Baked Sunday Mornings: Caramel-y Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Bread Pudding

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe is an indulgent banana-peanut butter-chocolate bread pudding in honor of Elvis' birthday. The recipe calls for brioche, but I decided to use challah instead and made this classic challah recipe from King Arthur Flour. The bread pudding is supposed to be baked in eight 8-oz. ramekins, but the headnote mentions that if you don't have ramekins, you can bake the recipe in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and increase the baking time. Even though I have plenty of ramekins, I decided to scale down the recipe a bit and bake a single large bread pudding in a 2-quart Pyrex dish (7-inches by 11-inches).

First, I cut my challah into one-inch cubes and toasted them in the oven. Then I prepared the bananas: I cut them into slices and cooked them in a mixture of butter and dark brown sugar until lightly browned and coated in a thick caramel-y syrup. To prepare the custard, I brought a mixture of milk, heavy cream, peanut butter, and light brown sugar almost to a boil, gradually incorporated it into a mixture of egg yolks and egg, and added vanilla and salt. I soaked my toasted challah cubes in the custard for 30 minutes.

To assemble the bread pudding, I oiled my Pyrex dish and sprinkled dark chocolate chips over the bottom; put about half of the bread cubes (and some liquid custard) on top of the chips; put the layered the bananas on top; and added the remaining soaked bread and more custard. I didn't use of all of the custard because I like my bread pudding to have more bread than pudding -- so I had some cubes of bread sticking out from the custard. I baked the bread pudding in a bain marie for 55 minutes.
I cooled the bread pudding slightly and sprinkled on powdered sugar; I thought it looked quite pretty. I tried to cut and serve the bread pudding while it was still warm and it didn't hold together very well; that was probably my fault for not using all of the custard. Because there was a melted layer of chocolate chips on the bottom of the baking dish, a lot of chocolate ended up coating my serving spatula instead of remaining attached to the bread pudding as I transferred slices to individual plates.

I did not like this bread pudding. The flavors were muddy and indistinct. While the peanut butter is the most prominent flavor, you barely get any banana since there are only small pieces of banana here and there (the bananas shrink when you cook them in the butter and sugar). And I thought the bananas were way too sweet with their sugary coating. Even the chocolate couldn't win me over. I think if you're going to add chocolate, it should probably be mixed throughout the pudding and not isolated to a discrete layer on the bottom. But when I did eat a bite of bread pudding with some chocolate in it, the strong flavor of the 60.3% Callebaut chips I used drowned out everything else. I'm sad to say I'm not feeling any burning love for this dessert.

Recipe: "Caramel-y Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Bread Pudding" from Baked Occasions, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding," September 7, 2014.


Louise said…
I really enjoy an occasional bread pudding. My mother would make it when there was extra bread and milk in the house. This sounds like one I can skip.
Anonymous said…
Sorry to hear it wasn't a winner. I would personally omit the bananas and concentrate on a chocolate/peanut butter situation. I too would use challah next time!