It has been said that, as a child, my mother could be traced down quickly and effectively simply by following a trail of banana peels. Whether she left these peels in her wake in the hopes of setting up some groan-worthy slapstick comedy, or out of sheer laziness, she has always been the president of the banana fan club.
Her Hansel and Gretel trail has followed her into adulthood, the banana love affair continuing. In fact, a distinct noise can be heard from her when the word ‘banoffee’ is mentioned (A moan? A groan? An utterance of leave-me-and-the-dessert-alone?)*
It shouldn’t have been hard to figure out, then, that the perfect birthday cake for her would be a banoffee pie. However, having already impressed with the non-banana-related gift of a trip to the theatre a few days beforehand, I hadn’t put any thought into what to do on the day itself – leaving me with a lack of ingredients and time.
So, I seized the pile of bananas in the kitchen, and went to work creating something I could pop a candle into and sing ‘happy birthday’ over within 30 minutes. The result was a bowl of banoffee with a buttery biscuit base to make Gregg Wallace swoon, a thick caramel sauce I wouldn’t mind drowning in, and one very happy birthday girl. Read the step-by-step recipe below. Enjoy!
Vegan Banoffee Bowl Recipe
Serves 2. Ready in 30 mins.
You will need:
1 large banana
Brown sugar – ½ cup
Coconut milk – ½ cup
Biscuits (I used Biscoff) – about 10
Dairy-free spread – 3 tbsp
Non-dairy ice cream – 2 scoops
Walnuts – optional handful
This recipe consists of making a biscuit base (melted vegan spread and biscuits), slicing some banana, making a two-ingredient caramel sauce (brown sugar and coconut milk), popping it all together in a bowl and adding vegan ice cream. Easy! Here’s the more helpful, and far more drawn out, method:
For the biscuit base:
- Add three tablespoons of dairy-free spread to a saucepan. I used Vitalite.
- Melt the spread over a low heat.
- Select a vegan biscuit to use – I chose Lotus Biscoff – and add about 10 of those into a sandwich bag. You can also add a small handful of walnuts if you’re fancy and you fancy. Make sure you zip up the bag once everything’s inside.
- Take a rolling pin and hit the sandwich bag until the biscuits are crushed into a fine crumb, and any anger is resolved. Please note: anger resolution cannot be guaranteed.
- Add the biscuit crumb to the melted spread and combine.
- Choose two nice bowls and divide the mixture between them. Press the base down with a spoon to compress it all together.
- Pop the bowls in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set the base. If you’re in a real rush you can put them into the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
For the banana/caramel layer:
- While the base sets, make the caramel sauce. Add ½ cup brown demerara sugar to a saucepan
- Heat the sugar on a low heat, stirring often, for a few minutes. It will turn a darker brown colour and your kitchen will smell like the interior of some prime Candyland real estate.
- Prepare ½ cup of coconut milk. In an ideal world, you only want the thick white stuff you’ll find at the top of the tin. Add the coconut milk to the brown sugar and continue to stir over the heat for a minute or two.
- At this point, you can stir in a teaspoon of sea salt if you would like to make salted caramel, then turn the heat off.
- Cut a large banana into slices, and lay these on top of the set bases in the bowls. Leave some extra slices of banana to the side to decorate later – protect these extra slices from hungry kitchen intruders.
- If you would like a slightly thicker, more gooey caramel, you can add the caramel sauce to the bowls now, and put them back in the fridge for an extra 30 mins. The other option is saving the caramel as a warm sauce to pour on the top.
- Once the base has set (and the caramel layer has cooled, if you added it), spoon on a big scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream. I used Swedish Glace.
- Pour over the warm caramel sauce, if you didn’t already add it.
- Decorate with the banana slices you kept to the side, and some broken up walnuts if you’re using them.
*Anyone dismissing the illustration of my mum’s banoffee-related enthusiasm as hyperbole should note that, upon hearing that the blog post I was writing featured this recipe, she let out a squeal so high-pitched that I worried for my dog’s eardrums.