Say it with me: Ban-no-WIX-ee. There’s only one way to say it really, unlike other people who pronounce Banoffee as BAN-off-ee or Ba-NOF-fee. And let’s not get into spelling, shall we? Phonetics aside, this is one heck of a pie, and it’s now my favorite Ba-NOF-fee (as I say it) pie.
But first, why such a tortuous name that gives me cause for pause before I attempt to pronounce it, finally sputtering it out as it twists on my tongue? It all makes sense when its baker, Ojay Lagman, spells it out for me. “’Bannowixee’ comes from the two chocolate bars that make up this pie – ‘Banno-’from the original Bannoffee; ‘-wix-’ from the Twix chocolate bar; and “-ee” from Reese’s.”
All together now in enlightened unison: “Ahhh!”
There are a few hallowed dessert combinations that when put together, are exceptional. Mangoes and white chocolate, hazelnuts and dark chocolate, sea salt and caramel, bananas and toffee. The yin to each other’s yang, it is the other that they seek on the road to dessert nirvana, the pleasure of perfect togetherness. Now let’s add another combination, many in the mix this time, and it bespeaks this Bannowixee pie: peanut butter and chocolate and banana and caramel.
Begin with the base, it’s its own dose of dark: chocolate cookies crashed and smashed into submission forming a sticky-chewy whole, ready for the imminent rush of rapture. Slicks of ganache made with Belgian chocolate, and the canvas is set. Bananas fall into place first. Cut crosswise, they’re thick and stubby soldiers that retain their yellow hue, always toothsome, never soggy. Caramel comes in with the candy, chopped up Twix tumble into the bliss followed by a fleet of Reese’s – whether it be a bar or Pieces, it pleases completely. And because peanut butter is better when it’s never enough, a glossy lacquer of this peanut paste winds and wends its way through this culinary colossus, impacting every mouthful. I love it, can’t get enough of it.
Ojay’s Bannowixee Pie, his take on the Banoffee pie, is a triumph wrapped up in a mountain of cream smattered with shavings of chocolate. It’s deceptive and there’s way too much cream for comfort, but I could in no way have been prepared for the onslaught of flavors waiting at the ready for me. Ojay knows his stuff. He’s a graduate of the CCA Katipunan’s Pastry Program and has also worked in restaurants, in addition to training under the eminent Filipino pastry chef Ernie Babaran. “The thing I love about baking is the challenge it presents,” Ojay reasons, “it being more of an exact science [and] challenge drives me to innovate.” I only need a few minutes on his blog to see for myself just how far his creativity reaches. Clearly, this is a mind made for making desserts.
But back to this Bannowixee Pie. My Bin and Boo are standing over it, dissecting, discussing. Each forkful is a treasure; each piece, precious; and the discovery of the errant chunk of Twix, a triumph. They love this pie so much that they’re upset with me when they find out that I’ve given half of it to my sister because she wants some too. And unlike the various pronunciations of Banoffee, there’s only one solution to this abyss left by the Bannowixee, and that’s to order another one.
Bannowixee Pie by Ojay’s Kitchen
(02) 842 2855/807 5085
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