Monday, 21 May 2012

Sherlock Holmes and Banoffee Pie

The BBC Sherlock series is a favorite of mine.   It is just brilliant, from the writing, to the acting, to the actual production.   Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis, both Sherlock Holmes fans, decided to place Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in twenty-first century London.   Sherlock texts and uses the latest technology to help solve his cases.   All the basic elements of the original stories remain, though.   That is part of what make the series so amazing.   If you haven't watched it, please check it out on or Netflix.  

Preview of S2 E2 of BBC SHERLOCK: The Hounds of  Baskerville

 Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman portray Holmes and Watson.   They are both great actors and  their chemistry and perfect timing add to their performances.   I'm also amazed by the hair and make-up crew.   They manage to transform Benedict Cumberbatch to the point that he's almost unrecognizable.   That's not unusual for him, though.   Over his career he's played a wide variety of characters and he wholly becomes those characters: mannerisms, physical appearance, accents.   You've probably seen him before and did not recognize him.   

The BBC SHERLOCK series, a regular series on the BBC, airs in the US months later on PBS's Masterpiece Theater.   That means an agonizing wait unless I buy the UK DVD.   After the second season aired in the UK, I started looking for information about it and I came across this video link.   It is an interview Benedict Cumberbatch did for Harper's Bazaar, in which he answered questions about his cultural life--novel that changed his life, poems he knows by heart--and the like.  When asked about guilty pleasures, the baker in me caught the name of a British pudding, or dessert: Banoffee Pie, in his answer. 

I searched and found out that Banoffe Pie was a popular English pudding created in the 1970s at The Hungry Monk pub.   There were many recipes available on the web, but I pieced together several to make one that did not use cans of sweetened condensed milk (even though that is most common).   It's a labor-intensive, time-consuming pie to make, but it's worth it.   For my fellow southerners, this pie is like banana pudding on steroids.

It begins with a shortbread crust, like that which forms the foundation for lemon bars.   Then, the filling, a homemade dulce de leche, is made.   I made mine with whole milk.   I just pulled a bar stool up to the stove and started stirring.   It takes 45 minutes to cook.   Really, it's worth it.  Side note: 80s music seems to work with this process.   My kitchen soundtrack varies according to what I'm preparing.   

This thickened filling goes into the baked shortbread shell and is then topped with sliced bananas.   Next, comes homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings.   A nice option I'll use next time is a thin layer of melted chocolate over the shortbread crust before the filling is poured.   My family was quite happy that I discovered this pie!

Milk mixture in the beginning

Milk after, ready for addition of English vanilla

Ready for whipped cream and chocolate

Amazing Newman's Own Signature Series dark chocolate with bits of espresso beans throughout.   Sigh...

Finished slice.   Oh, my...

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