Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Caramelized Banana Bread Pudding - by Lisa

So I confess that this was one started out as of my "let's get it out of the way" choices, as I've never been quite sure what bread pudding was all about, and I always thought it sounded a little unappetizing. But I have to say, after actually making it and then tasting the final result, I was pleasantly surprised!

The only thing that gave me a little bit of trouble was actually tracking down a loaf of Challah bread. After calling 3 or 4 local grocery stores, I started thinking I might have to make my own from scratch. But then I suddenly remembered having seen a loaf or two at my local Trader Joe's. I called them up and sure enough, I was in luck! I so love TJ's!!

After chopping up the bread, I moved on to making the banana/caramel filling. That part was super easy and smelled a little like bananas foster while it was cooking.

Making the caramel

Cooking the bananas in the caramel

Bread and banana/caramel mixture

Next was whipping up the "heart attack" portion. ;) There is A LOT of half 'n' half and eggs in this dish! As I was assembling this part, I realized it was a lot like making the mixture for dipping French toast! I carefully poured the liquid mixture over the bread/caramel/banana mixture and made sure the bread was fully saturated. It sat on the counter for about 30 minutes before moving over to the oven.

I let it bake for 65 minutes, but I suspect it probably could have gone a little bit longer. When I cut into it, the middle pieces seemed to be a bit on the soggy side, but having never made bread pudding before I wasn't sure if this was normal or not.

Fresh out of the oven!
 The flavor was really yummy, even if I was a little weirded out by the spongy texture. Hubby really enjoyed it and even had it for breakfast the next morning. I shared it with some friends the following night, and it was well received by them too! If I make this again, I would probably let it cook a little longer. But I am happy to have finally tried bread pudding, and even happier to find that it is pretty tasty!

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