Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Banana Berry Bread Pudding with Banana Bourbon Sauce

So, I`m not sure why, but I really want this new Exploding Kittens card game that was introduced to the world today. Before you freak out, it`s not really kittens, being mistreated at ALL. I`m not sure if any of you know what The Oatmeal is, but it`s been around for ages, and the creator is part of this new project (along with two other XBOX game industry people).

I saw it this morning and have been wondering ALL day whether or not to join the Kickstarter campaign. It`s been exploding (hah, so pun-ny) with success. When I saw it earlier today, it was short of $500k, but now it has reached almost $1.5 MILLION! Say, whatttttt? Okay, I think I might just join. Haha!

Okay, on a totally unrelated note, Valentine`s day is a quick 4 weeks away. I`m sure all the blogs are talking about it already or will soon. (I`m months behind on my blog feed.) If you have a special somebody, you might be brainstorming or preparing for what you`ll do...

This isn`t pink, red, or white colored.  But, I have just the thing for you if you want to make breakfast or dessert for your sweetie, but don`t have a lot of time: this crazy awesome bread pudding/baked French toast.

Call it what you will, I`m infatuated with bread puddings. They are so easy to make and they`re fabulous to eat. They`re not fancy to make, either. From my experience at restaurants, they are offered and served in a fancy-ish (okay, 2-3 dollar signs on Yelp) settings. Since bread puddings are simple and fancy-ish, they make a great morning or after-dinner treat. I say either, since you can really spin this either way.

Bread puddings can definitely be eaten alone, without syrups, whipped cream, or a sauce. However, if you`re making this for Valentine`s Day, why not make it extra special with this delicious (also, simple to make) banana bourbon sauce? Don`t want to spend 5 minutes to make a sauce, no problem! Add some swirls of whipped cream or a dollop of ice cream. Boom. Fancy dessert right there, am I right?

This bread pudding is made with berry bagels that I cut into small, 1 inch pieces. I used a mixture of bagels and sandwich slices, because I ate so many bagels before I had the opportunity to bake this... You can definitely do all bagel, though. I wouldn`t recommend using only sandwich bread, unless you add more bread to compensate as sandwich slices are thinner and will absorb the custard more.

I topped it with the banana bourbon sauce and some ice cream. Let me tell you, it was divine!

Banana Berry Bread Pudding w/ Banana Bourbon Sauce
Adapted: Celebrating Sweets | Yields: 6 servings  | Level: Easy | Total Time: 1.5 hours

-          5 large eggs
-          ¼ cup granulated sugar
-          ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
-          ½ teaspoon salt
-          1 cup whole milk
-          1 cup heavy cream
-          1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-          2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-          1-2 bananas, sliced
-          6 cups mix of berry bagel + sandwich slices, quartered
Banana Bourbon Sauce:
-          4 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
-          2 tablespoons brown sugar
-          1 banana, sliced
-          1 tablespoon bourbon
-          1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.       Butter or grease 6 large ramekins, or any baking dish that will equate to 6 large (jumbo) muffin cup size.
2.       In a medium size bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt.
3.       Next, add the milk, heavy cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine well.
4.       Divide bread slices among baking dishes.
5.       Divide and pour custard into each baking dish. Press bread down to soak.
6.       Top with banana slices
7.       Let them sit for 30-45 minutes. Press the bread down once in awhile to soak into the custard.
8.       Preheat oven to 350°F.
9.       Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
10.   Allow bread puddings to cool down before serving.
11.   Banana Bourbon Sauce:
12.   In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
13.   Whisk in the brown sugar and whisk until smooth.
14.   Mix in the bourbon, vanilla, and banana slices.
15.   While stirring occasionally, let sauce cook for about 2 minutes.
16.   Serve warm over bread pudding.

-          You can use just berry bagels, or a mixture with some sandwich slices.
-          Bourbon can be omitted in sauce.

-          Bread puddings taste best on the same day. However, you can refrigerate leftovers and heat in microwave.