Upon further investigation of my mammoth baking task at hand, my brother who was flicking through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible to see what I will be making these next few months discovered that right in the middle of the cook book there is a recipe for a three-tier American style wedding cake.This cake serves up to 100 slices and calls for 38 eggs and lord only knows how much sugar and butter. So yeah, there is a high chance that I have bit off more than I can chew here. Pardon the pun.
This week’s recipe however, I am sure you will be in no way shocked to discover (the title of this post is a huge give away after all) called for me to create a banoffee pie from scratch, or at least something that slightly resembled a banoffee pie. I hilariously wrote in my blog notes that I felt like this recipe would ‘ease me in gently’ and ‘wasn’t as scary as making a swiss roll or a three-tier wedding cake’. How naive and very wrong I was.
The biscuit base was fairly simple to create, smash-up some ginger nuts mix it in with melted butter and line the bottom of the tin with this buttery ginger crumb goodness. Step one complete. It was really step two where I started to lose my way a little. You see as upon opening the cans of condensed milk (which I needed to make the toffee filling for the pie) the smell of rice pudding smacked me in the face and knocked me a little off colour. There’s nothing I dislike more than rice pudding (custard being a close runner-up). After melting my butter and stirring in the sugar until combined, it was time to add the condensed milk. This was going relatively well until I thought ‘oooo if I get a boomerang of the milk pouring into the pan that may look good on my social media’. So I’m sure you can guess the rest, out comes my phone, I stop stirring the milk / sugar / butter mix take a video and…. drop my phone, which slides under the pan, into the flames underneath.
After a little bit of a moment of rescuing what is practically my third limb and composing myself, I popped the pan back onto the hob and began to stir my ‘toffee’ mixture thinking everything would now be okay. How wrong I was. Due to me fannying on for a good 5 minutes and doing everything and anything except what Mary had told me to do aka constantly stir the mixture so it does not burn, my mixture kind of accidentally.. burnt. The mixture also didn’t really resemble toffee but more like gross custard with burnt bits floating in it. So I kind of think it was at this point that I realised that this weeks task wasn’t going to be a raging success. Due to not having any backup ingredients available, I decided to pour the burnt toffee / custard combo on top of the biscuit crumb base and pray to the gods that all will be well in the end.
The mixture actually took quite a long time to cool if truth be told, so I was grateful I had decided to make the pie filling and base quite early on in the day for a change. Once everything was set and cooled to room temperature I whipped up some double cream, cut up some bananas and popped the last few ingredients on the top of the toffee / custard hybrid I had created. Unfortunately the recipe had called for luxury Belgium chocolate to decorate the top of the pie, however Galaxy chocolate was the most luxury brand my local corner shop seemed to sell so we went with that instead (Apparently there’s not a lot of chocolate connoisseurs in Gateshead). I then popped this all in the fridge, once again prayed that the banana and cream mixture would distract from the failings of the filling and left it all to chill.
Unfortunately my prayers were not answered, and this post doesn’t have a happy ending of ‘we cut into the pie and law and behold the mixture had turned into a silky smooth toffee, and we devoured the entire pie and everyone was happy and laughing away as the sun set, what a fabulous night’.
No, unfortunately the looking very sorry for itself banoffee pie just sort of tasted like nothing. Just very.. meh. All three pieces that were taken got pushed around the plates with tiny spoons as no one dared to take a third bite after the polite first and second, and the rest of the pie made a very sorry for itself noise as it hit the bottom of the bin. Plop. I’m not going to be too deflated about it though, I mean it was honestly a really rank desert and if truth be told I can’t see how the ginger nut base would have worked with the rest of the pie had the toppings actually been a triumph. I have decided to try to make this horror show again pretty soon, rather than giving up completely on banoffee pie forever, however next time I am going to tweak the recipe slightly and I will probably avoid taking photos mid process.
Next week… Eccles Cakes.