When I was stocking up on homewares at Kmart for my new place, one of the things I picked up was a big fruit bowl for the kitchen. I’m unfortunately one of those absent-minded people who’s rather “out of sight, out of mind”; if I don’t see you regularly enough I tend to forget about you, if the cookies are at the back of the cupboard I will forget about them, and if I don’t deliberately place fruit in front of myself I forget to eat it.
It astonishes me still how many people I have met that don’t eat at least a piece of fruit a day. While I understand that you can probably get most of your daily essential vitamins and minerals from other food products, I’ve been brought up in a household where we had fruit every day.
Bananas are cheap, easy to eat and go down well, but with the warmer weather its been a race to use up my spotty bananas before they become black. And eating a black banana is so nasty. I’m a bit over banana bread after making repetitive batches of it over winter, so I decided to try my hand at making individual Banoffee Pies. This probably isn’t the best thing when I bought the fruit with the healthiest of intentions, but hey – who doesn’t hate wasting food? 😛
I’ve never even tasted one before, but how can you go wrong with the combination of ripe banana with slightly salted, oozy golden caramel, a crumbly buttery base and a fluffy cream topping? And best of all, there’s zero baking required for this recipe – huzzah!
These pies are so moreish and so rich…I love the addition of pretzels to the crumb base as it really adds a contrasting saltiness. I also tweaked the original recipe from Gourmet Traveller a little, using sour cream instead of creme fraiche for the topping as it was all I had in the fridge – and it turned out divine. Remember that if you want a smaller quantity of pretzels you can go to a supermarket with those pick-and-weigh nuts, otherwise feel free to just eat the leftover pretzels from the pack as they are…
To make four individual pies, you will need:
- 3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced at an angle;
- 150ml thickened cream;
- 200ml sour cream;
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste;
- To serve: shaved dark chocolate/chocolate curls.
Pretzel crumb base
- 120g digestive biscuits, coarsely broken (I used Arnotts Marie);
- 45g salted pretzels;
- 35g caster sugar;
- 100g butter, melted.
- 100g caster sugar;
- 40g butter, coarsely chopped;
- 60ml thickened cream.
For the pretzel crumb base, process the biscuits, pretzels and sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs form.
Add the butter, pulse to just combine, press into the bases and up the sides of four, individual 10cm-diameter tart tins and refrigerate until set.
For the salted toffee, stir the sugar and 25ml of water in small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook until caramel (6-8 minutes). Add the butter, cream, and 1/4 teaspoon salt flakes. Watch out as the caramel will spit when the cold cream is added. Stir until combined, remove from heat then pour over the crumb base and refrigerate until chilled.
Arrange the banana on top of the caramel and set aside. Whisk the cream, sour cream and vanilla seeds with an electric mixer until peaks form, then spoon on top of the banana.
If you haven’t made chocolate curls before, they’re very simple provided the weather is accomodating! If it’s too warm, like it was when I made these – the chocolate simply will not set at room temperature. I had to keep transferring the tray and completed curls to the fridge to set. But if you want to do it, just melt a small amount of dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave at ten second intervals and stir until it’s fluidly melted. Lay out a clean tile or tray and spread the chocolate thinly across it. Allow to set.
Once it’s set, brace the tray/tile against the counter and using a long, sharp knife, scrape it across the surface of the chocolate at a 45 degree angle. Don’t be too shattered if you fail the first time round – you can always scrape it all off, re-melt it and start again! Practice makes perfect…but as you can see with the warmer weather my chocolate curls kept breaking…so it looks more like chocolate “bark” here!
Gently remove from the tart cases if you want to present it all nicely..as you can see that’s what I did for the ones I was photographing..but as soon as I was done, away with the camera and I simply dug into one straight out of the tin. So much less fuss, less mess, and instant gratification 😉
I want to hear your thoughts about what you want to see on the blog! Summer’s coming along so I’m probably going to experiment with some salads, but I am the “glutton” after all and sweets will always be my main area of priority. Let me know of any desserts you want to see and I’ll see if I can re-create them or put my own spin on them. Shout out your ideas by commenting below, emailing me, or heading over to my Facebook page.
Enjoy your week ahead… work hard and play just as hard! Xx