Saturday, February 1, 2014

Banana Bread Pudding

I recently followed another blog's banana bread pudding recipe and found it very rich with butter, heavy cream and sugar...and it didn't really set up in the center very well.  I set out to write a recipe with an outcome that I liked better:  Bread pudding that's fit for brunch and not so like an overly sweet and rich dessert, with a solid, clean-slicing custard-like texture.



Bread pudding is very brown and may not look like the most appetizing food from your current point of view.  But believe me, this dish is dee-lish!  I used cinnamon bread, bananas coated in melted brown sugar and a handful of chocolate chips, all of which combine to be quite pleasing indeed. 

Banana Bread Pudding
Serves 4 to 6.

4 bananas, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
9 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
6 slices cinnamon bread
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup half and half
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 tablespoon raw sugar or granulated sugar

Lightly grease an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan and one side of a 12-inch square of aluminum foil.

Cook bananas with 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat for one minute. Sprinkle in 6 tablespoons brown sugar and stir. Turn off the heat.

Cube the bread into chunks and place in a mixing bowl.  Stir in bananas and melted sugar.  Pour into your baking pan.  Scatter chocolate chips over the top.

Beat the half and half, eggs, remaining brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon together in your mixing bowl. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and bananas. Press evenly into the pan to absorb the liquid.

Preheat the oven to 325F while your bread sits to soak up some of the cream.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and bake uncovered until the top begins to dry and the center is setting up, about 25 minutes. There may be a little liquid left in the middle when it's set, but it shouldn't be soupy at all.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Enjoy!

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