Monday, June 2, 2008

Banana + Toffee + Pie = Go Figure ;)

Lo' and behold, our most unforgettable yet favorable sum of all; banana + toffee. You need to add, and please, do not subtract for the sake of the quote 'live to eat' in order to get the exact jargon that is implied in here. Now, do the math. Tell us, what can you conclude with the unresolved stated sum? A rather positive answer which we all would mostly agree and love to have during sugar high weekends? Or was it a negative account? You be the judge. It was decades ago since this combo flavor was invented; the bananas and the toffees. Partly dumb, we have always mistaken caramel for toffee and toffee for butterscotch, vice versa. Ever since we laid our eyes on the Toffee Sundae from McDonalds which has a blend of bananas and toffee sauce, we knew that there's no point of return. We need TOFFEE and BANANAS for brunch! And something tarty too!

So, let's settle down with the very delish mathematic equation;
  • Banana + toffee = Ban(offee) = Banoffi
  • Banana + toffee + pie = Banoffi Pie

That does make real sense. Banana and toffee, which will be called as one; Banoffi, when merging occurs. In case, one may wonder, who is the mastermind behind this particular heavenly creation with the luscious perfect combo? It is absolutely a bullseye, really did hit the nail on the head. The humble and generous man who has nailed the divine-looking Banoffi Pie was Ian Dowding, the man who we have no doubts that he's in the D.T.E category. D.T.E; which ambiguously stands for down to earth.

It was known that the the very first Banoffi Pie was served at The Hungry Monk in Jevington, East Sussex during the year 1972, and that was baby Banoffi's birthplace. From other sources that we found in the world wide web, it stated that the banoffi pie recipe was devised by Ian Dowding and Nigel MacKenzie.

From the article titled "I invented Banoffi Pie" by Ian Dowding, from July 2007's Reader's Digest, he said it is her sister who told him over the phone on the steps to making soft toffee by boiling a can of unopened condensed milk in water for several hours. From there, he resurrects Rusell's; Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie. With Nigel MacKenzie, they were on the hunt for a newer dimension of the toffee pie, trying out from apples to mandarins. They knew they had cracked the secret code when bananas were used.
Thus, the invention and the crown.

We boiled around 3 cans of condensed milk for the toffees too, with the aid of Ian Dowding's Banoffi Pie recipe. The first can didn't make it (shot above). It was just too watery and light in presence, thanks to the young minds involved; who can't wait too much longer and claimed that they should go on with the can opener. The verdict; that is just so not the toffee that we wanted because the recipe has assured us that the consistency of the toffee will be something spreadable.
We boiled for the extra 2 hours and things flowed smoothly thereafter. Lumpy and spreadable toffee in cans! Here's the way how the boiling method works, hailed from Ian Dowding's website.

Toffee (by Ian Dowding, from
Ian Dowding: "Over the years I have become increasingly concerned about the danger of boiling cans of condensed milk. There is no danger of them exploding unless the water in the saucepan boils dry. If this does happen the result is terrifying and can scald anyone close to it. It has happened to me once and that was enough. Because I now teach and demonstrate a lot I like to make sure my instructions are safe so I have devised this method."

1. Find a deep saucepan or casserole that will go in the oven.
2. Put into it as many tins as will fit. (THE TINS MUST BE UNOPENED). It worth doing several at a time to save on power.
3. Cover the tins with water and bring to the boil.
4. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven set to gas mark 1 / 140 C (less for fan assisted).
5. Cook for 3 ½ hours.
6. This way there is no danger of the water boiling dry and being in a more controlled temperature you get a more consistent result.
7. Lift the cans from the water, cool and store.
8. An unusual bonus comes from storing these tins over a period. After some months sugar crystals begin to form in the toffee and you get crunchy banoffi - mmmmm.

Banoffi Pie
(by Ian Dowding, from
You will need a 10 x 1½ inch (deep) loose bottomed flan tin
Oven temp: 180 C / gas mark 4

For the pastry:
250g / 9 oz plain flour
25g / 1 oz icing sugar
125g / 4½ oz butter
1 egg and 1 egg yolk

1. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl, cut the butter into cubes and then rub it in to the flour / sugar until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Work in the egg to form a paste.
2. Chill for half an hour then roll out to the thickness of a pound coin and line the flan tin.

3. Prick the base, line with parchment paper and weigh down with dry beans (we go full force with grains of rice)
4. Cook for fifteen minutes then remove the beans and paper.
5. Put the pastry case back into the oven and cook until it is evenly golden.
6. Remove from the oven and cool.

To assemble:
1 ½ tins of banoffi toffee (see note below on boiling the tins or click here)
5-6 ripe bananas
425 ml / ¾ pint of double cream
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
1 dessertspoon of caster sugar
A pinch of ground coffee

1. Carefully spread the toffee over the pastry base.
2. Peel and split the bananas lengthways and arrange them on top of the toffee, (see how they fit the curve of the pastry - that’s why God made bananas curved).
3. Whip the cream with the instant coffee (if they are granules they will dissolve as you whip the cream) and the sugar until it just holds its shape - take care not to over whip it.
4. Spread the cream over the bananas right up to the pastry edge then sprinkle sparingly with the ground coffee.
5. If you are not serving it immediately cover first with some baking parchment or greaseproof paper directly onto the cream and trim the edges then wrap in cling film.
6. It does not lend itself to being frozen.

The final outcome was a blast. Bananas will never (ever) go wrong with toffees. Speaking of the tart which is also known as the pastry itself, it remains its tartness though left overnight in the ice-cold refrigerator. It was slightly crunchy and dry, which blends in well with the fluffy yet pillowy coffee cream. The toffee was the sublime of the grand pie. This is definitely a keeper, the only thing that bugs us out is toffee-making, which takes time. But it was worth the time-consumption, as we are all toffee's die-hard fans. Divine and delicious, enough said. =)

The very last month, we hooked up with The Loaf's public favourites; U Hu! Hu! Cheesecakes. The cheesecakes were the latest sensation from Japan, and these lovely babies are now our latest BFFs. Ehem, doughnuts, cupcakes, anyone?!

It was worth buying, since we don't really go for wholesome cheesecakes. Light ones will just do more than enough. Each costs us RM5, and by purchasing 6 cheesecakes, you will only be paying for the price of RM25. Let's just put it this way, buy 5 free 1.

It was not as cheesy as we've expected, it tasted more like a light and fluffy cheese souffle which melts in your mouth. Something people would go for as refreshments, okay, maybe it's just us. We wanted more, but our bulging belly stopped us spiritually. We ordered 3 of the wide-range cheesecakes.

The cheesecakes on the display area were distracting, we can't stop drooling over the cash-counter. Gosh. We had a lemon cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake and the delished longan cheesecake.

Longan cheesecake (or was it lychee) was flavorsome and fluffy. The toasted almond flakes lend a great help by creating an addictive crunchy top for the pillowy soft cheesecake. The biscuit base was annoying as it kept falling onto the ground after one bite. Overall, we've gone u hu hu after downing the cheesecakes. Yum!

The Loaf (Pavilion Kuala Lumpur)
Lot 3.13.00 & 4.12.02,
Level 3 & 4 Pavilion,
Kuala Lumpur,
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.