America, I’m going to tell you a little secret.
If you’re a pie fan, you’re probably tried the classic apple or the popular pumpkin. Maybe you’ve even had a slice of pecan or meringue.
But the Brits have been hiding something spectacular – a pie that melts in your mouth and leaves you smiling all day long.
Banoffee pie. Half banana, half toffee, these sweet treats are layered together on a bed of crumbled cookies, topped with a cloud of soft cream. This pie is light, fluffy, and incredibly delicious.
When I lived in the UK, my British roommates made banoffe pie for dessert quite often. They were shocked I had never heard of banoffee, and after one spoonful I was a convert. Banoffee pie is an easy ‘no bake’ miracle that can be thrown together in 10 minutes flat, which is ideal because this goodie wont stick around for too long. Once you’ve had a taste, you find yourself sneaking back to the fridge again and again, spoon in hand, smuggling away cheeky bites. Soon, you realize everyone else has been doing the same and the pie has vanished!
I’ve made the following recipe for those who love those cheeky little banoffee bites. If you’ve never tried banoffee, get ready to fall in love. This recipe is perfect for beginners – it’s low maintenance, homemade, and provides easy smuggling access from the fridge!
The first thing you will need is the right ingredients. I pre-bought some mini pastry cups, a tin of sweetened condensed milk, a bunch of bananas, some cookies, a bar of dark chocolate, and some light whipped cream.These are pretty much the same ingredients you would need to make the whole pie, minus the mini pastry cups. Typically the cookies are used to make the crunchy base, but as I already had the pastry cups, I sprinkled the cookies on top. Same taste, much more portable!
Around the holidays, the Dutch love their Kruidnoten. Kruidnoten are tiny tiny cookies that taste like a gingerbread-shortbread love affair. I found these extra small kruidnoten on the jam asile, for sprinkling on toast! They were adorable and I knew I had to buy them. If you don’t live in Holland, I recommend buying your favorite flaky biscuit and crumbling it up. Or if you’re looking to use a similar small cookie, you could always use Cookie Crisp Cereal. Next, run your knife over your chocolate bar and chop it up into little chunks. We don’t have chocolate chips in Holland, so I had to buy a whole bar and cut it into pieces. I guess that’s the trade off for having such adorable little cookies. Once you have your chocolate and mini cookies ready to go, take your mini pastry cups out of the package.
You could buy pre-made toffee (or dulce de leche as it’s called in the USA), but what’s the fun in that?? You’re not making the crust, and chopping the ingredients for the filling takes less than two minutes. So this is the hardest part, and it takes about five minutes. Seriously, it’s worth it. Why buy the stale store variety when you could easily make your own melting toffee right at home?
Pour your can of sweetened condensed milk into a pan or small pot. Put it over a low to medium heat. Now grab a spoon and keep mixing. And mixing and mixing and mixing. If you stop, the toffee will stick to the bottom of the pan and brown. If you notice this happening, turn down your heat. I have a super-awesome induction stovetop, so my toffee cooked up in about five minutes. You will know it’s done when you can pick up your spoon and the toffee sticks to the spoon. It will also turn slightly gold. When done, pour your toffee into a small cup.
The last step is chopping up your bananas. Slice them length wise into two long strips. Don’t separate the two strips, rotate them 90°and slice into strips again. Your banana should now be cut into four long strips. Next, chop it crosswise into small quarters. As they fall appart, they will resemble little rounded triangles.
If you like your toffee a bit more firm, pop them in the fridge for an hour or two. To finish, add a generous touch of whipped cream to each. If you have any chocolate left, you can melt it up to drizzle on top.
These banoffe bites are fancy and sweet, dainty and delicious. They’re quite easy for the banoffee-beginner, and have the same addictive taste as their parent dessert, banoffee pie. Serve them with a cup of tea in the afternoon, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Or just sneak them from the fridge whenever you need a sweet fix! x