My first ever Banoffee Pie!

Two food posts in a row seems like a bit of a cop out, but to be honest I haven’t been doing anything else worth blogging about… and I have been promising you this one for a while, so here you go.
There are more banoffee pie recipes on the Internet than you can shake a stick at (not sure why you would want to shake sticks at recipes?), but I actually ended up using a combination of three to get my amounts/ingredients/methods, so I thought I would add my recipe to the mix… including a pointer or two on how to find said ingredients in Germany.

Banoffee Pie

Ingredients
1 tin of condensed milk (you need sweetened condensed milk, gezuckerte Kondensmilch in German; Nestle do one under the brand name Milchmädchen.)
300g chcolate digestives (if you can’t find actual digestives, DeBeukelaer does some called Granola that work just as well)
75g butter
400 ml whipping cream (some recipes use double cream, but the closest equivalent here is expensive so I decided to go with plain old Schlagsahne. It works for the Germans…)
2-3 bananas

Method

The scary part... please don't explode!
The scary part… please don’t explode!

1. Lie the tin of condensed milk on its side in a sauce pan of water – make sure the water is covering the whole tin! Apparantly if the tin becomes exposed, explosions will happen!
2. Bring the water to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer the tin in the hot water for 2-2.5 hours. After that time, remove the water from the heat and leave it to cool for about half an hour before removing the tin from it.
3. While the condensed milk is still heating, crush up your biscuits (use a blender if you have such a thing, or place them in a food bag and hit them with a hammer/rolling pin) and melt the butter in a sauce pan.
4. Mix the biscuit crumbs and butter together, then use the mixture to line a 23 cm cake tin. The biscuit crumbs base should go across the bottom and part way up the sides. Tip: Use a metal spoon to press down the biscuit crums – they’ll only stick to a wooden spoon and refuse to spread out properly! Once the base is firmly pressed down, stick the cake tin in the fridge until the condensed milk is ready.
5. Open the tin of condensed milk. The contents should be a pale brownish colour (caramel colour!). Take your biscuit crumb base back out of the fridge and spread the caramel over it.

Wiaitng to be decorated
Wiaitng to be decorated

6. Slice 2 bananas and use them to make a layer of banana slices on top of the caramel. Save the rest of the banana.
7. Whip the cream until it stands up in soft peaks when you pull up your whisk, then gently stir in as many slices of banana as you think appropriate
8. Cover the sliced banana layer of the pie with this cream/banana mix and then place the pie back in the fridge.
9. Shortly before you want to serve the pie, remove it from the fridge again and decorate it with more banana slices and some chocolate flakes.

That’s it! Easy, peasy! And once you’ve made the caramel, it doesn’t even take that long.
I had never made this before, but it turned out delicious and the Germans I served it to loved it. Success!

The finished article, chilling in the fridge (sadly, I forgot to take a decent photo of it once we arrived at the party so this is all you're getting..)
The finished article, chilling in the fridge (sadly, I forgot to take a decent photo of it once we arrived at the party so this is all you’re getting..)

First Friday letters of 2014!

It’s not the first Friday of 2014, but it is the first one on which I’ve a) been in Germany and b) had access to a computer, so these are my very first Friday letters of this year…

Friday letters

Dear Madeira. You are beautiful! I wish we’d had a few more days to spare so we could do more hinking and maybe go on a whale watching trip, but alas work called.

Dear ticket collectors. I would appreciate it if you could announce your presence before you’re standing directly behind me, so I could get my travel card out in advance and not be left scrabbling for my purse in a panic while you stand there staring at me.

Dear Banoffee Pie. I’ve never made you before, and I’m planning to try you out for the first time tomorrow. You’re coming with us to a birthday party, so please work out okay!

Dear weather. I have to admit you are worrying me slightly. Temperatures have been almost Spring-like this week, which leads me to suspect that winter will creep up when I’m least expecting it. Probably in April…

Dear 2014. So far, you are a clean slate! I have no firm plans for you yet, only a few tentative ones for March and June. I want you to be a good year so it’s time to get my thinking cap on! I still have another 8 trips to plan for starters!

Dear readers. It’s nice to see that some of you are still there, despite the fairly long break I took over the holidays. I’m still playing catch up with my comments, but I’m sure we’ll all be back in the swing of things soon. Here’s to a fabulous year, both in blogging and outside it!