Thursday, January 28, 2010

Caramelised Banana Bread Pudding

As I stare down the six loaves of cinnamon swirl bread, all varying in shape, colour and texture, I wonder will I ever be able to find the perfect recipe?

One poor loaf had too much yeast, and rose way too much creating empty spaces between the spirals. The cinnamon sugar mixture decided to ooze it's way out into the bottom of the loaf pan in another, the next was too heavy on the bottom, one was too sweet, and the list continues. Is it really meant to be this difficult?

And then, I stop to think "what the ____ am I meant to do with all this bread?", and "if anyone could see me right now contemplating the virtues of cinnamon bread, would I be confined?"

Suddenly, it dawns on me.....bread pudding! Yum! I had some bananas lying around ready to be eaten, and I caramelised them slightly with some brown sugar - mmmm, what a delightful match, cinnamon, bananas and caramel with eggy creamy custard, warm from the oven and then smothered in caramel sauce.

PS. The search continues for the perfect loaf of cinnamon swirl bread!

Caramelised Banana Bread Pudding
Makes enough to cut 8 healthy slices

2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 & 1/2 cups 35% cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 loaf cinnamon swirl bread (or whatever bread you feel you want to use), cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 banana, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar, extra
2 tablespoons butter, melted, extra

Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly butter a loaf pan, or any kind of oven proof baking dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cream, milk and vanilla. Whisk gently to break up eggs and dissolve the sugar. Add bread cubes and toss through. Set asde while you caramelise the banana.
In a small non-stick pan melt 1 tablespoon butter and add the banana and the extra 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the bananas have softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix gently into the bread mixture.
Add the melted butter and stir well to combine. Pour into prepared pan, pressing gently to flatten out the top slightly. Bake for 45-60 minutes - the thicker your pudding is, the longer it will take to cook. Bake until the pudding is firm in the centre.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, turn out onto serving plate. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce or all of the above :)


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