Tag Archives: bananas

Banoffee Pie

Make this one out of love for the name of the dessert, if not the banana-toffee combination 🙂

 

Q. Ever wondered where the phrase “to go bananas” came from?
A. Why try when banana pancakes, choco-banana cakes, banana splits, and banoffee pies are all capable of driving you crazy?”
The Fact: Banoffee Pie was invented in 1972 at the Hungry Monk restaurant in England. It is rumored to be Mrs Thatcher’s favourite pudding.
The Inspiration: It was 10pm on the 11th of August, the eve of my birthday. As weird as it sounds, I love baking my own birthday cake, but this time, I wanted something different… “Why not some pie?”… thought I (rhyme attempt alert!).

The Ingredients

Makes 12 – 15 servings
The Base
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 250 g digestive biscuits; crushed (wrap up the biscuits in a soft cloth and beat it up any way you like; it can be a lot of fun)

The Toffee Filling

  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g Demerera sugar or any other soft brown sugar (avoid the regular white sugar because it makes the dessert too sweet)
  • 400 g condensed milk (sweetened)

The Topping

  • 6 – 8 ripe, but firm bananas (make sure that the bananas are sweet or the topping ends up being quite tasteless)
  • 250 g whipping cream

The Method

  • Take a 9-inch, loose-bottomed pie pan/tart pan and tip the crushed biscuits into it.
  • Add the melted butter to the crushed biscuits and mix well. Using the back of a spoon,  press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, firmly, to form the pie shell. Chill in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.

Biscuit base pie crust

  • Place a frying pan or a skillet on the fire, on medium heat. Add the brown sugar to the pan. As the sugar starts to melt, add the butter.
  •  Butter and brown sugar blend
  • Stir together lightly and then leave undisturbed till the sides begin to melt. Nudge the edges from time to time, but avoid disturbing the melting process. Remember that you want the lovely burnt caramel colour and aroma; don’t worry about burning the sugar too far as long as the stove is on medium heat and not on high. The colour of the toffee depends on the colour of the caramel. 

Butter and brown sugar blend

Butter and brown sugar blend for banoffee pie

  • When the sugar has completely melted, add the condensed milk and bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat, stirring continuously. Turn off the heat as soon as the now-formed toffee takes on the right colour.

Toffee for banoffee pie

  • Pour the toffee into the biscuit base and leave undisturbed to cool. Move to the refrigerator and leave until the toffee becomes firm. This should take a few hours if the toffee has been cooled sufficiently before refrigerating.

Toffee for banoffee pie

Toffee for banoffee pie

  • After the toffee is firm, slice the bananas and place them over the toffee layer. Avoid slicing the bananas too much in advance because they’ll turn black due to oxidation, and won’t make a pretty plate.

Sliced bananas

Sliced bananas decorated for banoffee pie

  • Quickly whip up the cream and place it over the bananas. You can add your layers in any way you like it and can vary the thickness of each layer too.
  • Chill the dessert before serving it, if not, it makes the servings difficult and messy to cut through.

     

    Eat away. Bon appétit! 🙂

Banoffee Pie

Banana Pound Cake

Not everybody loves bananas the way I do. I eat them plain, slice them for crepe filling, mash them in pancakes, whisk them in milkshakes, fry them as fritters, and as the title says, bake them in heavenly, moist, pound cakes!

 

“Life is full of banana skins. You slip, you carry on.” – Daphne Guinness
The Fact: The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means ‘fruit of the wise men’.
The Inspiration: Christmas came and went, but left me with this need to abstain from cakes, desserts, and pretty much everything sweet. But as all good things come to an end, so did this phase of abstinence.
As I made the climb back on to the ‘food’ wagon, I decided to start small with a few desserts and some hearty servings of fruit—watermelons, apples, oranges, pears, grapes, mangoes (yes, I’m blessed with the perfect tropical climate for these fruits) and bananas! But not everybody loves bananas the way I do. I eat them plain, slice them for crepe filling, mash them in pancakes, whisk them in milkshakes, fry them as fritters, and as the title says, bake them in heavenly pound cakes.
So here’s my attempt at combining fruit and cake in a rather popular way… banana cake! I write this entry as the warm cake aroma continues to waft through my kitchen...

The Ingredients

This cake serves approx. 15–20 people.

Dry ingredients

  • 1½ cups sifted flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (use 1 cup if you prefer sweeter cakes)
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground cinnamon powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tbsp chocolate shavings or chocolate chips

Wet ingredients

  • 2 large or 3 small eggs
  • I cup softened butter
  • I cup milk or sour cream or buttermilk
  • 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas mashed to a pulp

Ingredients for the banana cake

The Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.
  • Prepare your cake tin (standard 9 x 2 inch) by spraying it with grease or lightly greasing it with butter.
  • Whisk together all the dry ingredients except the chocolate shavings.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter for about 1 minute with a hand-held or electric beater.
  • Gradually, whisk in the eggs.
  • When the consistency is smooth, add the milk or cream and the banana pulp and whisk for about 1 minute.
  • If you’re someone who’s bothered by the smell of eggs, add a teaspoon of vanilla essence/extract. If not, you’re fine.
  • Now, gently whisk in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. This should take you less than a minute because the consistency of the batter is thinner that most cake batters. Do not beat this batter for more than 90 seconds; if you do, gluten will begin to form and make your cake denser and not as moist.
  • Gently fold in the chocolate shavings or chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into the prepared cake tin and put it into the oven.

