Dinner party idea: Szechuan hot pot and banoffee pie. Is that weird?


One of my favorite things about living in the same apartment building as my brother is that he and his wife have a much bigger apartment than I do—and they love to throw dinner parties. I bring the dessert. It's win-win.

One of Di's signature dinner party menus is Szechuan hotpot—she imports the spices straight from China and lays out a super-elaborate spread of traditional Chinese vegetables, thin-sliced meats, marinated fish, and her signature peanut-butter-infused spicy sha cha sauce. 


I'm usually in charge of bringing something sweet to the party—and while the easy answer to a big, spicy, savory meal is cooling ice cream, I wanted to get a bit more creative, so I put together a sweet banoffee pie. It was super-easy, and super-quick!


All you need is a stick-and-a-bit of melted butter, 250 grams of crushed digestive biscuits (roll those two ingredients into a crust and pat it firmly into the bottom of a pie dish—I used my Le Creuset casserole). Top with a layer of dulce de leche (or caramel), evenly arranged slices of banana, and a good dollop of freshly whipped heavy cream and dark chocolate shavings. Set in the fridge for an hour or so—and snarf.
"Observe Everything. Always think for yourself. Never let other people make important decisions for you." — from Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn