I've never made bread pudding before. Infact, I think I've only had it once but I didn't want the remaining half loaf of challah to go to waste. Because I hadn't made it before I didn't want a chocolate bread pudding. (I know, me not wanting chocolate is insanity.) I also didn't want something really exotic. I just wanted a nice basic bread pudding. I figured this would be a better test of if I even like it, and something that would be easier to compare other recipes to later.
As I said, I had given up. There was no dessert Friday night. Sad as that may be, I'm sure my waist line (and hips, and thighs!) appreciated it. I started searching for something to make Saturday for sister dinner night. I looked at tarts and pies and cookies but nothing really struck me. At some point I picked some tart that didn't really look amazing and I was checking a grocery website to see if they carried something I would need when I noticed that they had recipes. Right there, on the third page of their desserts section, I saw it. Banana Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce! That sounded perfect!
Saturday my first stop was the liquor store. We live in what I like to call a "moist" county. We can buy drinks at restaurants and beer and wine at the grocery or "beer and wine" stores. There is one city that can sell liquor. I'm not sure how they got the right to sell liquor but I'm glad they did because now I only have to drive 9 miles to the liquor store, not 25+ miles. Anyways, I found Cruzan Black Strap Rum. It WILL make your chest warm if you take shots, just FYI.
I failed to pick up raisins when I went shopping so I used chocolate chips instead. I also failed to pick up pecans so I used walnuts. I lined my loaf pan with parchment so the finished product would lift out of the pan rather than fighting to get pieces out. Cooking the bananas made my nose very happy. Assembling the bread pudding was more of a layering process than the 'toss it all in there' method my sister uses. I suppose this was to keep the bananas intact.
When the deliciousness was about half done I started the Rum Sauce. When you heat and mix butter, cream, brown sugar and rum it just can't be a bad thing! Next time I might let it boil a smidge longer so it thickens up a bit more. Aside from the minor matter of viscosity it was an incredible sauce. I may or may not have eaten some of it alone with a spoon. If I did I'm sure I'd never admit to such a thing. ;-) My sister decided that we needed to make some whipped cream to go with it. (Yes, "NEEDED")
The bread pudding was definitely a success and has been added to my notebook of delicious, decadent and devilish desserts. Hubby described it as 'a bit heavy' but happily ate his serving. Sister and I ate until we were too stuffed to get up from the table. All 3 of us had diets and cleanses scheduled to start on Sunday so we considered this our last hurrah, and therefor decided it was permissible to eat obscene amounts of sweets.
BANANA BREAD PUDDING
1/3 cup raisins or currants (or 1/2 cup chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 bananas, peeled, halved crosswise and lengthwise
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whipping cream
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces firm white bread slices, crusts trimmed, cut into 3" strips (or challah)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts)
Rum Sauce (recipe follows)
- Skip this step if using chocolate chips. Combine raisins or currants and 2 T rum in a small bowl. Let stand 20 minutes.
- Melt 2 T butter in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 T sugar and bananas and cook until bananas are tender (about 2 minutes per side.) Remove from skillet.
- Combine whipping cream, eggs, vanilla extract and remaining 1/4 C rum and 3 T sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until blended.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 9x5x3 loaf pan (or line with parchement paper.)
- Arrange 1/3 of the bread strips crosswise in the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange 6 banana pieces on top of bread. Sprinkle half the raisins (or currants or chocolate chips) and half the pecans (or walnuts.) Arrange 1/3 of the bread strips crosswise on top of bananas. Pour half the egg mixture over. Arrange remaining bananas on top of bread. Sprinkle with remaining raisins (or currants or chips.) Arrange remaining bread and pour remaining egg mixture over. Press gently to compact. (I have to admit to having way to much fun with that part.) Let stand 15 minutes. TO SIMPLIFY: from bottom to top that goes .... bread, banana, sprinkle, bread, egg, banana, sprinkle, bread, egg.
- Bake until puffed and golden and knife inserted comes out clean (which won't happen if you use chocolate chips), about 45 minute. Transfer to a rack and cool slightly. Serve slices with rum sauce drizzled on top.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
- Melt butter in medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cream, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat. Stir in rum. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat, stirring constantly.)