As seen on my Instagram, this vibrantly yellow bowl is from Dishes Only.

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When it comes to the awareness for Del Posto’s celebrated pastry-chef that is Brooks Headley, as well his critically acclaimed cookbook Fancy Desserts, I’ll admit, I was late to the game.  To start, I’ve never been to Del Posto, even for the time while I was still living blissfully in New York, I never.  I knew where it was.  I knew it was good.  But for the many times that I’ve passed it by, I dug into my dangling shallow pocket, and went for the Halal-truck parked around its corner instead, unregretted.  Then to further my negligence, I didn’t even give it the slightest consideration when their Brooks published his first, wacky and unconventional cookbook named – reeked of intimidations – Fancy Desserts.  I mean those who know me, from experiences perhaps too personal, already mourns my biological disability to even execute the dumbest-ass desserts, let alone, as if,  fancy.  The title only sounded slightly more appealing than watching a documentary on spaceship engineering.  But, my firmly footed ignorance all began to shake when my loyal advisor, The Piglet, out of many many other the-Gisele-Bundchen of cookbooks, named it The Best of 2015.  Finally, I sighed, I Amazoned, and I realized that for all this time…

I was so wrong.

Behind its unfiltered and seemingly unstudied photographs, is a smacking and dignified mockery to all the others who lack its otherwise overabundant substances.  I realized that a cookbook can only dare this level of anti-pornographic statement when it’s got nothing, absolutely nothing more to prove to us shallow pigs, than to say, I’m too good for pretty.  And it is.  This is the most honest, egoless and humorous cookbook I’ve ever read, but LOL aside, the book mercilessly attacks my mortal imagination with one-after-the-other daring recipes that completely defies logic, but wins intrigues if not hearts (throw in a James Beard Award for good measure).  I must, I murmured.  I must immerse myself in his teaching…


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So out of the pool, I thought I should probably start with the least fancy option, one that was even shunned by their executive chef’s distaste for bananas, the peanut butter mascarpone with bejeweled bananas.  I mean, no retard on earth can fuck up this combo was what I held ever-so faithfully onto.  I didn’t change any major components from the original – the ratio of peanut butter mascarpone and salt, the amount of sugar for each bananas, the element of crunch from the croutons – except that… probably against his teaching, I completely changed the way it is put together.  Instead of being scattered over a plate, which to say is his go-to plating style, I decided to “re-construct” the recipe into a pie.  Why?  I have no fucking clue.  Because I’m boring most likely.  I’ll make sure I ask my OCD next time over brunch.  But more importantly, did I like it?

You know, I’d say, it was the most ambivalent experience that I had to sort out since the day I ate an avocado with soy sauce.  Brooks said in his book that he’s the happiest (or something like that) when a customers says “…I don’t know.  It’s not a dessert.  It’s a thing.“.  And I guess to sum up how I felt about this, I’d say, “What he said.“.  The thing is, it was undoutedly sweet, yes, but ALSO, prominently salty at the same time.  It was… conflicting to say the least.  And I guess I’m recommending it to you because, in a way, I trust Brooks more than I trust myself really, and in between the switches in my brain trying to make sense of it, I found myself not being able to stop eating.  I mean, as of this moment when I’m typing to you, I’m still eating… almost 1/2 of it… expanding deciding, and I guess by the most primal instinct, I have already.

I’m Team Brooks.

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Makes: One 8 1/2″ x 12″ (21 x 30 cm) pie.  If you want to make a 8″ (20 cm) round pie, you can half the recipe.

Note: OK, a few things I want to stress here.

