Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Recipe: Chocolate Banana Coconut Bread Pudding

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Today's recipe is for a custard-based bread pudding with chocolate chips, bananas and toasted coconut.

SERVES:
makes one 9 x 13-inch baking dish

INGREDIENTS:
6 cups 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubed 3 - 4 day old bread (see hints below)

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted

5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter
2 medium bananas, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

PROCEDURE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter one 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Cut 6 cups of 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubed 3 - 4 day old bread.

Toast 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes in a saute pan on medium heat, stirring regularly, and take out of pan when lightly browned.

Use a large mixing bowl to combine 5 large eggs with 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup milk and 3/4 cup light brown sugar, and whisk it up.

Then, add the 6 cups of cubed bread so it can start absorbing the custard.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan you used to toast the coconut, and add 2 sliced bananas, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and about 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and cook those along to caramelize a bit.

Add the caramelized bananas to the bowl with the bread and custard, add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and add 1/2 cup toasted coconut and mix to combine.

Transfer that to the prepared pan and place it onto the center rack of the preheated 350-degree oven.

That'll take about 45 - 50 minutes to bake, and it's a good idea to spin the tray halfway around halfway through.

Use a toothpick to check it for doneness.

Let it cool down a bit, or even serve it cold if you like.

HINTS:
For a creamier version, use 5 cups of cubed bread instead of 6.

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