Thursday, March 27, 2008
Banana-Walnut Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
This is my submission for "Men Who Cook". I've posted about my bread pudding before but I thought I'd do something a little different with it this time. I have a certain fondness for this recipe since it's one of the first ones I came up with on my own when I was in college. In all these years I've always done it essentially the same way - straight up with cinnamon and raisins. After making this version though I'm not sure if I'll go back to the old recipe - I love the flavor and texture that bananas and walnuts bring to the party.
2 large very ripe bananas
3 c. soy milk
1 c. Silk creamer (or more soy milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1 loaf of soft white bread (see note below)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. dried cranberries
Mash bananas in a large bowl and add soy milk, creamer, vanilla, 1/2 c. sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and mix well. Tear the whole loaf of bread into small pieces and mix it all into the wet ingredients as you go. You should end up with a stiff but moist batter. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts then spread the mixture in a greased 8" x 12" baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and bake at 350° for 1 hour. After it cools, slice it into squares to serve.
Note: You may need to adjust the amount of soy milk depending on the size of your loaf of bread. For this recipe I used a large (24 oz.) sandwich loaf, but if your loaf is smaller use less soy milk and if it's larger use more. You may want to start with less soy milk and see how it goes. You want to have a fairly stiff batter but it should be moist. Kind of like this - notice that a spoon will stand up in it.
I also decided to jazz it up this time and make a simple sauce:
3 Tbs. Earth Balance margarine
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 Tbs. Silk creamer
Heat margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat until it melts. Add brown sugar and stir until it's fully dissolved. Mix in the insides of the vanilla bean, then add the creamer and whisk until it's fully incorporated. Cook another minute or so then remove from heat. To serve, pour a spoonful or two over a piece of bread pudding and sprinkle with powdered sugar.