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I’m pretty sure my first proper “showstopper” of a dessert was a Banoffee Pie. My mumma taught me a few tricks of the trade – drizzle a little lemon juice over the bananas to avoid browning; don’t over-whip the cream; keep your eyes on your toasted almonds like a hawk. It was a quick-whip dessert that required minimal effort and resulted in maximum “oohs” and “ahhs” at the dinner table. The best bit? Using a sharp knife to cut a slice and seeing all the beautiful layers: the classic crunchy digestive biscuit base, ripples of sweet caramel, ripe chunky slices of banana, a mountain of whipped cream laced with a hint of vanilla sugar, and a generous sprinkling of toasted almonds and glorious curls of dark chocolate to finish.

It became my go-to for dinner parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations, a dessert that could be constructed for whenever the craving called, and something to marvel at for those that had never ever tasted a Banoffee Pie. There’s a certain playfulness from the buttery richness of the base and it’s perfect pairing with salted caramel and bananas that give it its balance in every single bite; one that leaves a trail of ardent admirers eager for another spoonful to pass their lips.

A restauranteur named Nigel Mackenzie invented the banoffee pie in the 1970s after stumbling across an American dessert called “Blum’s Coffee Toffee Pie” in Blum’s bakery in San Francisco. After experimenting with the recipe by adding fruit to it, and discovering banana worked so well, he stuck it on his menu – and it became a hit. The pie became so popular, he had people calling up to check it was still on the menu. And just like that, it stuck.

While some people like to make it with a pastry base, many modern recipes use a packed crumb crust made from digestive biscuits and melted butter. I wanted my banoffee pie blondies to encapsulate the flavours of a classic banoffee pie, but also have an identity of their own. I chose to use pecans for the necessary crunch, and white chocolate (a staple for blondies) instead of dark chocolate. I also browned my butter to give the blondies that slight toasty, caramelised flavour you might expect from digestive biscuits – a little sweet and savoury with a heady caramel aroma. Bananas sliced lengthways into two halves, a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkling of {obligatory} salt were added to finish, although I may later adapt the recipe to include a crumbly biscuit base at some point too.

Banoffee pie blondies

  • 375g unsalted butter, browned
  • 250g white chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 112g dark brown sugar
  • 112g light brown sugar
  • 245g plain flour
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 120g pecans, toasted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 50g salted caramel sauce
  • Flakey sea salt to finish
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / Gas mark 4 and line 22x33cm baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Firstly, toast your pecans for 10-12mins, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn!
  3. Brown your butter by placing it in a saucepan and melting over a low heat until brown flecks start to appear and the colour changes to a golden brown. Keep an eye on it, as you don’t want it burning.
  4. Add 100g of the white chocolate and stir to melt completely.
  5. Using an electric whisk, whisk together your eggs, vanilla and sugars for 2-3 mins until pale and doubled in size.
  6. Once the butter and chocolate mixture has cooled, add this to the egg/sugar mixture and whisk to combine.
    N.B. You want to make sure your butter and chocolate have cooled completely to avoid your eggs scrambling!
  7. Sift in your plain flour plus the salt and fold together with a spatula, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.
  8. Roughly chop the remaining 150g of the white chocolate and the pecans, then fold through your batter.
  9. Pour into the lined tin and level the surface with your spatula.
  10. Slice the bananas lengthways, then gently place on the surface of the blondie batter. You won’t need to press them in as they’ll naturally sink from the weight.
  11. Drizzle the salted caramel over the top and sprinkle with some flakey sea salt to finish.
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  13. Allow to cool completely in the tin before slicing into squares.

    Best eaten within 1-2 days.

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