White chocolate, berries, bananas… What is not to like? Each of them lovely on their own. So what if you put them all together? That is what is happening with this wonderful bread pudding, that I had mentioned a while ago. This was to take to a party that I went to, with some of my friends. The party was indeed great, and I wish I could say the bread pudding was the highlight of the party, but alas… that was the crawfish imported from New Orleans. Of course, the pudding was appreciated very much, and I do think the praise was genuine! 🙂
Actually, this is one dish that I have made for many an occasion and some among my friends are all time fans of it.
The berries that you use for this pudding can be any dried berries, like cranberries or blue berries. Or even dried cherries. In the cooking process, they absorb the liquids and swell up to become twice their original size. And the bananas are cooked with butter and brown sugar before being added to the mix so that their flavour really spreads through the whole pudding.
A variation that you can try with the bananas is to add some dark rum to the butter-brown sugar-bananas mix and flambé it, before adding the whole thing into the pudding mix. It adds that extra oomph to the dish. Though the alcohol will be totally evaporated through the flambéing, it is better not to use the rum if children are going to partake of the pudding.
A key factor to the success of this pudding is allowing the bread pieces to thoroughly soak in the liquids. Leaving the mix aside for a minimum of 30 minutes, an hour if possible, will make the texture silky and smooth.
As this was planned for a party, I prepared this pudding in a disposable aluminium foil baking pan. These pans with lids are a blessing when you need to carry stuff around.
Of course, I had also made two little ones in ramekins for taste testing. It is not advisable to take anything to anyone before testing it yourself. Believe me, I’m saying this based on some pretty painful experience… from days long gone by. 😉
And the best part of making this pudding? Boy, your home will be filled with the sweet fragrance of freshly baked bananas and chocolates for a long time! This is one time I would not light candles to eliminate food smells… it is that great!
- 6 cups bread cubes
- 6 oz white chocolate chips
- 3 bananas
- 1 cup dried berries (cranberries, blue berries or cherries)
- 6 tbsp butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 9 x13 inch baking pan.
- Cut the bread slices into ½ inch cubes.
- Slice the bananas into thin pieces.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and 1 cup brown sugar (leaving ¼ cup sugar aside).
- Add the cream and milk to the eggs and beat well.
- Add the vanilla and cinnamon and mix thoroughly.
- Slowly add the berries, chocolate chips and bread cubes and stir together.
- In a heated pan, add the butter, banana slices and the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar.
- Stir and cook till the banana slices start losing their firm shape.
- Stir into the pudding mix.
- Pour the mix into the buttered baking pan.
- Place in the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Insert a skewer in the center of the pudding and if it comes out clean, take the pudding out of the oven. If raw batter is sticking to the skewer, bake for another 10 minutes and check again.
- Check the bread pudding cool on a rack for 10 minutes before cutting into squares for serving.