Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Banana Rum Caramel Bread Pudding
Holy goodness, guys. I really can't think of anything else to say. Somehow "holy goodness" is an exclamation that comes out of my mouth sometimes. Is goodness holy? I don't even know. Whatever. But seriously. Hot, gooey bananas, custardy challah bread, and a drizzle of rum-y caramel? Yes, please. Mother, may I? Holy goodness. Jabberwocky. I can't even make sense right now.
For the record, these are far superior served warm, so the caramel is melty and gooey and so are the bites of chopped up banana. I was a bit impatient reheating one, and learned the hard way. It was still pretty yummy, though.
I used Challah bread I had in my freezer from the last time I made french toast. If you don't live in an area where this is available (ie, not in an area with a large Jewish population) other types of egg bread or brioche would both be good. I love how Challah is lightly sweet and fairly dense and chewy, so it works perfectly to soak up eggy custard in bread pudding or french toast.
I loved every step of this recipe, and it was a recipe with many steps. I suggest only making this when you have the proper attention to pay it, as getting distracted while making caramel sauce never ends well (have you ever tried to get burnt caramel off of your favorite pan?).
I have mentioned before that I love the feeling of becoming totally involved in the steps of a recipe, the complete zen mindfulness this process creates for me. This was just that kind of recipe, though actually each step was easy and pretty quick. Basically I made the rum caramel sauce first, set it aside. Then sliced the challah bread into 1 inch cubes, lay them out on a baking sheet, and cooked them until lightly browned, and dry. Then made the custard. Then sliced the bananas, and cooked them breifly in a pan with a glaze made of butter, brown sugar, rum and lemon juice. In the end I assembled them in ramekins for cute individual servings, layering in the bread, bananas and custard. After some time in the oven, I let them cool and then drizzled them with my caramel sauce, which I had poured into a plastic bottle once it cooled down to lukewarm. So, so perfect.
You can see the full recipe here from Bon Appetit. I halved the recipe and made 4 individual servings in 1-cup ramekins.