We have been rolling the word 'canapé' around on our curious tongues for a couple of weeks now. Each crisp salad leaf has become a potential spring board for some new combination, each slice of chorizo a major player in the world of tiny food.
'Ta da!' announces Fin, his long fingers cradling a baby spinach leaf, holding a dollop of pesto, supporting a couple of garden peas - 'a canapé!'. An unusual word to fall from the mouth of a seven year old, but then again, Fin is not your average child where food is concerned.
Savoury canapés long since parcelled up into a taste memory, we turned our thoughts greedily to something sweet. A long list followed, of favourite desserts that could be downsized - so as to cunningly consume as many as possible before anyone realises that the combined volume of those delicate morsels is far more than a piece of pie.
Our minds came to rest with a communal sigh of longing at Banoffee Pie. It gave the requisite diversity of texture and taste, dense malty pecan base, soft sweet vanilla caramel and cool, thick, french cream with enough tang to set off the other flavours beautifully. I could hardly wait the 24 hours required to make french cream, so certain was I that a little square of pie had a corresponding space in my tummy, just waiting to be filled.
When everything was assembled, each layer cooked and cooled, I placed the squidgy banana squares on a lovely glass cake stand and managed to get a few snaps in before the chomping began. We had four each and then four were left as a special treat for Fin to look forward to.
All evening I thought of those four perfect squares of pie waiting in the fridge. It was with considerable restraint that I peeled myself a carrot and dipped it into a jar of tahini instead.
Now you could make these little pie squares with precision, adding more honey to the toffee to make it set firm and whipping the french cream to make it less oozy. But I liked them just as they were, a little softer and rather sensual for it. I'll leave it up to you to decide how precise you want yours to be - they won't be around that long, so I wouldn't worry too much...
Banoffee Pie Canapés (makes about 20)
Line the base and sides of a 4"x 5" (10cm x 13cm) container (such as a tupperware box) with clingfilm.
3 oz pecan nuts
1 oz ground almonds
2 heaped tsp cold butter
1 oz dried banana chips (ground to a powder in a coffee grinder)
1 tsp honey
Whizz everything together in a food processor until the mixture resembles damp crumbs. Press into the lined container to form an even layer and chill.
slice 3 very ripe large bananas (4 small ones) into thick coins. Throw a good knob of butter into a large frying pan (skillet) and gently fry the bananas in a single layer until golden and caramelised. Don't shake the pan or stir, just check the colour. You may need to do this in batches. Set aside to cool completely and then spread onto the base and chill again.
While the bananas are cooling, make the caramel.
4 tsp honey
2 heaped tsp butter
3 tbs coconut milk (or other milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Gently boil everything over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until toffee colour and slightly thickened. To test for doneness drop a little onto a cold saucer - if it seems nice and thick then it's done. Don't boil too high or you will burn the honey. Cool and then pour over the bananas and chill for at least an hour.
Top with 150ml of French cream (creme fraiche) or whipped cream or greek yogurt and chill again before unmolding and slicing into 1" (2.5cm) squares. If you use a knife dipped into hot water your slices will be a little less organic looking than mine, but you will waste alot of delicious goo in the process.
There is still a week left to participate in this month's Go Ahead Honey it's Gluten Free! Just send me a link to your post by the 25th and then pop back at the end of the month to see what everyone else came up with.
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