So, all you working folks are sighing 'TGIF'! today - but what do you do when you are on leave in Delhi and have nothing important to achieve during the day?
Well, if you and your younger sister are both vela, both have sweet tooths (sweet teeth?), and both have just read the latest (Jun 07) Reader's Digest and found a simple recipe for the simple yet delicious sounding ''Banoffee'' (Banana+Toffee) Pie; you apparently spend the morning making the Banoffee Pie!
Now, while you could just follow the simple recipe as stated in Reader's Digest, here is the process we followed so that you additionally get the benefit of our experience:
- Crush 250 g of Marie Biscuits to a powder - this suits me just fine because I have never really liked Marie Biscuits - they are just so bland and boring - they even look boring- so I crumbled them with a vengeance. But the Sister pointed out that it was meant to be a 'coarse' powder and not a 'fine' one, so I stopped after a while, rather reluctantly. Also, while the recipe says to put the biscuits in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin, I found that using my hands worked just fine for this.
- Add 3 Tbsp of melted butter to the biscuit crumbs, mix well and set the mixture in a pan firmly - We had a little issue here because the butter just didn't seem to be enough to mix with the biscuits. I then figured that the Sister had taken 3 Tbsp of solid butter and melted them, whereas, in fact, it was 3 tbsp of Melted butter, which is very different. I have the benefit of being older and wiser, of course, and so bear no grudges against the little one.
-After the mix above has been refrigerated for 20 mins, take 3 bananas, slice them up and add them as a second layer to the pie - This was rather simple and we accomplished this without incident.
- Add the Toffee Layer as the third layer - Now, this was the interesting part. I neglected to mention that you need to boil a can of Milkmaid (400 g) for three whole hours in advance to starting this process. Our maid of 24 years, Kajal Didi, was to be asked to do this. But Kajal is very different from Zareena (our maid in Bombay) and is liable to be rather eccentric, slow and absent minded (although this is very understandable, given her long years of interaction with our fairly eccentric family). Anyway, as we were going out yesterday, I had instructed her to boil the Milkmaid can - my Sister discovered this only when we were out and was horrified by this. Apparently, if the water runs out while the can is being boiled, there is likely to be an explosion of no small proportion. I protested that I had informed Kajal about this, but my Sister took a grim, ominous view of the whole situation anyway. We returned later, with keen interest and trepidation, and were relieved to note that the house was still intact. However, this was only due to the fact that Kajal had promptly forgotten to do as asked.
Anyway, the can was boiled, under Sister's supervision, this morning - and we were pleased to discover that the condensed milk had turned into 'toffee' - which basically means it had changed from white to brown. It tasted exactly the same to me, although Sister said that 'there was now a distinct flavour of jaggery to it'. I nodded along insincerely, not being a believer in fruitless argument. We spread the thick layer onto the banana layer and put it in the fridge for another 20 mins.
- Add 250 ml of whipped cream as the fourth layer: I had lost interest by this time so the Sister found the whipper, whipped the cream to a light, fine texture and spread it over the toffee layer. It was looking quite fascinating by this time and I regained interest. It was again refrigerated for a final 20 mins.
- Garnish with Dark Chocolate: We didn't have any Dark Chocolate but we did have some Lindt Milk Chocolate. Now, I view Lindt very differently from some crummy Marie Biscuits so I looked very sadly at the sacrifice we were making, until Sister assured me there was much more chocolate in the fridge. However, it turned out that in the hot weather of Delhi, it was impossible to grate the chocolate and it sort of just melted in small lumps which we artistically (?) spread over the whipped cream.
And Voilà! There it was - our sumptuous looking Banoffee Pie! We were so pleased that we took a picture of it. Looks pretty nice, eh? (Those are my elegant hands holding it out proudly)
We eventually did eat it, too – and it was truly delicious although a tad too heavy. The combination of ingredients is really a winning one. My sincere compliments to the inventors.
The only real issue was that despite our following the given instructions to a ‘T’ (almost), the pie hadn’t really set properly for some reason, and all the layers fell apart as we scooped them out into our bowls - but, we philosophically chose to ignore this since it does not affect the taste – it all ends up in the same place, right?). And as for the original pie, the whipped cream layer sort of just settled back, slowly and goo-ily, to cover the areas we had gouged out. Wonderful, we thought, a regenerative pie!
And took another picture, as below, to show how it still looked the same even after we had finished our first helping. (Well, almost, eh?)