It is thought that banoffee pie was created by Ian Dowding and Nigel Mackenzie in 1972. Mackenzie owned a restaurant in East Sussex, England called The Hungry Monk and Dowding was the chef. Dowding apparently thought of the idea after seeing an American dish called “Blum’s Coffee Toffee Pie” which consisted of smooth toffee topped with coffee flavoured cream. According to Dowding though, this recipe rarely worked – it either didn’t set properly or dried “like concrete”.
Together they adapted the idea to toffee and bananas and made up the word “banoffi”, which has now turned into “banoffee” and is now part of the English language used to describe anything that tastes of banana and toffee. So they added the new Banoffee Pie to their menu and found it became so popular that diners would actually request table bookings only if this particular dessert was on the menu. In fact, it became so popular that they simply could not remove it from the menu.
After a couple of years or so Dowding says that other local restaurants began to add it to their menu, and then they began to hear rumours that the dessert was being sold in restaurants in Australia and America. It also became highly popular in India during the late 1970’s, probably because of young backpackers who enlightened the locals with this dish.
Over the years banoffee pie became more and more popular and is now served all over the world.
Below is a fantastic recipe for making your own
3 large bananas
300g biscuits (digestive biscuits are fine)
350ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
100g dark chocolate (to decorate)
397g tin of caramel
1. Melt the butter in a pan. Whilst the butter melts crush the oaty biscuits (using a blender would be perfect, otherwise a plastic bag and rolling pin would do the job nicely). Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4. In a bowl mix the crushed biscuits with the butter.
2. Transfer the biscuit / butter mixture into a 20-25cm flat round tin and press into an even layer.
3. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Check the mixture has lightly toasted, if it hasn’t give it a couple more minutes.When you are happy take the base out the oven and let it cool. Once cool, carefully transfer the base to a plate.
4. Once the base is cool, pour on the caramel evenly and place in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour.
5. Once chilled, slice the bananas and arrange them over the caramel.
6. Put the chocolate in the microwave to melt, and while it’s melting whip the cream with the icing sugar until thick and spread over the bananas.
7. Finally, carefully pour the decorating chocolate over the dessert and serve.