the error this time).
I’d never made anything like this so I guess I was a tinsy bit naive to think I could pull it off without a hitch. At least for next time I know where I went wrong and how to improve.
More explanation in the verdict at the bottom of the post and how I overcame my struggle!
(To make a 9 Inch (approx 25cm) diameter pie that’s 2.5 inches (approx 7cm) high
450 grams plain sweet biscuits (e.g Marie biscuits, Tennis biscuits, Graham crackers, Nice biscuits ETC)
250 grams unsalted butter – melted
1 and 1/2 cups roasted unsalted macadamias (or peanuts)
200 grams dark cooking chocolate
3 x 395 gram tins condensed milk
185 grams unsalted butter – melted
3/4 cup golden syrup
6 medium sized bananas
100 grams dark cooking chocolate
400ml cream – whipped
For the base + nuts
1. Crush the biscuits to as fine a consistency as possible, trying to get it down to the texture of sand.
2. Melt the butter and add to the crushed biscuits. Mix thoroughly. Transfer to pie tin.
3. Press evenly across base and up sides of pie tin. You want it to be about 1cm thick the whole way around. Keep any excess crust in a small bowl to the side. (You will need it in step #12)
4. Place in fridge to set for at least half an hour.
5. Melt the chocolate for the nuts. Place the nuts on non-stick paper. Pour chocolate over nuts and mix well so that all nuts are covered. Place into fridge until set. (30 min)
For the caramel filling
6. place the condensed milk, golden syrup and melted butter into a saucepan on medium heat and stir to incorporate. Make sure you stir continuously so that nothing sticks to the base of the pan.
7. After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and transfer into pie crust. Place into a preheated 170 deg cel. oven and bake for roughly 25 minutes or until it seems firm to the touch / set. When it is ready leave on the bench to cool.
Bananas and the rest
8. Slice the bananas into 1/2 cm thick pieces. Melt the chocolate. Dip 1 banana’s worth of pieces (about 25) into the chocolate and place on non-stick paper and into the fridge to set. Keep the other pieces covered and cool.
9. Remove the chocolate covered nuts from the fridge and chop roughly. You don’t want to end up with any whole nuts, but anything from the size of half a nut and smaller is fine.
10. Once the pie has cooled, scatter generously with the chopped chocolate nuts.
11. Layer the banana (both the chocolate covered bits and the plain bits) on top of the nuts. The banana pieces should overlap each other like fallen dominoes.
12. Whip the cream and generously slather this on top of the bananas. I aim for the caramel layer and the cream layer to be of equal thickness.
13. Scatter the top generously with the leftover chopped chocolate nuts and extra pie crust mixture.
Well. I tried. Ok? I tried. Because there are more instances when I did wrong than right, I shall list where I went wrong so you don’t make the same mistakes as me.
1. I don’t think I used to right pie tie. It might have been too big. Oops.
2. Because of said pie tin being too large, I couldn’t get the pie crust all the way up the sides. Oops.
3. My caramel centre went a little, too brown, in the oven. Double oops.
4. My choc covered ‘nanas look decrepit. The chocolate didn’t melt properly and was a lil’ lumpy but ever persistent me went ahead and dipped the ‘nanas in it anyway. Serious oops.
5. And then finally, when taking the pie out of the tin … it all collapsed. Marvellous. For some reason the pie base just couldn’t hold. Poor thing.
So my banoffee pie was an utter failure.
HOWEVER, apart from all that … it really did taste bloody delicious in all its mushy and crumbled state. Really sweet, gooey caramel centre and the base tasted lovely too, albeit being very crumbly.
BUT THEN WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE BEING COUNTED ON TO MAKE SOMETHING FOR GUESTS COMING OVER IN THE AFTERNOON AND YOU HAVE NOTHING?!
Well, you improvise.
I knew I still had the cream, the chocolate macadamias and the bananas. I knew that I had store bought meringue bases in the cupboard. I knew there were strawberries and kiwis in the fridge.
You thinking what I thought? I whipped out the meringues, cut up the strawberries and kiwis and set to work. I lathered the meringue with the cream and then topped them off with the strawberries and the kiwis. I then thought well what about the bananas and the nuts!? I chucked the bananas in the freezer for banana bread some other time and then a crazy thought entered my head.
What if I put the chocolate macadamias on top of the meringue and cream? Crazy,but it just might work. And boy did it work. Such an amazing combination of that raw, nutty flavour with the smoothness of the cream and the sweetness of the chocolate and meringue. Great and interesting texture combination as well.
The moral of the story …
Baking doesn’t always turn out as planned. Things can go wrong. But that’s OK. That’s why we have lovely creative little brains to think up something else to make if we need to.
And if you really don’t have anything useful at home to quickly whip up something else, between you and me, Woolworths does some yummy cookies and cakes. Just saying.
Anyway, thanks for the amazing recipe Phoodie – sorry I couldn’t do it all the justice it deserves. Second time’s a charm?!