Monday, October 27, 2008
On an almost daily basis I think about what I’d cook Steve for dinner, even though we’re currently on opposite sides of the country. He’s my favourite person to cook for, but cooking with him is even more fun. We’ve had some exciting (creative!) baking adventures together, and I look forward to more in the future. He’s even promised to be my Official Taste Tester and eat all the things I cook, no matter how weird they might be… as long as there’s no pumpkin is involved. I’ve already got him to eat eggplant, so that’s a small victory. It’s only a matter of time before I get him eating zucchini and mangoes and maybe even red meat.
What he loves however, is anything involving caramel or bananas, but oh, if you were to put the two together… well I’m pretty sure he might just love me a little more after this. You see, as a little surprise, we each made something that we thought the other would like. I knew this Banoffee pie would go down a treat. Turns out he knows me pretty well too. He made some rhubarb cupcakes, from scratch!
Banoffee pie is an English concoction of bananas, cream and thick caramel with a tasty cookie crumb crust. It’s gooey and rich, and absolutely delicious. I’m not usually terribly keen on desserts with banana – the other choices on the menu usually sound so much more appealing – but this one may have changed my mind. And I guess I better have a few banana desserts up my sleeve if I want to keep him around!
The other great thing about this dessert is that it’s eeeasy. It can be made from start to finish without turning the oven on, which makes it absolutely perfect for a warm day. The small tart pans make for cute individual servings, but it can also be prepared as one large pie. The crumb crust and caramel can be done in advance and left in the fridge to chill. When you’re ready to serve, just slice up a couple of bananas, layer them on top and pile it high with whipped cream. Delicious.
Adapted from Australian Good Taste
Makes 6 small tarts
• 1 x 250g packet plain sweet biscuits (I used Arnott’s Marie)
• 125g butter, melted
• 2 bananas, thinly sliced
• 300mL thickened cream
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar
• Dark chocolate curls, to serve
• 1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 50g butter
1. Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs with a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and stir through the melted butter until well combined.
2. Divide the crumb mixture between six round 8cm removable bottom fluted tart tins. Use the back of a metal spoon to firmly press the crumbs into each tin. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
3. To make the caramel, place condensed milk, brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 10-12 minutes, or until caramel is thick but not boiling.
4. Pour the hot caramel evenly among the biscuit bases. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 2-3 to chill.
5. Whip the cream with the caster sugar until soft peaks form.
6. Peel and thinly slice bananas and layer over the caramel. Dollop the cream on top and sprinkle with chocolate curls. Serve immediately.