Pass the spoon, please

Banoffee parfaits fea­ture salted tof­fee, crum­bled, con­densed milk, bananas and whipped cream.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY AARTI SE­QUEIRA

I was a chubby child, which is why my mother did not stock the house with cook­ies and crack­ers for me to snack on af­ter school.

So in­stead, in the af­ter­noons I made my­self the clos­est thing to dessert I could out of the healthy bits and pieces in the house: bananas tossed in home­made yogurt and sprin­kled with just a lit­tle gran­u­lated sugar. In sum­mer, I was equally cre­ative in my at­tempts to repli­cate a sweet treat — a glass of Tang and a McVi­tie’s di­ges­tive cookie.

And those two snacks served as in­spi­ra­tion for this recipe, an af­ter­school snack that has a lot of mean­ing to me.

I still re­mem­ber the first time I had banoffee (banana and tof­fee, get it?) pie, a beloved dessert in the United King­dom. My home­room teacher, Mrs. Tar­bot, nor­mally a rather tight-lipped, stern woman, in an un­usual bout of kind­ness made us some banoffee on the last day of school.

I was as­tounded that some­thing as sim­ple as a McVi­tie’s di­ges­tive cookie-crust, a long-cooked can of con­densed milk, bananas and whipped cream could taste so di­vine. Ever since, banoffee pie has tasted like kind­ness and in­no­cence to me. What could be more per­fect for a snack, es­pe­cially when you re­place the whipped cream with pro­tein-rich Greek yogurt?

One note about the shin­ing star of this dish: the tof­fee. I pre­fer the flavour of the tra­di­tional method — sub­merg­ing a tin of sweet­ened con­densed milk in a saucepan of wa­ter, then sim­mer­ing it for a cou­ple hours, top­ping up the wa­ter as needed. If you’d rather speed it up, melt a stick of but­ter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Add the can of sweet­ened con­densed milk and boil, stir­ring con­stantly, for 5 min­utes, or un­til very thick. Set aside to cool and use as di­rected in the recipe.

BANOFFEE PARFAITS WITH SALTED TOF­FEE

Di­ges­tive “bis­cuits” (cook­ies, re­ally) usu­ally can be found in the Bri­tish or in­ter­na­tional aisle of the gro­cer. If you can’t find them, sub­sti­tute graham crack­ers or gra­nola. Start to fin­ish: 3 hours 20 min­utes (20 min­utes ac­tive) Serv­ings: 4 14-ounce can sweet­ened con­densed milk 1/4 tea­spoon kosher salt, plus a lit­tle ex­tra to fin­ish Two 7-ounce con­tain­ers 2 per cent plain Greek yogurt 1/2 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract 8 di­ges­tive cook­ies (such as McVi­tie’s), roughly crum­bled 3 to 4 bananas, cut into thick or thin rounds, depend­ing on your pref­er­ence Re­move the la­bel from the can of sweet­ened con­densed milk, but do not open the can. Set the can in a medium sauce and add enough wa­ter to cover the can by about 1 inch. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Re­duce the heat to main­tain a sim­mer and cook for 2 hours, adding wa­ter to main­tain the level as needed. Re­move the pan from the heat and set aside to cool un­til easily han­dled. Once the can is cool, open and trans­fer to a small bowl. Stir in the 1/4 tea­spoon of salt, then set aside. In another small bowl, stir to­gether the yogurt and vanilla. Set aside. Us­ing 4 par­fait glasses or 6-ounce can­ning jars, as­sem­ble the parfaits. For each par­fait, start with a layer of crum­bled cook­ies. Top with about 2 ta­ble­spoons of tof­fee, then 1/4 cup of yogurt, then a layer of banana slices. Re­peat the lay­er­ing, end­ing with banana slices. Fin­ish the parfaits with a sprin­kle of salt, a driz­zle of tof­fee and a few cookie crumbs. Serve im­me­di­ately.

Nutri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 520 calo­ries; 110 calo­ries from fat (21 per cent of to­tal calo­ries); 12 g fat (7 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 40 mg choles­terol; 340 mg sodium; 89 g car­bo­hy­drate; 3 g fi­bre; 72 g sugar; 18 g pro­tein.

AP PHOTO

Banoffee parfaits with salted tof­fee are packed with de­li­cious in­gre­di­ents.

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