The word ‘banoffee’ comes from the words ‘banana’ and ‘toffee’; and it is easy to determine that the classic dessert is a heavenly combination of the two. Interestingly, contrary to popular belief, a Banoffee pie is an incredibly easy recipe to make. It combines some really simply ingredients, such as banana, cream, dulce de leche, biscuits, etc; but the end result is a gorgeous melt-in-the-mouth creation.
The components of a Banoffee pie:
A Banoffee pie will always contain the following elements:
- A buttery and crumbly base, made with crushed biscuits, graham crackers, etc. mixed with melted butter.
- Slices of fresh banana
- Fresh whipped cream
- Caramel/toffee, made from scratch, or by boiling condensed milk, or dulce de leche.
- Additional optional ingredients such as chocolate or coffee
The history behind the dessert:
The British restaurateur, Nigel Mackenzie, created the Banoffee pie back in 1972. Here is how the story goes.
In 1968, Mackenzie and his wife, Sue Kenrick, purchased a tea room in East Sussex. This tea room was previously inhabited by monks. The couple spent six month renovating the place. Finally, they converted the tea room into a fashionable restaurant, and called it The Hungry Monk.
1971, when the restaurant was up and running, they realized that were short of one item for their dessert menu. The then head chef, Ian Dowding, suggested that they try out the recipe that he had brought back from America. This recipe was called the Blum’s Coffee Toffee Pie. Mackenzie embraced the idea whole heartedly, and they set to prepare the dessert with caramel, cream and boiled condensed milk. During the experimentation phase, Mackenzie suggested that they should use bananas, and that’s how the famous dessert was created. They named the dessert as ‘Signor Banoffi’s pie’.
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The popularity of the Banoffee pie:
The customers of the restaurant were delighted. They fell in love with the dessert, and made sure that it was on the menu and was available when they visited. Gradually, the fame of the dessert spread across restaurants. Soon, it became a permanent item on the menu! In fact, Nestle went on to print the recipe on their condensed milk cans; which further increased the popularity of the dessert.On the downside, the commercialization of the dessert meant that its quality fell considerably. Unfortunately, imitators would use low quality whipped cream instead of lightly whipped double cream. They even substituted the short crust pastry base to ready made digestive biscuits, which they crushed and used.
The Deeper Secrets of the Hungry Monk was published in 1974, and the original Banoffee pie recipe appeared in their recipe book. The book sold over 1,00,000 copies, and the dessert took the world over. It even went on to gain official recognition in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1997.
Easy Banoffee pie recipe:
Everyone can make a Banoffee pie at home. It is simple and easy. And you would not have to rush to the supermarket to pick up ingredients especially for the dessert. No fancy equipments needed either!
Banoffee pie crust:
450 grams digestive biscuits
150 grams butter, unsalted
Banoffee pie toffee filling:
90 grams butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Banoffee pie topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp coffee powder
3 bananas, thinly slices
Cocoa powder, optional
- Start by lining an 8 inch pie dish with parchment paper.
- Crush the biscuits using a food processor. You will need fine crumbs for the base.
- Melt the butter over low heat, and add in the biscuit crumbs.
- Combine the mix evenly, and spoon in the prepared pie dish.
- Use the back of a spoon, or the edge of a rolling pin to press down the mix firmly onto the base and the sides.
- Refrigerate till ready for use.
- Start with preparing the toffee filling next. Heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add in the condensed milk.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring in intervals. Continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, till you obtain a thick consistency. A
- Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Pour over the chilled Banoffee pie base.
- Refrigerate for an hour at least.
- Whip the double cream using a stand mixer or an electric beater with the instant coffee powder, till soft peaks form.
- Arrange the banana slices on top of the toffee mix.
- Spoon the cream on the top, and use a small offset spatula to level it out.
- Let it set in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Garnish with cocoa powder and chocolate flakes, and serve cold.
Banoffee pie variations:
Today, the word Banoffee is synonymous with the classic combination of banana and toffee. It is no longer limited or restricted to just the classic Banoffee pie itself, but has witnessed a lot of variations over the years. A Banoffee cake is extremely popular, which uses a vanilla sponge, fresh whipped cream, dulce de leche and bananas. A Banoffee cheese cake is also an excellent innovation of the original dessert.
What innovation will you like to do with the classic dessert?