I was saying to a foodie friend the other day, that I used to be so dismissive of the so called “fridge cakes”. I used to think they were the easy way out. That they lacked imagination and depth. I mean, what’s so special about a stack of vanilla cookies with some cream in the middle? Well, after trying a few recipes myself, I realized that fridge cakes are absolutely stunning and delicious and that the combinations are endless.
Banoffee pie was screaming for a fridge-cake modification. The inspiration came from my new Thermomix (TM6) which comes with an amazing caramel making function. This caramel sauce is absolutely divine! It’s the kind you keep in a jar, on the fridge door, and steel a spoon full every day, like little shots of happiness.
Biscuits, caramel sauce, bananas, pastry cream. This is what this dessert is all about. You can prepare the caramel sauce up to 15 days in advance, just make sure it won’t mysteriously disappear. The pastry cream is dreamy and creamy and one recipe you should keep. You can use it in any trifle dish or a quick millefeuille.
- 225 grams “Petit Beurre” biscuits (see note)
- 3-4 large bananas
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 750 ml whole milk
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 60 grams corn flour
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 ml whipping cream
- 50 grams icing sugar
- 250 grams granulated sugar
- 60 ml water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 200 ml cream
- 30 grams unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 200 ml whipping cream
- 50 grams icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Note: You can use any store-bought vanilla wafers. Choose a cookie which is not soft and can be used in fridge cakes.
Make the caramel sauce: Put sugar, water and lemon juice in a deep, heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Let it come to a boil. Keep boiling undisturbed (do not stir at all, swirl the pan from time to time if you wish) until a caramel forms and the mixture is deep amber. Carefully add half of the cream. Be very careful since caramel is very hot and it will foam up. Stir until cream is mixed in the caramel. Add remaining cream and stir. Don’t worry if some of the caramel solidifies after you add the cream. Keep stirring and it will eventually dissolve. Finally add the butter and salt. Stir until everything is smooth and caramel sauce is ever so slightly thickened. Don’t let it thicken too much since sauce will thicken as it cools.
Transfer caramel sauce in a clean jar. Cover with a lid and keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. If caramel sauce becomes too thick in the fridge, let it reach room temperature before using or reheat slightly to loosen.
Make the pastry cream: Heat milk in a saucepan with about half the sugar. In another bowl whisk egg yolks with remaining sugar, corn flour and vanilla extract. Add half of the hot milk in the yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Add remaining hot milk in the yolks and stir again to mix. Strain mixture back to the pot and place over medium heat stirring constantly. Keep stirring until cream comes to a boil. Whisk vigorously for another minute, then take off the heat and transfer cream to a heatproof bowl.
Immediately cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the surface of the cream. This will prevent a skin from forming. Let cream cool to room temperature then transfer in the fridge for at least 3 hours to become cold and thick. You can prepare the cream to this stage, up to 3 days in advance.
To finish the cream, whisk the whipping cream with the icing sugar until soft peeks form. Whisk the cold pastry cream to loosen it. Fold the whipping cream into the pastry cream until combined and smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
Assemble the dessert: Break the biscuits with your hands (not in a food processor) into a bowl. Slice the bananas into another bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice. This will keep the bananas from becoming brown. Loosen the caramel sauce if needed. Make the topping by whipping the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
- Take a deep trifle bowl and spread the base with about ½ cup pasrty cream. Layer will be thin.
- Sprinkle with 1/3 of the broken biscuits
- Cover biscuits with 1/3 of the banana slices
- Use a spoon to drizzle bananas with 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
- Spoon in 1/3 of the pastry cream
- Repeat layers two more times, finishing with the last 1/3 of the pastry cream
- Spread trifle with the whipped cream topping
Place trifle in the fridge for at least 4 hours. This time is needed for the biscuits to soften. Decorate trifle with caramel sauce or caramel shards.