Last night, I had a dream. In my dream, somebody had placed all of the great puddings on a huge table and I was asked to try and pick out my favourite. On my table of puddings, there was a confusing mass of tempting delicacies; all of my suet packed goodies such as treacle pud, spotted dick and jam roly poly; rich chocolate fudge cakes and sharp lemon tarts; Bakewell tarts and baklava. My dream was slowly turning into a nightmare as I realised I was not allowed to eat any of them - it was all just one big horrible tease.
Thinking about this in the cold daylight, it makes me shudder to think how I would come to a conclusion if this dreamlike scenario was ever transferred into real life. I was thinking more about some elaborate evil plot in an Austin Power's film, where you would be eaten by an ill tempered sea bass with a laser beam on its head if you did not choose in good time. Right now you get a glimpse as to how my mind works.
Like my other great passion, music, my mind changes by the minute as to what is my favourite. And right now at this very minute, my pudding of choice would be that great invention of the 1970s, banoffee pie. I could happily disregard my love of the good old British pud and demolish one of these each night. Something about a combination of biscuit, toffee, banana and cream makes for an amazing taste sensation and whoever invented it, I thank you. Especially for the cheesy name.
If I did eat one of these every night I would now be struggling to get out of the house. So I've invented a lower calorie banoffee pie that does not lack the flavour of the full fat version. I know that a pudding should just be a pudding with no tweaks, and I'm very much a firm believer in that. But I'm being asked to create lower fat desserts for Expo Chef, so I guessed that if I could do it with a sugary cream topped banoffee pie and still make it taste great, it would be happy days all round. And it was. The decision has been made, and I fall back into a deep sleep knowing it was the right one.
'Skinny' Banoffee Pie
Makes 4 individual or 1 large banoffee pie
For the base
10 oat cakes
A glass of apple juice
For the toffee sauce
50g low fat margarine
100ml of milk
Low fat créme fraiche or yoghurt
1 - Crush the oat cakes in a bag with a rolling pin or similar object into crumbs. Tip into a bowl then pour in a little apple juice. Mix until it begins to stick together, you still want to retain a little crunch.
2 - Put the margarine and honey into a small pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until it begins to darken and caramelise. Pour in the milk, bring back to the boil and simmer until it thickens. Leave aside.
3 - Either in a large flan or cake mould with a removable base, or 4 individual cake tins or chef's rings, press in the oat cake crumbs to make the base.
4 - Slice the bananas and then top the 'biscuit' base.
5 - Pour over the toffee sauce. Lightly whip the créme fraiche or yoghurt until it thickens slightly, then smear over the top.
6 - Remove the cake mould, place onto a plate and then sieve over a little cocoa powder. Serve and don't tell anybody that it is a lower fat version.