Taste & Tipple turns two! What did you get her?
I hope its some bespoke barware or antique cutlery with plenty of patina. The blog can always use more food photography props – from stylish cake plates to crystal-cut coupe glasses. Bonus points if you can also provide storage for said gifts, as things are getting a bit tight in my condo.
These past two years have been quite the ride. The blog has steadily grown and I’m grateful for all my loyal readers, old and new. In the past two years, I have posted 167 recipes and just shy of 200 posts in total.
I have come into my voice as a blogger and have found, that like most things, practice makes perfect. For the most part, I have been trying to infuse more of my posts with humour and my trademark candour.
Sometimes it feels like I’m grasping at straws as I sit in front of the blank canvas of the “Add New Post” screen and I resign myself to giving you the straight goods, tasting notes on the recipe I’ve shared. At other times, a conversation or passing observation will get the creative juices flowing and have you rolling with laughter by the end of the post.
In the past two years, my laptop, or “kitchen computer” as I call it, has been covered with more marinades, dressings, and crumbs than most cutting boards. Sometimes I hear the fan struggling under the immense burden of all my raw photo files and my poor file management system – and yet, she soldiers on.
To mark the occasion of my 2 year blogaversary – I’ve whipped up one of my favourite desserts: banoffee pie. I’ve mentioned before how my affection for banana-flavoured sweets stems from my allergy to penicillin. I only once had penicillin as a child, the fake banana flavour of the medicine tasted like nectar of the gods, and then promptly made me much more sick than I already was.
The banoffee pie at Allium, here in Ottawa, was the easy winner for after-dinner delights, as far as I was concerned. Sadly, the mainstay on Holland Avenue burnt down earlier this year.
As such, I’ve taken matters into my own hands with this recipe. It’s not quite as perfect as the example from Allium but it’s still pretty damn tasty. Next time around, I will try my hand at making my own dulce de leche instead of using the store-bought variety.
The flavour of the store-bought version is a bit sweeter than I’d like and becomes a runny mess pretty quickly after its removed from the refrigerator. Meaning, once you’ve taken a single slice, you better divvy up the remainder on the double, before the structural integrity is completely shot and the dulce de leche is seeping out from every opening.
I deviated from the standard whipped cream topping by combining it with equal parts crème fraiche and mixing in two tablespoons of honey. The crème fraiche added some welcome tang and heft to the whole affair.
- 1¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- ¾ to 1 cup store-bought or homemade dulce de leche
- 3 bananas
- 1 cup whipping cream 35%
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp chocolate shavings for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl, stir with a fork until fulled combined.
Grease a 9-inch (22 ctart pan with nonstick spray. Add the graham cracker mixture to the tin and press evenly to cover pan completely.
Bake crust for 5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
Spread the dulce de leche in the cooled tart crust, using a flexible spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight, until set.
In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream, honey, and crème fraîche, until stiff peaks form.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Scatter the banana slices over the dulce de leche. Top with the whipped cream, spreading evenly to cover bananas, and garnish with chocolate shavings.
To make your own dulce de leche:
Heat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Pour the contents of 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and cover tightly with foil. Set plate in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up pie plate. Bake milk in middle of oven 45 minutes. Check water level and add additional, if necessary, then continue to bake 45 minutes more, or until milk is thick and brown. Remove pie plate from water bath and cool, uncovered. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.