Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Banana chocolate chip bread pudding, for the morning after (also known as 'Better than make-up sex' bread pudding)

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Update, April 2020: I've made banana chocolate chip bread pudding more times than I can count since this post first appeared a decade ago. It's getting us through our COVID-19 quarantine at the moment. The first time I made this recipe it was a peace offering. Now it's our ultimate comfort food. Enjoy.

Husbands and wives argue. It's just one of those things - a given of marriage, a by-product of sharing so many of the important issues and ho-hum mundanities of life. A little irritation leads to big words. Stubborn begets stubborn. Heels dig in. Movement and compromise seem unnatural, uncomfortable, even impossible. You reach a level of exasperation where you wonder how you ended up in this life and wildly consider all the possible avenues out of it. And then you leave the room, slam the door, hold your head in your hands, and fume. Or weep, depending on the particular situation and your particular personality.

Married people out there, I see you nodding your heads. And for all you smug singles who think this will never happen to you and your future spouse...I think you know what I'm going to say, so I won't bother.

I've heard the old saying about not going to bed angry, but that doesn't always work for me. When I get heated up, I need more time for my steam to dissipate. But ultimately I'm a peacemaker. Which is why, a few weeks ago, I made banana chocolate chip bread pudding early one morning before heading to work. We'd gone to bed mad, and I meant the bread pudding as my fragrant, sweet, silent apology. Which, fortunately, is how it was received. [April 2010]

Banana chocolate chip bread pudding
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur, or brandy
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 loaf challah, torn into small pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced or cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, cream, milk, liqueur and salt. Add the bread pieces, bananas, and chocolate chips and toss to combine thoroughly - you want all the bread covered with the custard mixture. Leave the bread pudding mixture in the bowl about 1 hour, mixing every 15 minutes to redistribute the ingredients.

Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, then pour in the bread pudding mixture. Bake until the bread pudding is puffed up, golden brown on top and set in the center - when you jiggle the pan, the middle shouldn't wobble. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack at least 30 minutes. It will deflate as it cools, but that's normal, so don't be concerned.

Serve warm or at room temperature. I think whipped cream is gilding the lily, but if you like it, go ahead.