Okay, this one has brought me to tears twice now, but that’s just the way baking rolls. It can be 2am on a Friday night, your kitchen can be covered in coconut milk and your fridge full of rock-hard toffee that will never become spreadable, but this guy isn’t gonna let up. The trick with this banoffee is to make the components a day before, get up early and construct it, then leave it a few hours in the fridge again to set. It might sound like a faff on but if you think of how un-vegan a standard banoffee pie is, it’s worth it for the creation alone.
I used this recipe from Oh, Lady Cakes for the base and the dulche de leche, and another Oh, Lady Cakes recipe for the whipped coconut milk (for vegetable shortening in the base I used Trex, which is vegan). This recipe should be pretty easy, it’s just one little thing that makes it a trickster...
A NOTE ON SATAN. SORRY, WHIPPED COCONUT MILK
Okay, first up, this gal is not your friend. Sure, we put people on the moon and NOW WE CAN WHIP PLANT STUFF TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE DAIRY STUFF. But it’s not as simple as all that. Just as whipped cream and meringues have got secret fail-safe rules you’re really lucky to have anyone whisper to you from the sidelines of a kitchen apocalypse (it’s my Mum that’s saved me in the past…), whipped coconut milk has a few take-no-prisoners policies. There is plenty written on US sites about the pitfalls, but here’s what I’ve found from UK experience:
1. PLAN AHEAD YOU DOUCHE. Whipped coconut milk is made by separating the fattiest part of the coconut milk in the fridge, removing the watery part, then whipping the fatty part while it is still cool, then adding a little icing sugar and vanilla to it. Simple.
2. It will not be simple if you don’t leave it long enough to cool. Overnight is best, or two nights if you can. Always buy back-up cans incase something goes wrong. You can eat some smug Thai curries for a few days if everything goes right.
3. Yes, all that money people think you are saving by not having to buy milk and eggs, you are about to spend on coconut milk. Coconut milk is the biggest part of my baking budget. Get comfy on the supermarket aisle floor and make sure you’ve got your reading glasses handy. You want to go for a tin that’s got coconut milk as the FIRST ingredient, not water. It wants to be about 80 per cent coconut. Of all the cans you can get ahold of, choose the one with the highest coconut content. A lower content- usually a cheaper or low fat or ‘light’ version- won’t separate, meaning you’ve got a fridge full of shit you don’t need. I use about 4 cans for the banoffee pie, so buy about six cans to be sure.
4. If you are in a PINCH for time (and it better be a good one), try freezing the can for about 90 minutes to two hours. Don’t leave it in for longer, the can will explode.
5. Be patient- it might look like everything is lost, but you can save all the coconut milk that doesn’t work out, and make great smoothies or soups the next week.
When it goes right it goes so right and you can serve banoffee pie to your enemies like none of this ever happened.
Great for: Birthdays/ sleepovers/ weekends at your parents when you can spend 24 hours fussing over a pie.
Not ideal for: People with a low baking pain threshold/ people that take offence easily at ingredients that WON’T DO THEIR JOB/ I think I’ve made my point.