It’s finally Friday and I’ve been anxious for this day to come all week! I’ve got a super packed weekend (more than usual) and I’ve been calculating how to efficiently use my time so I can get all I need to done. , All week I’ve been sharing dishes made in our recent N’awlins Jazz Brunch Class we prepared so it’s time to end on a sweet note! For dessert, our class prepared this Bananas Foster French Toast Bread Pudding. Buttery cubes of Challah bread get baked in a rich egg custard before getting drenched in a rich bananas foster sauce and topped with a healthy scoop of ice cream…
This is one busy weekend. For one, tonight I’ve got a restaurant review of the Public House Restaurant… which features a gluten free menu! (Review will be up soon.) Saturday I’m teaching 3 classes back to back – 2 classes on French Macarons and a Spanish Tapas class for dinner. Then Sunday is another work day with a private sushi class I’m teaching for lunch and lastly, a Breaking Bad season finale party I’m hosting with friends for dinner. Despite how busy it is, it’s like the last crazy weekend before complete relaxation and no teaching classes until after mid October. Ahead of me I have a day off on Monday to recover from running around and being in the kitchen. Shortly after that Patrick and I are going away for our annual weekend hiking trip to Starved Rock, IL. When I get back from that weekend, I’ll have my last week at work… then have a full week off for a staycation before I start my new position in the second half of October. And the best part is I’m only focusing on relaxing with Joel. After working 6 days a week for a while as a single parent, this is really something I’m looking forward to. I can’t wait to have some fun time with Joel for a whole week to ourselves!
So back to our Bananas Foster French Toast Bread Pudding (that’s quite a mouthful of a title!) You can make the recipe as written in a large pan but it also does well made in 8 individual servings. For the class I prepared 8 individual mini loaf pans, one for each of my students. The smaller servings work well for gift giving or stocking the freezer with meals.
adapted from Ina Garten
1 challah loaf, cut into slices and cubed
8 large eggs
3 cups half and half
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Place bread cubes into pan and set asside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk together. Pour custard mixture over the bread in the prepared pan and press the bread down. Let the bread soak up the mixture for 10 minutes.
Place bread pudding into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool pan on a cooling rack. Meanwhile, prepare the bananas foster sauce below…
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
1/4 cup dark spiced rum
vanilla ice cream for serving
Add the bananas in the pan. When the bananas soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum.
Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum (if you want to put on the show. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of french toast bread pudding. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top, add a scoop of ice cream and serve immediately.
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