Nothing to trifle with…

If you’re a fan of the rom-com classic Love Actually, you’ll remember that pivotal scene where Kiera Knightly’s character Juliet shows up at Mark’s (Andrew Lincoln) front door with a slice of banoffee pie in hand, a ploy to gain entrance into his apartment to look at videos he took of her wedding day. Juliet’s sweet offering is politely rejected much to her relief since banoffee is her absolute favorite and she really didn’t want to give it up.

What is so damn enticing about banoffee anyways? Well, unless you really abhor bananas and custard (and not too many people do), banoffee is probably one of the most delectable renderings of bananas, custard, cream and caramel…EVER! It’s like banana cream pie to the nth degree. However, in the classic pie form banoffee can be a bit messy to serve. But when it’s “deconstructed” and its components layered in individual trifles, the Banoffee Trifle is quite an elegant dessert.

The “digestive biscuits” mentioned in the recipe are actually more appealing than the name suggests. They’re mildly sweet like graham crackers, though not as dry as a cracker. The Brits dunk them in their tea the way Americans dunk graham crackers in milk–hence the phrase “tea and bickies.” You can find them at, among other places, specialty food shops, most Asian markets (a carry-over from British colonialism) and Cost-Plus Whole Market.

Banoffee Trifle

Banoffee Trifle

Yield:  Approximately 6-8 servings

  • ⅔ c. whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 T.  sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ t. banana extract
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. banana liqueur
  • 2 T. dark rum
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  1. Heat milk in saucepan until scalding.  Whisk together yolks, sugar, and salt. Carefully whisk hot milk into the yolk mixture, then return everything to the saucepan.  Stir mixture constantly with a wooden spoon over medium low heat until it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine sieve.  
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and cool over an ice bath.  Pour cooled custard into a .5 ltr Stainless Steel Whip It! dispenser, secure the top fitted with a decorator tip, and chill for at least 30 mins.
  3. Screw on one N2O charger.  Shake vigorously (about 8-10 times).  

Assembly:

  1. Place about 1 T. crumbled biscuit at the bottom of dessert glass.  Dispense 1” layer of banana creme into the glass. Layer on 2-3 banana slices and drizzle with caramel.  Repeat the process.
  2. Dispense sweetened whipped cream to top off each glass. 
  3. Lay out 12-16 banana slices on a sheet pan and sprinkle with turbinado sugar to coat surface.  Using a Whip-It! torch, pass the flame back and forth over each slice to caramelize the sugar.  
  4. Garnish the trifles with caramelized banana and more crumbled biscuit.

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