  • The original recipe is accompanied by slightly salty breadcrumbs, which is why I tried to use 1/2 multi-grain breadcrumbs plus 1/2 finely ground digestive cookie to make the crust.  But I realized that it’s really just extra work to pulverize the multi-grain bread when, in the end, I couldn’t really taste the “bread-ness” in the crust anyways.  So I changed the recipe to a simple digestive cookie crust.  If you’re curious, you can replace 1/2 of the ground cookies with finely ground breadcrumbs.
  • Then, the original recipe for the peanut butter and mascarpone cream has a full 1 tsp of salt in it, which makes it… borderline un-dessert-like salty.  The peanut butter is already quite salty to begin with, which I think is enough.  But do I have a James Beard?  No.  So I listed the salt in the recipe anyway, but I would recommend starting with 1/2 tsp first as you go.  I also find the original texture to be too thick for this purpose, and so added a bit of milk to loosen it.
  • The original recipe, instead of torching, broils the bananas with sugar on top until they “lose its shape”.  I’ve tried both ways I really did, and I just like the torch-method better.  It gives me more control and retains the texture of the bananas (not a big fan of mushy bananas).  But if you don’t have a blow-torch, or simply love mushy banana, you can do it under the broiler then pile the bananas on top of the pie.  BUT, you probably won’t be able to make pretty patterns.



Adapted from Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts


  • 2 1/2 cup (250 grams) finely ground digestive cookies, or gram crackers
  • 5 tbsp (63 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (30 grams) molasses
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 9 1/2 tbsp (135 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (225 grams) mascarpone
  • 1 cup (258 grams) Skippy smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp (4 grams) salt, or less as needed
  • 2 tbsp (30 grams) whole milk
  • 7~8 large ripen bananas
  • 7 tbsp (83 grams) light brown sugar
  • Turbinado/raw sugar to sprinkle


  1. TO MAKE THE CRUST: Preheat the oven on 350F/175C. Combine finely ground digestive cookie (or gram crackers), sugar, molasses, fine sea salt and melted butter in a large bowl. Mash it with a whisk until all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Transfer the mixture into a 8 1/2" x 12" (12 x 30 cm) pan, then spread and press it tightly with your fingers or a flat-bottomed cup, evenly on the bottom and the sides of the pan to make a crust. Bake in the oven for 13~15 min until lightly browned. The crust may seem slightly puffed up but do not press it down or it'll be tough. Let cool COMPLETELY before using.
  2. TO MAKE THE PEANUT BUTTER MASCARPONE CREAM: With a fork or spatula, gently mix mascarpone, smooth peanut butter and 1/2 tsp salt (add more later if you like) together until even (*do not use a food-processor or mix too vigorously, because the mascarpone might break*). Spread it evenly over the pie-crust. Set aside.
  3. TO MAKE THE BANANA TOPPING: Trim a sheet of parchment into the same dimensions as the inner-area of the pie, as a guide. Peel and slice a banana in 1/2 horizontally (Peel 1 banana at a time to prevent unnecessary browning), then place them cut-side up over the parchment, with the uneven tips extruding over the parchment's edge. Repeat with another banana until you've covered one side of the parchment. Trim off the uneven tips on both sides of the bananas to achieve straight edges, then transfer into the pie. It should line one side of the pie. Now repeat the same thing with the other side to fill the entire area. Eat the scrap-bananas.
  4. Evenly spread the light brown sugar on top of the bananas. Hold another pan to cover/protect the crust-part of the pie from the torch, then with the other hand, torch the sugar until deeply caramelized. Turn and adjust the pan as needed (you might want to do it under the kitchen-vent, too). You can cut through the hardened caramel if you want, or chill the pie in the fridge for 30 min until the caramel turns into a sticky sauce (what I did). Sprinkle turbinado/raw sugar on top before serving.

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  • Belinda @themoonblushbaker

    May 5, 2015 at 8:53 PM Reply

    My baking OCD and taste buds are going crazy over this pie Mandy! The perfect edges are so calming to the soul and i haven’t even gotten to the best part. My mouth is watering at the burnish banana, crust and that creamy peanut filling. I have to try to recreate this!

  • Erin@WellPlated

    May 5, 2015 at 9:05 PM Reply

    TEAM BROOKS FOR LIFE. Going to NYC in a few weeks—thanks for reminding me to go to Del Posto (and maybe bring a pan of this “thing” on the plane!)

  • Charlie (Chockywoky)

    May 5, 2015 at 9:24 PM Reply

    I’ll be heading off to NYC soon, so fingers crossed I can smuggle back some pan of this “thing” to singapore >:)

  • findash

    May 5, 2015 at 9:36 PM Reply

    Thanks, Mandy – next Sunday’s baking project – such beautiful photographs.

