Faithful readers, welcome back to Thoughtful Baking! I am sorry if you were looking for any of my recipes while it the website been offline these last couple of months. Hopefully you can see it’s now back, more beautiful, and searchable than ever! To celebrate this momentous occasion, after some hard work and internet frustration, I pondered to myself what would be the best thing to bake. Perhaps a large croquembouche, tall and spectacular. Perhaps some kind of special celebration cake.
However, one of my favourite things about this blog is being able to share recipes I’ve made a hundred times, and intend on making a hundred times more. Recipes that have filled my family’s bellies, and live on in their memories as “remember how Liz used to make…”. I’d like them to be shared here, to feed friends and family in their own kitchens.
This one has sentimental value for me because it reminds me of my sister and her now-husband when they started dating. I don’t remember why it was a “thing” for them, but I remember making it when her now-husband came to our family dinner for one of the first times. It inspired the top layer of their wedding cake – a caramel mudcake with banana buttercream filling.
Banoffee pie is a short crust pastry tart with a caramel filling, topped with banana and traditionally whipped cream. As with all popular recipes, there is some debate as to its origin, but the largely held theory is that it’s from England. It reminds me of a caramel slice, topped with bananas. Some think this an unlikely combination, which just shows they haven’t tried it. Often it’s topped with whipped cream, but I’m not a huge fan of whipped cream, so I have made a little chocolate mousse to finish it off.
I’m not sure if anyone else has been watching Masterchef lately, but they seem to be able to make perfect mousses (mice?) in a very short amount of time that set perfectly when piped or make a perfect quinelle next to their dish. That was the intent of the chocolate mousse piped on top of the banoffee pie. The result was more a slop of mousse. The proof of the pudding, however, is in the eating – and it was still delicious if not beautiful to look at. I ended up serving it without the mousse on top, but with a little coffee cup of mousse on the side. A handy way around a sloppy mousse!
I experimented a little with a couple of different caramels for this recipe, thinking that perhaps a more traditional caramel (sugar, butter and cream) would be better. It turns out that the original recipe had it right. A traditional caramel turned out way too chewy for the rest of the textures. I think there might still be some room for compromise in between the recipes, but this is still a winner.
I made a double batch (twice the amount) of pastry, to make the smaller pastries. Follow the same recipe, but fill whichever size you’re after. I just divided the caramel between the pastries that I had. Feel free to experiment, as well!
So let my family recipes live on in your kitchen, starting with this banoffee pie. Thanks to Women’s Weekly Bake book for the banoffee pie, and Bill Granger’s Sydney Food for the mousse. Enjoy!
- 1.5 cups plain flour
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 140g cold butter, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons water
- Caramel Filling
- 395g can sweetened condensed milk
- 80g butter, chopped
- 0.5 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 3 large bananas, sliced on a diagonal
- 220g milk chocolate, broken into squares
- 3 egg whites
- 2 egg yolks
- 150ml thickened cream
- For the pastry, process flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until crumbly and butter has disappeared.
- Add the egg yolk and water and process until it comes together in a ball.
- Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured bench, and knead for a couple of minutes until it's smooth.
- Roll into a ball, cover in glad wrap, and refrigerate for 30 mins.
- When refrigerated, grease a 24cm-round loose-based fluted flan tin.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper using a rolling pin until larger than the tin. This should be about 2-3mm thick.
- Peel back the baking paper and lie pastry on top of tin. Starting from the centre of the tin out, ease the pastry into the tin. Press it into the corners and sides.
- Ensure excess pastry hangs over the sides of the tin. Using your palm, press the pastry over the edge of the tin, causing the excess to fall away. Prick the base all over with a fork. Cover, and refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180degC fan forced, or 200degC conventional.
- When refrigeration time is up, remove fridge cover, place the tin on an oven tray, and cover the pastry with baking paper. Fill with pastry weights, or dried beans or rice. (Save the rice/beans for future pastry when done).
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove pastry weights and baking paper from pastry. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
- For the caramel, combine condensed milk, butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is caramel coloured. Allow to cool a little before pouring into the pastry. (If you leave it longer to cool, it won't be as smooth, but will still be able to be scooped into the pastry and spread).
- Top caramel with sliced banana.
- For the mousse, place the chocolate and 1 tablespoon of water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Place over a low heat until chocolate has melted. Leave to cool a little - approx 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small clean dry bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate medium bowl, beat cream until still peaks form.
- Add egg yolks to chocolate mixture, beating between addition. Mixture should be glossy.
- Fold in whipped cream, and then the egg whites in two batches.
- Refrigerate bowl of mousse mixture for approx 2-3 hours before spooning over banoffee pie.