This recipe starts with a delicious homemade dulce de leche caramel layered in a verrine with whipped cream, dark chocolate, caramelised banana and crispy puff pastry shards. Resembling a de-constructed banoffee pie, this dessert is truly amazing!
I had a banoffee dessert for the first time when I lived in Dubai. Having a sweet tooth, it didn't take me long to discover this rich and creamy dessert.
Before I knew, I had made it all the way through the banoffee, despite finding it overly sweet because it was that good!!
So, If you have a sweet tooth like me that is never satisfied, then this dulce de leche recipe is for you!
WHAT IS DULCE DE LECHE
The words dulce de leche are Spanish and translate into "sweet from milk". The origins come from Latin America but now it is popular all over the world. In France we have confiture de lait, a breakfast spread which is the same as dulce de leche.
The classic way of making dulce de leche is by cooking down milk and sugar over low heat. Even though this will lead to the same outcome, it requires a lot of your time and attention as the milk has to be stirred for hours until it turns thick and brown.
how to make dulce de leche
The quick fix, is a tin of sweetened condensed milk! Simply cooked on the stove, submerged in simmering water, somewhere between 2 to 4 hours depending on the colour and thickness you are after. The best part is that you don't even have to open the tin lol! Now and then a top up of water is required to make sure the tin cooks evenly but besides that the milk will do it's magic.
We cooked our tin of sweetened condense milk for 2 hours and found the consistency and taste just right. If you want to leave it a bit longer you can, the colour will be deeper and the dulce de leche thicker.
Once the time is up, let it cool for a few minutes, then open the tin. Pour the dulce de leche in a jar and use when you plate up the dessert. It keeps well refrigerated for at least two weeks or if left in the unopened can, upto 2 months!
AS A NOTE: Make sure not to use evaporated milk as it will not work the same. One tin of 400g (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk makes about 250g (1 cup) dulce de leche which was plenty for making 4 desserts.
CARAMELIZING THE BANANAS
For this dulce de leche recipe, we caramelize the bananas in only butter. Considering bananas are already naturally sweet and we are using other sweet components in the dessert, we deliberately left the sugar out completely and instead added grated lime zest to enhance the flavour of the caramelized bananas.
To start, cut the bananas in slices at an angle. Over medium high heat, melt butter in a thick bottomed frying pan. When the butter has melted, add the bananas and increase the heat to high.
Caramelize the bananas in the butter and shake the pan occasionally to avoid them from sticking. After about two minutes, turn the bananas around and caramelize the other side for 1-2 minutes. Remove the bananas from the pan and set aside. When they have cooled, grate the zest of a lime over the bananas.
AS A NOTE: Use firm bananas for this recipe, overly ripe bananas will turn mushy when pan frying.
HOW TO MAKE PUFF PASTRY SHARDS
For the puff pastry shards, we used good quality store bought puff pastry sheets. If you make your own puff pastry or bought a one from the store, it doesn't matter! Just roll out the the dough into 3mm (0,1 inch) thickness, cut a square measuring 24 cm by 24 cm (9 ½ inch).
Sprinkle with granulated sugar and gently go over the dough with a rolling pin. Turn the puff pastry around and repeat the same.
Now, line a large baking tray with a baking mat or a baking paper and lay the rolled out puff pastry dough on it. Place another baking mat or sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry and cover with another baking tray to keep it weighted down.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees (350 F) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pastry from the tray and dust with icing sugar. While still warm, cut into small rectangular shaped pieces. Keep in a dry, warm spot if you are not using the puff pastry shards straight away.
WHAT IS A VERRINE?
"Verrine" is the French word for "glass", mostly used in the culinary world. These glasses usually have no base and made of rather thick glass . Verrine's became famous when French Chefs started presenting small appetizers (amuse bouche) or desserts in glasses, mostly layered and chic looking.
Eaten with a small fork or spoon they can be elegantly enjoyed at the start or end of a meal.
As a chef, I became a fan of verrine's during my time in Dubai when we created elaborate brunches with small appetisers and desserts. Perfect when guests want to try everything! Having these small servings, allowed them to taste and enjoy more dishes!
You will notice, we use verrine's on our blog quite often as we think these are great to start or end a nice three course meal. The portion size is just right and they look stunning!
Here are few must try verrine recipes from our blog:
chocolate mousse with coffee granita
pina colada panna cotta
caramel pots with pears
cheesecake mousse with peaches
Yuzu posset with oat crumble
HOW TO ASSEMBLE
Assembling this dessert doesn't take any special skills. We show you step by step, how to build layers in a verrine in minutes. The dulce de leche verrine with banana and whipped cream, does not only taste amazing but it looks amazing too ! A true restaurant style dessert that is sure to impress anyone!
