My British friend and colleague told me that her sister's favorite birthday cake was Banoffee pie. Having never lived in the UK or read a British cookbook I asked her what that could be. Bananas, toffee (read gooey caramel), pecans, whipped cream... ok I was sold. She brought it to work one day and it tasted even better than it sounded.
I mixed and matched a few recipes I found online and made a banoffee pie for my guests last weekend. It actually requires no baking in the oven and no eggs like most cakes do: it's basically just chopping and mixing stuff, making caramel, layering and cooling down steps. You can make it ahead of time, I actually thought that the cake tasted even better half a day later :-)
Recipe for a banoffee pie (24 cm)
225 g digestive biscuits
100 g pecan nuts
125 g butter, melted
100 g butter
100 g sugar
400 g unsweetened condensed milk
3-4 ripe bananas
3 dl whipping cream
a few pecan nuts
*Pre-work suggestion: toast/roast your pecan nuts in a pan or in the oven before using them, they'll be more crunchy and the flavor is great.
Crush to crumbs the digestive biscuits in a bowl. Chop up the pecan nuts and add to the crushed biscuits. Add melted butter, mix and then transfer to a 24 cm spring form. Press the biscuits down with your hand or with a spoon and create a small edge too (so that the toffee does not flow out). Put the spring form with the biscuit base in the freezer.
In a pan, melt butter and sugar while stirring. When the sugar has dissolved in the butter, add the condensed milk. Bring to a boil (on medium heat) while stirring continuously. The toffee will thicken and darken and smell of caramel. When it has thickened, take it off the fire and let it cool down a bit. Spread the toffee on the frozen biscuit base and then refrigerate for 30 min or so.
Slice the bananas. Whip the cream. Place the bananas tightly in a circular fashion on the toffee base. Spread the whipped cream on top and decorate with pecan nuts. Refrigerate until serving.