Photos and Words by Fred Chang
When I was watching The Mind of a Chef, a particular favorite show of mine, I came across an interesting dish. Banoffee pie. It was a traditional British recipe by chef April Bloomfield, featuring dulce de leche, bananas, and some chocolate and cream.
It looked delectable, but the prospect of making dulce de leche from boiling a can of condensed milk for 5 hours sounds a bit daunting, while just buying premade dulce de leche just feels so unfulfilling. So the best solution I came across was making a butterscotch, but using a lot of malted milk powder to emulate the caramelized milk notes from the dulce de leche, and ultimately capture the proper texture by using it in copious amounts. Additionally, the recipe features yellow miso, because from experience, pairing miso with butterscotch makes a complex salted caramel-esque flavor, and the salty notes pair well with the bananas and chocolate.
So without further ado, here is my interpretation of British Banoffee pie.
Graham Cracker Pate Sucre:
1/4 cup graham crackers; crushed
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup cold water
Mix together the crackers, flour, sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Crumb the butter and coconut oil into the flour and mix. Add in cold water and blend into a dough. Chill for 30 minutes. Then roll out dough to about 1/6th inch thick, and transfer to oiled and floured tart pans. Prick each tart and weigh down; bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Malted Milk-Miso Butterscotch:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon yellow miso
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup malted milk powder in four parts
3/4 cups water in three parts
1 teaspoon gelatin powder
Heat the sugar with the two parts water. In a bowl, whisk together the miso, gelatin powder, remaining water, and 1/4 of the milk powder. Once the sugar begins to brown, pour in the miso-milk-gelatin mixture. Whisk in the butter. Pour into a bowl and whisk in remaining milk powder. Cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
Roasted Banana Puree:
2 teaspoons canola oil
a pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a baking tray, take whole, unpeeled bananas, and drizzle with canola oil and salt. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the peels of the bananas have turned dark brown. Cool and peel bananas, then blend. Pass through a sieve to guarantee a smooth, spreadable texture.
Brown Butter-Dark Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips; chopped
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1/4 cup warm water
In a pan, heat butter until amber brown. Pour into a heatproof bowl, allow the bowl to cool to room temperature, and set up a double boiler. Whisk together the milk powder, and water and pour into the butter mixture. Heat over a double boiler with chocolate chips until fully melted and mixed together. Add salt.
fresh bananas for garnish; peel and slice
Take a tablespoon of the banana puree and layer it down first. Then follow with the butterscotch. Pour in the ganache, and then fan out the bananas over the ganache. Cool before serving. In desired, top with a quenelle of whipped cream and some shaved dark chocolate.