Now, these are the components you need to have ready, before assembling the dessert:
- a jar of dulce de leche caramel, keep outside the fridge before serving the dessert to make easier to use
- a piping bag with whipped vanilla cream, if you don't have piping bags use a long handle spoon
- caramelized bananas topped with grated lime zest, avoid them being hot, at room temperature works best
- dark chocolate shavings I used a peeler and peeled the side of a dark chocolate slab
- puff pastry shards, preferably made on the same day so they stay crispy
Steps to making dulce de leche verrine with banana and whipped cream:
Have your verrine glasses ready to go and start with the dulce de leche caramel as the base of the dessert.
Pipe three grape size dots on top of the caramel with the whipped cream.
Add four caramelized banana's on top of the whipped cream, making sure they are spread out.
Add one more spoon of dulce de leche with a swirl and pipe another walnut size dot of whipped cream in the centre.
Next, sprinkle the shaved dark chocolate on the whipped cream and add three puff pastry shards, all facing in different directions (the side with the icing sugar facing towards the outside of the verrine)
Lastly, garnish with herbs like micro lemon balm if you like.
And here we have our version of banoffee in a verrine! Delicious, creamy, sticky, yummy, definitely worth all the assembling! With this line up of ingredients...what can go wrong? We have a winner!
AS A TIP: Make sure you get your spoon right to the bottom and scoop a spoonful of all the layers in one go!
This fantastic combination of banana and toffee, is hard to beat so don't be surprised if you find yourself making this dessert over and over again! It's just that addictive!
If you tried this recipe don’t forget to leave a rating and let us know how you got on, in the comments below!
Dulce de Leche with banana and whipped cream
for the dulce de leche
- 400 g sweetened condensed milk usually 1 tin
for the caramelized bananas
- 2-3 bananas peeled
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 1 lime
for the whipped cream
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
for the puff pastry
- 1 puff pastry sheet 24x24cm / 9½ x 9½ inch, 3mm (0,1 inch thick)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar
- 30 g dark chocolate
for the dulce de leche
- Remove the label from the can of sweetened condensed milk. Place in a large enough pot and completely submerge in water.
- Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer. Occasionally refill the water level if needed. Simmer for 2 hours for a light golden colour (recommended). Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours for a darker colour.
- Use kitchen tongs to remove the can from the pot. Let the can cool down before opening. Scoop out the dulce de leche from the can and set aside.
for the caramelized bananas
- Cut the banana into diagonal slices about 2cm thick. Heat up a heavy pan and add half the butter. When the butter has melted and starts foaming, add half of the sliced bananas.
- Cook the bananas until golden brown for about 2 minutes and gently flip over to caramelize the other side. Make sure not to overcook the bananas. Transfer to a plate and grate the zest of a lime over the bananas
for the whipped cream
- Combine the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk by hand or with the help of an electric whisk until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream inside a piping bag (if available) and set aside.
for the puff pastry
- Sprinkle the puff pastry sheet with half of the granulated sugar and gently go over the dough with a rolling pin. Turn the puff pastry around and repeat the same.
- Line a baking tray with a baking mat or baking paper and lay the puff pastry. Place another baking mat or sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry, then another baking tray to keep it weighted down.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees (350 F) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pastry from the trays and let cool down for a few minutes. Dust with icing sugar. While still warm cut the puff pastry into small rectangular shaped shards. Keep in a dry, warm spot.
for garnishing and plating up
- Using a peeler, peel along the sides of a block of dark chocolate. Keep chocolate peels aside.
- To plate up, start with spooning a layer of the dulce de leche into the glass. Pipe three grape size dots of whipped cream on top of the dulce de leche.
- Add four of the caramelized bananas into the glass making sure they are spread out. Add one more spoon of dulce de leche.
- Pipe a walnut size dot of whipped cream in the centre and add the shaved dark chocolate crumbs.
- Lastly add three puff pastry shards inside the glass, with the icing sugar side facing towards the outside. Garnish with lemon balm or other herbs.
Thank you !
Thanks so much for this recipe! Do you recommend serving it warm, or cold? Wondering if I can make this ahead of time for a dinner party
Shilpi & Etienne
Hi there! Definitely serve it cold. You can prepare all the components in advance and just assemble it right before serving on the day.
Let us know how you go 🙂