Banoffee Cream Puffs are a twist on an English dessert – bananas, toffee, and whipped cream, taken out of the pie crust and nestled in a light, fluffy homemade cream puff!
Ever since Mr. Crumby and I visited London last year, I have been obsessed with all things English, and am still trying to figure out how and when we can get back there.
Or maybe a way to just move there permanently.
I’m being totally serious, folks.
Save six months worth of income? No problem. Secure a flat? I have some friends who could help. Find a job within the first half year? We both know a trade, so we could likely swing it.
Any expats or Brits have any advice to share? Across the pond is becoming more and more appealing…maybe I could open a bakery of my own and get the locals as obsessed with these Banoffee Cream Puffs as I am!
As some of you might know, I have no formal cooking or pastry training whatsoever, save a couple of textbooks a friend loaned me a couple of years ago to draw inspiration from. Which, let’s be honest, you know I haven’t opened since they landed on my kitchen table. Not for nothing, I browsed, but the technical jargon? I usually find that critical information on an infographic on Pinterest somewhere, and it usually steers me in the right direction.
I do appreciate compliments to the contrary, but there has been no molding or shaping of my culinary brain. It’s just there, like it or not. Lots and lots of trial and error is what makes my food mine.
And you all are my willing and eager guinea pigs. And I love you for it.
I love that you indulge my crazy, creative side, and listen to me babble on about the fun things this blog has allowed me to be a part of in the last (almost) two years.
For example, the Food Wine Conference that’s coming up in TWO WEEKS that you should totally come and be a part of! I can’t believe it’s so soon! It feels like yesterday that Lara, Terri, Nichole and I were chatting about how far away it was over brunch in Tampa, and now I’m starting to freak out that I won’t be able to get all my posts scheduled before the 13th.
The conference days are so full of food and fun and friends and learning that the only time I’ll have my laptop open is to take notes at panels. Last year, I went in with only a notebook that’s now half-filled with invaluable info…and some doodles of flowers and stars in the margins.
(Check me out, I even got fancy with the toffee schmear. There’s a chef in here somewhere.)
When I was younger, I never imagined being a pastry chef, or any sort chef for that matter. Yeah, I worked in a bakery at the time, but it was a stepping stone!
A stepping stone to a broadcasting career! Or a musical one! Or to becoming a semi-famous B-list actress! Or something equally competitive and out of reach.
My high school had a culinary academy…that I was very meh about. Me, work in food? Ludicrous. I was an arts kid, I had bigger fish to fry.
Now look at me. I’m dying to get into that side of the food world that I scoffed at. Little did I know.
You know what? In spite of no training, and being generally self-taught, I can still successfully pull off some recipes I never thought I could. Like these cream puffs.
They start with a simple pate a choux. Simple, yet unnerving for someone who’s never made the dough before, and is following only written instructions. When your results match the ones described in the recipe, it’s nothing less than empowering.
The feeling of satisfaction that comes from watching that creation come to life in the oven, and turn out absolutely perfect when you pull it out? Simply incomparable.
Turns out cream puffs are wonderful little vehicles for the amazing filling that makes up the Banoffee Pie. You trade in the cookie crust for a soft, eggy puff of pastry dough that melts in your mouth, toss in a vanilla pastry cream, and the flavor is still on point.
Thanks to the Brits for their continuing contributions to the world of dessert. I’m coming for you next, Eton Mess!
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (or dulce de leche)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 cup water, plus 1 Tablespoon water, separated
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium-large bananas, sliced
- In a sauce pan, boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours. Monitor the water closely, making sure there is always water in the pan. Remove can from heat and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before use. (Or skip all this and just warm up a can of dulce de leche before assembly - saves time and is just as tasty!)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, 1 cup water, sugar, and salt Bring to a boil, then stir in the flour quickly with a wooden spoon. The mixture will thicken to a ball of soft dough. Continue to stir until a film forms on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the dough from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and to cool 3-4 minutes. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously to incorporate each addition.
- Whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
- Transfer the pate a choux to a pastry bag, then cut it open about ½-inch . Pipe 3-inch rounds onto each prepared pan, smoothing any pointed peaks with a moistened finger. Brush tops with egg wash, then bake 35-40 minutes until puffs rise and are golden brown.
- Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in milk and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until it thickens and comes to a boil; boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
- Add 4-5 Tablespoons of hot milk to a bowl with beaten eggs, whisking quickly to keep from scrambling. Once evenly mixed, add egg mixture to milk mixture and return to heat. Bring it to a low boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, then stir in butter and vanilla.
- Strain pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
- In a chilled bowl, whip heavy cream until it thickens. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and whip to soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cut each cream puff in half horizontally. Fill the bottom with a generous amount of pastry cream. Top with sliced bananas, a big drizzle of cooled toffee, and a large dollop of fresh whipped cream. Place the top half of the cream puff on the whipped cream, dust with powdered sugar, serve, and enjoy!
What recipe did you successfully recreate on your first try?