  • Melinda

    May 5, 2015 at 9:39 PM Reply

    You boring???? Never! I’m so glad to see that you’re venturing into Brooks’ recipes! I think it’s an obvious choice for this angry food blog.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    May 5, 2015 at 9:51 PM Reply

    This sounds positively incredible!

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    May 5, 2015 at 11:08 PM Reply


  • cynthia

    May 5, 2015 at 11:45 PM Reply

    I’m with Belinda!! These perfect edges make my heart so happy, and this pie sounds like heaven.

  • Emily

    May 6, 2015 at 1:30 AM Reply

    I am always excited to happen upon a new food blog. I just came across yours today, via a link to this recipe. You have beautiful photos and this pie will likely tantalize me for days. However, after reading more, I was put off by one of your phrases ” I mean, no retard on earth can fuck up this combo.” No, I don’t care about the swearing, but believe people with intellectual disabilities need to be treated with dignity and respect. Using words like “retard” fosters belittling attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities and does not give them the respect they deserve. Please consider removing this language from your site.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      May 6, 2015 at 1:46 AM Reply

      Emily, sincerely noted. But I refuse to reduce intellectually disabled people to nothing but just the victim of the word retard, whenever a nobody uses it. I believe they have more self assurance than that.

    • Lindsey

      May 6, 2015 at 5:54 AM Reply

      Yes, I totally agree with you, Emily. And “I believe they have more self-assurance than that” is a lazy, selfish cop-out. People with disabilities have already spoken out to say they hate the word and would like people to stop using it – you should try to be respectful of that, Mandy.

  • Suzi Ferraro

    May 6, 2015 at 3:00 AM Reply

    You fuckin crack me up!! The only thing that made me happier is that I had all the ingredients!!!

    A fellow dumbass!!

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    May 6, 2015 at 4:46 AM Reply

    I kind of like the fact that its salty. I don’t know why but in Brazil people often eat fried sweet bananas and pineapple with their rice, beans, meat, etc. Its weird because it goes a bit beyond sweet and salty. Like mashing up your dessert with the food?

  • Pamela

    May 6, 2015 at 6:45 AM Reply

    A zillion years ago when I was a kid who needed a minder, err, babysitter, I was fed bananas with peanut butter on a slice of bread. This is such a grownup version of that. So cool. You get the bread, okay, cookie crumbs….I’m not going to quibble….., grownup peanut butter tarted up with fancy Frenchie cheese and bananas taken to a new dimension. What a combo! Luscious to the nth degree.

    And avocados with soy sauce! Talk about good good good! As MFK Fisher would agree, this is “secret food” to be savored over the kitchen sink with an over ripe avocado and a tiny dribble of soy and a nice spoon. Devoured in a few swift mouthfuls before anyone can see! I want the whole thing!

  • Scarlett

    May 6, 2015 at 8:10 AM Reply

    I can’t believe you don’t like the sound of a documentary on spaceship engineering. (Then again, I’m an aerospace engineering student.) This, for me, looks almost better than the documentary, which is high praise from me.

  • kristie {birch and wild}

    May 6, 2015 at 10:52 AM Reply

    Oh, WOW. This is insanity in it’s most delicious form.

  • Dulcistella

    May 6, 2015 at 6:37 PM Reply

    “Do not use a food-processor or mix too vigorously, because the mascarpone might break” puzzles me… I mean, every time that I make tiramisu I mix it with the electric beater and it never-ever happened to me to see a broken mascarpone… How does it look like? Strange…

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      May 6, 2015 at 7:34 PM Reply

      Dulcistella, that was the explicit instruction from the book, and I dare not include it in the recipe.. Maybe I should do another myth-buster sub-post on this

  • Kaitlin

    May 8, 2015 at 1:20 AM Reply

    I just love your writing. Your commentary on everything is always just on point :)

    Also, I’m glad you reconstructed this – it looks so pretty as a pie/tart/thing that I can’t imagine it any other way. Really appreciate all your notes, too!

