Archive for March, 2013

March 31, 2013

Bananas Foster Croissant Bread Pudding

pudding_served1

If you want a decadent dessert, this is the one for you!  I ran across this recipe in one of the many food blogs that I read (I wish I could remember which one…if I find it again, i’ll add the link) and just had to make it.  I first made it for myself and both Margie and I loved it.  It was so good, that we had to share it and made the recipe again with my parents, who also loved it.  The sauce can be very tricky getting the sugar to brown correctly, so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t turn out right the first time.  It will take practice.

On to the recipe…

Bananas Foster Croissant Bread Pudding

Yield: one 9″ x 13″ pan    Prep Time: 10 minutes

ingredients:

for the croissant bread pudding

12-15 small croissants, stale (at least a day old is best; if you can’t find small croissants, you can tear 6 large croissants in half)

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups half & half

1/4 cup dark rum

2 tablespoons banana liqueur

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (use pure vanilla extract if you don’t have paste)

 

for the bananas foster sauce

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cubed

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons dark rum

1 tablespoon banana liqueur

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch kosher salt

3-4 bananas, sliced into coins

directions:

 for the croissant bread pudding

preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish that’s at least 2″ tall.  place the mini croissants in the prepared baking dish, making sure they fit in snugly.  you don’t want there to be large gaps or too much room between the croissants, so you can tear a few up to fill some of the holes if you need to.  set aside.

in a medium saucepan, combine the light brown sugar, dark brown sugar and water. place over medium-high heat, and stir frequently with a whisk or wooden spoon.

while the sugars are cooking on the stove, combine the heavy cream and half & half in a large microwave-safe bowl.  microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each heating until the liquid is warm.  add the dark rum and banana liqueur to the warmed cream mixture, and stir to combine. set aside.

in a medium bowl, combine the beaten eggs, salt and vanilla bean paste. whisk to combine, and set aside.

when the brown sugars are dissolved in the water, and the mixture begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat. while whisking constantly, slowly pour in the heated cream mixture. the saucepan will likely bubble and hiss violently, but just continue whisking feverishly and adding the cream until the mixture is smooth and uniform.  very slowly pour the hot liquid from the saucepan into the bowl containing the beaten egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs.  when the custard is smooth and uniform, pour immediately over the croissants in the baking dish.  the croissants will want to float to the top, but press them down to ensure that the tops are soaked through.  carefully transfer the baking dish to the middle rack of the oven.

bake the croissant bread pudding at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops of the croissants are burnished and brown, and the custard is baked and no longer liquidy.  you can serve this immediately with the bananas foster sauce, or if preparing in advance, allow to cool completely at room temperature. cover the cooled baking dish with aluminum foil, and transfer to the fridge. the croissant bread pudding can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of serving time.

to reheat, simply uncover the baking dish and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through. serve immediately.

 

for the bananas foster sauce

in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with high sides, combine the granulated sugar and water.

place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and allow the sugar to melt and dissolve, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.  the sugar will begin to turn a light amber color once it’s melted and continues to cook.  when the sugar is a light brown color, add the cold cubes of butter, whisking constantly. the sugar will bubble and sizzle violently, but continue whisking until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth.

remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the heavy cream. again, the sauce will bubble up and hiss, but just whisk the sauce until it is smooth and the heavy cream is incorporated.  add the dark rum, banana liqueur, vanilla extract and salt. whisk to combine.

switch to a silicone spatula, and add the banana coins, folding them into the caramel sauce to ensure they’re coated with sauce.

pour the sauce immediately over slices of warm croissant bread pudding.

ready to be baked

ready to be baked

pudding finished baking and taken out of the oven

pudding finished baking and taken out of the oven

caramelizing the sugar for the sauce

caramelizing the sugar for the sauce

sauce complete!

sauce complete!

Mmmm, mmmm.  Time to dig in!

Mmmm, mmmm. Time to dig in!

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