Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Cafe Sopra's Banoffee Pie
Feast your eyes on this! A chocolate-shavings action shot courtesy of Taz, and the deliciousness by way of Sydney's Cafe Sopra. If the landlord hadn't cut out the banana tree in our backyard (we're still reeling from that horrific news) this pie would no doubt have topped with those lady fingers. But I picked up a butter-yellow bunch from the organic market anyway, and was so excited to have an excuse to make this. But first, some back story:
My housemate has been in love with a gorgeous Swede for a good while now, and she's been staying with us for a few weeks. She's blonde and sunny and exceptionally smart, she takes dance classes and they read Swedish novels to each other to practice the language. Sometimes she waits for him outside the hospital where he works to surprise him after his shift. It's like a good Barbra Steisand film!
This love bubble is all very cute to watch, and we packed a bunch of people around our mini dinner table on Sunday night to farewell them before they left to go back to her hometown for a month. She made three types of potato salad, I didn't even know there were three types, but there they were: one with herbs and capers, one with capsicums and salami, and another with beans. We had potatoes coming out our ears. We were all crammed around the table in our little house, and as the banoffee pie was sliced and glasses of wine were poured into waiting glasses, my housemate leaned over, a huge smile on her face, and said "I love these people! Look at them all!" And I agreed. We do Sundays exceptionally well at our place.
About this pie. It's famous! If you go to Cafe Sopra you must order it. It's also very easy to make, and there is no baking involved whatsoever. Don't have an oven but have a food processor? You can do this! The best bit is boiling the cans of condensed milk for two hours until the milk turns into a thick and delicious dulce de leche. (We've done this before, remember? God I hate those early posts! Cringe.) Then all that is needed to be done is finely crush a box of digestive biscuits in a food processor, mix the crumbs with melted butter and press into a tart tin. Chill, pour in the caramel, leave it overnight in the fridge to set, then slice your bananas on top, top with whipped cream, shave some choc and you're a superstar! I wouldn't count on saving the rest for leftovers, though. This is much, much better eaten soon after it's assembly. Trust me, I tried it.
Cafe Sopra's Banoffee Pie
Adapted only slightly from the original recipe here.
I didn't add any vanilla or sugar to the cream as I found the caramel to be plenty sweet enough, but feel free to.
2 x 400g cans of sweetened condensed milk
400g (1 box) of regular digestive biscuits (not chocolate coated)
180g unsalted butter, melted
60ml thickened cream
chocolate for shaving on top
Open the cans of condensed milk only slightly by pulling back the ring pull a TINY bit. This helps some heat escape so the cans don't explode. (They probably wont anyway but open them just in case.) Place the cans in a small saucepan and fill the pan with water until the waterline is just below the lip of the cans (you don't want any water to mix with the milk). Bring to a simmer and leave for 2 and a half hours. If the rattling of the cans annoys you, you can place a soaked cloth underneath them in the water. Top up the water as necessary as it simmers, some will evaporate.
Meanwhile, make the tart case. Pulse the biscuits in a food processor until they are very finely ground. Pour into a large bowl and add the melted butter. Stir until well combined, and pour into a greased and loose-bottomed 28cm tart tin. Using your fingers, push the crumbs into the tin to make a firm base. Make sure you push them into the corners so they stand up. Also make sure the crumbs are evenly distributed, or the pie will be lopsided. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until your filling is ready.
When the cans have been simmering for a good 2 and a half hours, carefully remove them from the water using tongs. They will be hot. Let them cool for a little while, then carefully open them and empty their contents into a medium-sized bowl. The milk should be a beautiful caramel colour. That's dulce de leche!
Whisk the mixture together until it's smooth, then pour into your chilled tart case. Cover and refrigerate overnight to set.
When you're ready to assemble your pie (close to when you want to eat it), slice the bananas and lay evenly over the caramel in layers. Overlap so all the slices fit.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks and dollop on top of the bananas, spreading it with a spatula to look all Donna-ish. Top with shaved chocolate and serve.
Posted by Sophie