I did want to post about one desert I made while everyone was here that was to D.I.E. for.....Bananas Foster Bread Pudding. I know, right? Just the sound of it.
This recipe came from "The Art & Soul of Baking" by Cindy Mushet and Sur la table. You can order this from Amazon and I highly recommend the book....beautiful photos and great recipes!
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
Serves 8 to 10
Bananas Foster, a New Orleans invention, is a delightful concoction of sauteed bananas finished with a flambeed brown sugar and rum sauce over vanilla ice cream - a restaurant showstopper. Here, those favorite flavors and a sense of fun are translated into a banana bread pudding, paired with a butterscotch-rum sauce that can be made ahead. This recipe is great for entertaining, since there's no last-minute prep or leaping flames to worry about. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you'll have your own showstopper. Airline size bottles of banana liqueur can be found at most good liquor stores, but if they're unavailable, just add an extra tablespoon of rum instead.
Equipment: 9x9x2" square cake pan or ceramic baking dish, serrated knife, baking sheet with 1/2-inch sides, food processor fitted with a metal blade, rubber spatula, medium bowl, whisk, cooling rack, large saucepan.
1 loaf (1 to 1 1/2 pounds) challah, brioche, or other rich, dense bread... (I used challah)
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (16 ounces) heavy whipping cream
2 cups (16 ounces) whole milk
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup (8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon banana liqueur (or substitute additional rum)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the cake pan with butter, oil, or high-heat-canola-oil spray.
Toast the bread: Use the serrated knife to cut away the crust from all sides of the bread. If you are using challah, which is braided, just do the best you can and don't worry about the bits of crust in the crevices of the braid. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread the cubes on the baking sheet and toast in the oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Measure out 6 cups of bread cubes and place them in the cake pan. Transfer the remaining bread cubes to a resealable plastic bag and set aside (or freeze) for another use. Leave the oven on.
Make the custard: Peel the bananas and break or cut them into chunks. Place in the bowl of the food processor and process, scraping down the bowl once or twice with the spatula, until they are pureed and very smooth. In the medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and granulated sugar until well blended. Add the banana puree and vanilla and whisk well. Add the cream and milk and whisk until well blended.
Soak the bread cubes: Pour the custard over the bread cubes in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down gently so that all the bread cubes are soaked with the custard. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the custard. Every few minutes, press down gently again so the bread cubes on top are covered with custard.
Bake the bread pudding: Remove the plastic wrap and bake the pudding for 45 to 60 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and the center is set. To check, use a spoon to press down firmly in the center of the pan. The pudding is done when the center feels firm and no loose custard bubbles up around the spoon Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
Make the sauce: Melt the butter in the large saucepan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and raise the heat to medium. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Cook for 2 minutes at a boil, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and -- away from the flame -- add the rum, banana liqueur, and vanilla. Return to the heat and boil for 1 minute, whisking. Use the sauce while warm.
(This sauce is fabulous. I would make this to serve on anything....ice cream, a paper bag, Mr. B....)
Serve the bread pudding warm, cut into squares, and topped with enough warm sauce to drip down the sides and pool on each plate Set a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of each serving.
Storing: The cooled bread pudding can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 325 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.
Making Ahead: The bread pudding can be baked 1 to 2 days in advance. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Follow directions above for reheating. The sauce may also be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Cool it, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. Warm the sauce in the microwave or in a saucepan, stirring or whisking frequently until it is fluid and hot.
Like I said, this was fabulous....try it.
I'll be back for next week's TWD assignment.....some sort of Pear Tart, I think!!