December 23, 2009

12 Days of Goodies- Day 11: Banana Bread Pudding

As much as I try to venture out and try new things, until today, I had yet to ever put a spoonful of bread pudding in my mouth. My mom is not a fan of bread pudding, which I guess could explain why I had never eaten it. All my life, the mere mention of the words bread pudding, put a frown on my mother's face. Naturally, I felt compelled to change her mind. Perhaps convert her to a bread pudding lover or connoisseur of sorts. But realistically speaking, I'd be happy if I could get her to take just one bite, and nod with the slightest bit of approval. That was the goal in mind.

I absolutely love banana bread , so I figured bread pudding based off this childhood favorite of mine, could only increase my chances for winning over my mom. I also added a good helping of chocolate chips, because there are few things that contain chocolate that my mom doesn't like. I can't say I necessarily succeeded in my mission; bread pudding will always be one of those things my mom would rather not eat (kind of like my aversion to scallops). But at least I can now say I've tried bread pudding, and I guess all that matters, is that I liked it.

Banana Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted from The Dallas Morning News

6 cups soft French bread cubes, loosely packed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (preferably 2% or whole milk)
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups mashed ripe banana
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish with butter.

2. Cut the bread into bite-size cubes (do not use the crust if it is tough) and place in the prepared dish

3. Drizzle the melted butter over the bread cubes, tossing the cubes while drizzling butter. Stir and toss the cubes to distribute the butter as evenly as possible. Set aside.

4. Pour the cream and milk into a small saucepan and bring it just to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and beat lightly with whisk. When the cream mixture boils, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture over the bread cubes. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate at least one hour (and up to four hours) so the bread can absorb the milk mixture.

5. Preheat the oven to 325ยบ F. Remove the bread pudding from the refrigerator and uncover. Combine the bananas, lemon juice, and chocolate chips in a small bowl. Stir the banana mixture into the bread pudding and smooth the top with a spatula. Re-cover the dish and cut six small holes in the foil so steam can escape. Bake, covered with foil, until set, about 50 minutes to one hour.

6. Remove the bread pudding from the oven and cool 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm in dessert bowls with caramel or fudge and ice cream, if desired.

Makes 12 servings

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