The Sweet Struggle

One of my favorite desserts at Starbucks is the sweet and creamy, mini Banoffee pie! It’s just one of those simple desserts that I can’t get enough of. The combination of bananas, crushed graham, chocolate, caramel, and cream works so well! Recently, I had the opportunity to prepare a Banoffee pie at home. I figured that it would take less than two hours to make it, so I started at around 4pm. But to my surprise, it was already around 10 pm when I finished making the dessert.

 

Why did it take me so long to prepare it? Well, it’s all because of the dulce de leche (caramel) in it. I read in a lot of Banoffee Pie recipes that we can actually make our own caramel by heating up the condensed milk until it has reached our desired consistency and color. However, it is crucial to remember that heating the condensed milk directly from the pan won’t be a good step since it would probably just burn the milk easily.

The other two fastest ways to cook/heat up the condensed milk are the ff:

Plan A: This includes simmering (or boiling with a medium heat) an unopened can of condensed milk that is submerged in a pot of water for 2 to 3 hours (or maybe more).

Plan B: This includes double broiling the condensed milk in a bowl on top of a small pot with simmering water, while mixing the milk constantly.

Of course, Plan A sounds easier, but I chose to do Plan B because of some precautions and warnings about Plan A that I read in some news articles. Apparently, some can manufacturers do not recommend cooking the milk in the unopened can to avoid accidents/problems such as: explosions due to overheating and health risks as some say that the cans may release chemicals to the milk once heated.

I started double broiling the condensed milk and actually enjoyed the first few minutes of it. But, when I saw that the color of the milk was still the same even after two hours of broiling, I started to get discouraged. I remember telling God how it seemed that it wasn’t such a good idea to do Plan B. In my mind, I was thinking of the time I was wasting because I was double broiling the milk. And it sort of frustrated me because I couldn’t see any results. The cream-colored condensed milk wasn’t getting thicker and wasn’t turning into brown.

I decided to get a glass of water to cool myself down and went back to the kitchen after a few minutes. When I went near the stove, I noticed a number of ants huddling around and enjoying the few drops of condensed milk on the countertop. At first, I shivered when I saw them because I am not a fan of insects. However, God still used that opportunity to speak to me.

He reminded me of how ants are described in the Bible: HARDWORKING and WISE. They persevere in preparing beforehand and they enjoy their harvest afterwards.

 

I was tempted not to finish cooking the dulce de leche, but God encouraged me to be faithful, like the ants, even in that simple task. He encouraged me to persevere and not to give in to the discouragements around me. But more importantly, He encouraged me to remember who He is (Faithful, Able, Gracious) at that time when I was struggling. :)

Psalm 105:4 “Look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always.”

(One of my favorite verses in the Bible. :D)

I continued to double broil the condensed milk and decided to stop only when it already reached the caramel consistency and color. By God’s grace, after many hours, I was finally able to have my dulce de leche ready for the Banoffee Pie. Thank You, Lord! :)

“If the struggle you’re facing is slowly replacing your hope with despair.

Or the process is long and you’re losing your song in the night.

You can be sure that the Lord has His hand on you.

Safe and secure, He will never abandon you.

You are His treasure and He finds His pleasure in you.”

[Steve Green’s He Who Began a Good Work]

 

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time! :)

 

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