I did a very interesting class in Latin Fusion cooking a few years back. I just love all the recipes I learned and have used them over and over again.
The dessert we learned was a Banana White Chocolate Bread Pudding. This is my husband’s absolute favorite dessert and I only make it on very special occasions because it has all thats bad for you in it….but then again thats what makes it so so good.
This recipe is adapted from the Latin Fusion recipes of Stephen Schmidt.
BANANA WHITE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING WITH WHISKEY CARAMEL SAUCE
3 tbsp butter, unsalted
5 cups sliced fully ripe (speckled) bananas ( about 6)
4 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
One 24 ounce Challah or a loaf of Brioche bread with crusts removed
9 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped (I used white chocolate chips)
Whiskey Caramel Sauce, below
- Place the butter in a large skillet, set over moderately high heat and let it melt.
- Add the bananas and cook, stirring until pale golden and very soft, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and coarsely crush bananas with the back of a fork.
- Add the cream, return the skillet to moderately high heat.
- Heat till the begins to steam.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until well combined.
- Gradually whisk in the hot banana mixture.
Assembling the Bread Pudding
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9x13x2 inch glass baking dish.
- Cut the bread loaf in 1/2 inch slices and each slice into halves or thirds.
- Arrange half the slices, slightly overlapping, in the baking dish.
- Sprinkle with half of the white chocolate chips.
- Pour half of the banana custard on top spreading evenly.
- Repeat with the remaining bread, white chocolate and custard.
- Let stand 1 hour, occasionally pressing on the bread with a metal spatula to help it absorb the custard.
- Set the rack in the center of the oven.
- Bake the pudding until puffed, browned, and set in the center (about 40 minutes).
- Serve warm with sauce.
Note: The unbaked pudding can be refrigerated, covered, upto 24 hours.
WHISKEY CARAMEL SAUCE
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
2-3 tbsp. bourbon whiskey or Cognac
1 tbsp. vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
- Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Set over moderately high heat and cook undisturbed until the syrup begins to darken around the edges of the saucepan.
- Swirling the pan gently by the handle continue to cook the syrup until it becomes dark amber and smokes.
- Remove from heat immediately and add butter and cream.
- Stir until smooth.
- Add whiskey to taste and salt.
Note: The sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Reheat over gentle flame.