Thursday, October 13, 2011

I want my money back

[phone conversation]
Me: I made Banoffee the other day.
Annie: Huh?
Me: Banoffee.
Annie: .....what did you say?
Me: Banoffee.
Annie: Ga-nocky? Oooooh, gnocchi.
Me: No. Banoffee. Like banana-toffee. Banoffee.

Apparently it's a staple in the UK and catching on in the US. I followed this recipe, and the entire thing was sort of a disaster. First of all, the girl's recommendation for turning Eagle Brand milk into carmel? Yeah, the day I want molten carmel and twisted metal exploding in my face is the day I'll boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk on my stovetop. I did a little research on alternate methods and went for the instructions listed on Eagle Brand's website: "Just empty into a saucepan, heat and stir!" Another website confirmed this method, explaining it would take between ten and fifteen minutes before it turned to carmel.


I heated and stirred until my arm ached. Then I kept heating and stirring until my silicon spatula tore in half. Then I switched to a wooden spoon and kept heating and stirring until I'd heated and stirred for THIRTY MINUTES - at one point thinking maybe it needed to boil? Even though the websites said nothing about boiling it? - before it finally turned into something slightly darker and more viscous than warm sweetened condensed milk. I killed the heat and stowed it in the fridge, turning my attention to the whipped cream topping (which turned out very nicely).

Checking every few minutes on my carmel, I realized it was hardening exponentially faster than it was cooling. By the time it was touchable, it was cement. I could not have even chipped it out with Maria Shriver's face.

Two days later my bananas were nearing their end, so I reattempted. This time I tried the microwave method for turning Eagle Brand milk into carmel. It only partially worked, and created an overwhelming, sticky mess in my microwave when it boiled over (no one warned me that THAT was a possibility).

By now my whipped cream, which had been sitting in the fridge for two days, wasn't looking so fluffy. Trying to liven it up with the handmixer, I brought it dangerously close to butter. As in, there were a few yellow-tinged chunks sitting atop my pie once it was all assembled.

The good news, though, is that it was delicious. I totally ate two pieces of it, before the bananas dissolved into inedible mush.

The bad news is that I'll never make it, or anything else, ever again.


  1. I've done the oven method of turning it to carmel with great results. It is wickedly delicious with apples. Just a warning. The boiling it in a fb thing sounds sketchy... Better luck if you ever attempt again!

  2. Can. Not fb. Who uses fb as a replacement for can autocorrect?

  3. I can't believe anyone would ever suggest such a thing as boiling it in the can?!? Weird. Sorry about the spatula, and all the stirring. Now you have an idea of what it's like to make chocolates--- tedious!

    I've actually always wanted to try banoffi since I saw Curtis Stone make it on Take Home Chef like 8 years ago. . . it looks delicious.

  4. Kind of reminds me of the Kathy vs. Taffy phone conversation.

  5. I JUST made that stuff last week. The oven method is much better. I tried the microwave method because I was in a hurry and it just never worked. Try this recipe.

  6. "The bad news is that I'll never make it, or anything else, ever again." HAHAHHAHHAAHAHAHAAAA!

    Yeah...I've had a couple of bad experiences making (or, rather, TRYING to make) recipes found on websites. The worst was something called Brookies--they're a combination of Brownies and sugar cookies. I bought all the ingredients before I actually looked at the 4.2 million steps involved, so I made myself make them. I'm thinking they would have been much more delicious if I could've figured out exactly how long to bake the dumb things. The baking time I got on the website was INCORRECT, and as I adjusted the time with each successive tray, my brookies ranged from crack-your-teeth hard to plain-old-crunchy. GAH! Also? One single batch made about 80 brookies, at least. Too dang many. I ended up throwing the last 1/4 of the batter/dough away.

  7. Wow. What a disaster! A little like my mexican hot chocolate cupcake disaster last month...Traumatic enough that they will NOT be reattempted, no matter how much I want to taste them.
    As far as Banoffee goes, boiling the milk in the can is fine, as long as the can stays covered the whole time. But I made fantastic caramel sauce with Eagle Brand last month, using the recipe on their website ( that says it has to be cooked 60-90 minutes in a double boiler, stirring occasionally, then whisked, and cooled for 20 minutes. It was great on ice cream. And apples. And pretzels. And fingers...
    Good luck!

  8. K. Sorry about your Banoffee mess. I totally watched a cooking show about this about a month or so ago and I was soo excited about it, I wrote it down and planned on making it. She used the boil for 3 hours method and swore on television that it would be perfect. I WILL try it sometime .. . in the future. . . and let you know how it turns out. :)

  9. You CAN do it in the can. Just cover a can with water in a crock pot and put it on low for 6 or so hours (or overnight) then let it completely cool before you attempt to open the can.