  • H

    May 8, 2015 at 3:42 AM Reply

    1. So beautiful I can hardly stand it.
    2. Avocado + shoyu is the best thing ever.
    3. Where is that fork from?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      May 8, 2015 at 12:31 PM Reply

      H, haahaa yes, I eat avocado + soy sauce with toasted sesame oil like constantly now. That fork is bought from ebay. If you search “Japanese mid century fork” or something like that, you may be able to find similar ones (or even the same ones). Good luck!

  • tunie

    May 8, 2015 at 2:31 PM Reply

    ” I eat avocado + soy sauce with toasted sesame oil like constantly now. ”
    Try it on American style rice cakes from the health food store (look like a dry, rice crispy crumpet) that are spread with a a thin layer of sweet white miso, then thin layer of toasted tahini, then avo slices drizzled with toasted sesame oil and finally, cayenne powder… mmm, veddy veddy gooood : )

    • tunie

      May 8, 2015 at 2:33 PM Reply

      …and a tiny spash of soy sauce over all was my point. Sometimes the sweet miso is salty enough to fly alone.

  • kimithy

    May 9, 2015 at 4:09 AM Reply

    I’m hoping you have way of tracking how many people buy his cookbook after this, because even I, buyer-of-1-new-cookbook-EVER, clicked the link :)

    Also – can you please write one? Because I’d buy the shit out of that…and if you already have, link pwease :)

  • Lindsey | Lou Lou Biscuit

    May 15, 2015 at 12:30 AM Reply

    Mandy, you are one of my favorite bloggers, because everything you photograph, create, and write stands out. That’s not an easy thing to do today when there are about 80 bajillion other food blogs to be compared to. This pie cake thing you made looks delicious!

  • Daniela

    June 18, 2015 at 8:30 PM Reply

    Your pie is demented!!! :)
    but… sorry if i don’t like peanut butter
    can i replace with something else?
    can you give me an ideea ?
    thank you !!! god bless you ! :)
    yours , Daniela

  • GregoysBigo

    July 2, 2015 at 4:36 AM Reply

    Браво, отличный ответ.

    Если надо обменять доллары на рубли или курс валют в Самарае подробное описание тут

  • RobertosbAt

    July 7, 2015 at 5:09 AM Reply

    Все фоты просто отпад

    Лучшие игровые автоматы онлайн вулкан или игровой зал вулкан

  • Edwarspige

    July 7, 2015 at 5:37 AM Reply

    В этом что-то есть. Буду знать, большое спасибо за помощь в этом вопросе.

    Монтаж компьютерной сети или монтаж компьютерных сетей

  • Williasmots

    July 10, 2015 at 2:22 PM Reply

    Поздравляю, ваша мысль блестяща

    Салаты или детское питание рецепты с фото

  • Miltonmi

    July 10, 2015 at 2:45 PM Reply

    Меня это не беспокоит.

    Прикол Смешные комиксы или ютуб видео смотреть

  • Georgepa

    July 10, 2015 at 3:08 PM Reply

    еннто точно

    Фото Город или лесбиянки

  • Froudodere

    July 25, 2015 at 5:29 PM Reply

    Браво, какие нужная фраза…, отличная мысль

    Заказать накрутку в 1 клик сейчас или как быстро набрать лайков на сайтах

  • ArthuriHoni

    July 30, 2015 at 9:05 PM Reply

    Спроси у своего калькулятора

    Займ без звонков и оформления документов Одобрение а также fingooroo личный кабинет

  • TimothyMr

    September 11, 2015 at 8:05 PM Reply

    Мне вообщем-то не понравилось)

    Анальный секс, Лесбиянки или порно напланшете смотреть

  • erick

    October 8, 2015 at 11:35 AM Reply

    How powerful a link is… I bought the book because of that link. Sadly, not too inspiring; you’re much wittier than he is… You should have no trouble selling your own book – you got me to chuckle, buy that book, purchase a torch and make this pie.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 8, 2015 at 2:18 PM Reply

      Erick, haha thank you! I’m flattered, really, I am. I hope you keep finding inspirations and entertainment from this blog :)

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