Chocolate Banoffee Pie
This pie was the first experience I ever had with anything ‘banoffee’. There’s no particular reason for avoiding it, it just never happened. When I saw the opportunity to make it for Rainydaybites cookbook challenge I knew I had to take it and make it.
Banoffee pie is typically layers of bananas, toffee, and cream all on a base of crumbled cookies. The one from Bringing it Home, in Gail Simmons book, called for a chocolate wafer crumbled bottom layer. You would think plain chocolate wafer cookies would be very easy to come by, by not here. I had no time to experiment with Oreo cookies (include the filling or remove - lick and eat the filling) and so glad I came across this recipe from The cooking channel TVs website and had all the ingredients to make homemade ones from scratch. Super simple recipe with basic pantry ingredients. Whipped them up and stored in a cookie jar until I was ready to make the pie. If you can get your hands on them to buy - even better and quicker! But if you can’t this is a great recipe for the wafers and you will have leftovers which are great with ice cream - just saying. You can also use graham cracker wafers and scrap the whole chocolate thing all together if that’s all you have in your pantry. Chocolate adds another dimension of yumminess though. Either would work just great. It’s always good to have options right?
The dulce de leche is also super simple to make at home. Gail Simmons method kind of scared me - with the possibility of the can exploding if you don’t monitor the water levels throughout the whole process, so I opted to use an old method I have been using from Food52. It’s a no fail method and no real monitoring required. Even if your dulce de leche gets a little thick from baking, you can thin it out with a little milk or water. It’s easy and all fears of explosion and cleaning up condescend milk from your walls and ceiling are removed. If you don’t feel like DIYing your dulce de leche or have a storebought bottle you have been looking for an excuse to open and use, definitely use it in this recipe. Either would be perfect.
This is a fabulously easy pie to put together and perfect for entertaining. I made the wafers ahead and also the dulce de leche. After making the dulce de leche I poured it into a jar, let it cool and stored in the fridge until I made the pie. While I made the crust I brought out the dulce de leche out of the fridge allowing it to come to room temp and a pourable consistency ready for when I put the layers of the pie together. Super simple, no stress pie. It doesn’t need to look perfect either. The layers hold together when chilled. Presentation is kind of fleeting when it comes to this pie because 1) when it comes to room temp its starts to soften and droop 2) it’s gone and gobbled up before anyone notices how good it looks. It’s that good!
Because it’s chilled it tastes like a cross between a banana split and a marsbar. So delicious and totally a sinful indulgence. At least if feels that’s way with each bite. It’s very creamy, crunchy and salty from the nuts and rich and decadent from the dulce de leche. My husband thought he would be put off by the banana sliding around in between layers but that was not the case. They added another layer of sweetness along with a creamy texture. The banana flavour is mellowed but the nuts and dulce.
You will love this pie and you will wonder why you never made it sooner. Whether you DIY it or use store-bought products, the end result is sweet sinful layers of deliciousness that you may possibly regret sharing. So make it for yourself or share it with company and enjoy every sinful bite!
For the chocolate wafers (if you’re DIYing over storebought)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, well packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup milk
- Cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until light, about 2 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt. If there are any lumps of cocoa powder, sift the dry ingredients before adding to the butter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just to combine. Add the milk and mix just to combine.
- Form the dough into two 1 ½-inch-thick logs. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- To bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Slice the log of cookie dough into 1⁄8-inch-thick coins.
- Arrange on the baking sheets with about 1 ½ inches between the cookies. Bake for 8 minutes and then rotate the trays back to front and switch from top and bottom racks. Bake for another 2 minutes or until they are dry looking and firm. Because the cookies are so dark, you can’t go by color on these.
Homemade Dulce de Leche
- 1 can of condensed milk
- Heat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
- Pour the contents of 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and cover tightly with foil.
- Set plate in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up pie plate.
- Bake milk in middle of oven 45 minutes. Check water level and add additional, if necessary, then continue to bake 30-45 minutes more, or until milk is thick and brown.
- Remove pie plate from water bath and cool, uncovered. Makes about 1¼ cups.
For the Pie
- 9 oz of chocolate wafer cookies broken into pieces
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 14 oz prepared dulce de leche (one can sweetened condensed milk)
- ⅓ cup roasted and salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 3 large bananas, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1 oz bitter sweet chocolate
In a food processor, pulse the cookies until fine and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and salt and pour over the melted butter. Stir until everything’s well combined and then transfer to pie plate and press mixture over the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Spread the dulce de leche in a thick layer over the bottom of the crust. Reserve 1 tbsp of peanuts and set aside and then sprinkle the rest evenly over the dulce de leche.
Arrange the banana slices in overlapping circles in 2 layers over the dulce de leche and peanuts.
In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream until it hits hold stiff peaks. Spoon the whip cream over the bananas, covering the pie to form a mound. With a vegetable peeler, shave the chocolate over the whip cream and sprinkle over the last bit of peanuts. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.