Banana cake batter

  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack

Banana pound cake

You should know by the aroma in your kitchen that you’re done 🙂 . This cake has a lovely, strong banana flavour. If there’s someone at home who dislikes bananas, the aroma is sure to drive them out of the house. Trust me; I speak from experience.

This cake is best served warm. Cut a slice to look at your beautiful, cinnamon-and-chocolate-speckled cake!

A slice of banana cake

This cake can be kept without refrigeration for a few days. In warmer climates, refrigerate within 2 days. Bon appétit!

Chocolate & Sautéed Banana Crepes

Speaking of comfort foods, who’d have thought that decadent chocolate and a fruit wrapped inside a soft crêpe would be my new favourite dessert… breakfast item… comfort food…?

 

“In a big family the first child is kind of like the first crêpe. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along.” – Antonin Scalia
The Fact: Crêpes originated in Brittany, France and are considered as the country’s national dish. Crêpes can be compared to the African injera, the tortilla, the Indian dosa and the Mexican sope. 
The Inspiration: So, let’s be honest. I’d like to believe that I’m a serious health-conscious freak, but I’m really not. I have my days. It was one of these days that led a few friends and me to this quaint little patisserie, “Le Plaisir”, which had opened up close to our work place, one August afternoon. Since I wasn’t in the mood for a serious, heavy dessert, I thought about trying out their crêpes. Apart from the regular crêpes (considered as the French-styled pancakes) with whipped cream or maple syrup, I spotted a Nutella and Banana Crêpe. While the Nutella satisfied the dessert craving, the fruit led me to believe it was healthy, which it wasn’t of course! And so I ate… And fell in love… And the banana-chocolate combination became my new favorite duo… So much so that I recreated the dish, rather perfectly, I dare say, the very next day.So unoriginal… right? But like they say… “Love is blind” 🙂

The Ingredients

Makes 10 – 12 crêpes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 ½ cups milk (for slightly healthier crêpes, use 3/4th cup milk with ½ cup water or buttermilk)
  • 2 large or 3 small eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large bananas
  • Nutella or readymade chocolate sauce or a few bits of semisweet chocolate melted

Crepes ingredients

The Method

Making the crêpes

Whisk all the dry ingredients—the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder—in a bowl. Remember to add the baking powder only if you’re making the crêpes immediately. If not, add just before use.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then, add the milk to it. Use room temperature milk—not too hot or too cold. At this point, you could also add a quarter teaspoon of vanilla essence if you don’t like the egg smell.

Using your spatula, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into it. Gently whisk the dry and wet ingredients together until the mixture appears smooth and without lumps. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and whisk gently. Remember not to over-whisk the mixture or you’ll lose all the air from it, making your crêpes slightly tougher than the soft, fluffy ones.

crepe batter

It’s a good idea to check for lumps using the back of a spoon, before you proceed.

checking for lumps in the crepe batter

Allow the batter to sit for about 30 – 60 minutes, covered properly (make airtight), in the refrigerator. Note that if you’re making the batter in advance, you can store the batter in an airtight container for up to 1 day. But, when you do so, remember to add the baking powder about 5 minutes before you actually make the crêpes; not earlier.

After refrigeration, whisk the batter to get a smooth, slightly more fluid consistency.

crepe batter

Heat a non-stick pan over a medium flame and add a drizzle of the butter. Don’t let your pan smoke.

Now, add about 1/3 cup batter and swirl it around to completely cover the bottom of the pan or until it reaches the desired size. Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes, until the crêpe looks slightly transparent or until the underside of crêpe is golden brown. Then, using a spatula, loosen the edges slightly and flip the crêpe once, using your fingers.

just flipped crepe

Let the crêpe cook for another minute, then slide it into a plate. Remember, the key is to flip it only once and not more. Give it a try and you can’t go too wrong (and even if you do, you can still eat it).

Repeat the procedure until the batter lasts.

Making the topping/stuffing

With the pan still on the stove, quickly slice the bananas. Add the remaining spoon of sugar to the pan and just when it begins to melt/caramelise (don’t go too far or you’ll be left with hard caramel), toss in the bananas until they are lightly coated and golden brown. Take them off the pan.

Note: You can avoid this step altogether and use plain sliced bananas (without the caramel coating). That’s what I did since the caramel makes the dessert too sweet for my taste.

Serving the crêpes

You have various options here…

  1. Lightly brush the smooth side of the crêpe with some melted chocolate/Nutella/chocolate sauce. Line up some of the banana slices in the centre. Roll up the crêpe and serve.
  2. Lightly brush the smooth side of the crêpe with some melted chocolate/Nutella/chocolate sauce. Line up some of the banana slices in one quarter of the crêpe. Fold the crêpe into that quarter and serve.
  3. Fold a plain crêpe into a quarter and place it on a plate. Toss a few banana slices onto the crêpe. Drizzle some melted chocolate/Nutella/chocolate sauce over it and serve.

crepes and chocolate shavings

Bon appétit! I hope this comfort food gives you all the comfort, joy and heavenly bliss it gave me!