bananas foster croissant bread pudding.

you might want to go ahead and slip into some stretchy pants, because this is some seriously decadent, addictive bread pudding.

bananas. foster. croissant. bread. pudding.

don’t say i didn’t warn you!

i was going to post this last week, you know because of banana week. but since i’m currently in New Orleans, the birthplace of bananas foster, it just felt a little more appropriate to share this with you today.

speaking of sharing, you’re really not going to want to share this bread pudding with anyone at all, ever. but you should, because it will make people fall in love with you. that’s a fact.

also, it might not be the best idea to eat this entire recipe by yourself, since you can’t just wear stretch pants forever. not very stylish.

so remember last week, when i was saying things like “i don’t like bananas!” and “bananas taste funny, but i want to like them”?

i’d like to formally retract that statement. this bananas foster croissant bread pudding changed my life. it’s made me a better person. kinder, gentler, maybe a little more lovely. after a few bites of this sumptuous dessert, i became a banana believer.

it was a bit of a religious experience. i mean, when copious amounts of cream, rum, caramel and croissants are involved, how could it not be?

personally, i think this is a really fun play on bananas foster. i’d even go so far as to call it whimsical, but that’s just me.

the first time i made the sauce, i  prepared it as bananas foster tradition dictates. sauteed some bananas in brown sugar, lit the pan on fire, oohed and aahed, all that.

it just wasn’t doing it for me. the sauce was a bit on the thin side, and i really feel that with something as thick and decadent as croissant bread pudding, you need an equally sinful sauce with body. heft.

so i did what any sane, rational person would do. i made a bananas foster caramel sauce.

oh yeah. that’s just how i roll, friends. go big or go home, right?

this bananas foster croissant bread pudding is so damn good, guys. we’re talking audible moans, eyes rolling in the backs of heads, and muttering strings of expletives after each bite good.

the buttery miniature croissants act like little flaky sponges, soaking up an incredible amount of banana brown sugar custard. once baked, the bread pudding is certainly dense, but light at the same time. it’s weird, but in a very delicious way.

instead of sautéing bananas in brown sugar and butter, i simply cut them into coins and add them to the finished caramel sauce a few minutes before serving. that way, the bananas maintain some of their lovely texture, while softening up just enough to allow the caramel sauce to permeate them throughout.

be sure to pour the sauce atop thick slices of warm bread pudding with a very heavy hand. your friends and loved ones will thank you, perhaps with their mouths full.

bananas foster croissant bread pudding: oh yes, it is so, so worth it.

bananas foster croissant bread pudding

Yield: one 9" x 13" pan

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

for the croissant bread pudding

12-15 small croissants, stale (at least a day old is best; if you can't find small croissants, you can tear 6 large croissants in half)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half & half
1/4 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons banana liqueur
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (use pure vanilla extract if you don't have paste)

for the bananas foster sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon banana liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
3-4 bananas, sliced into coins

Directions:

for the croissant bread pudding

preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

butter a 9" x 13" baking dish that's at least 2" tall.

place the mini croissants in the prepared baking dish, making sure they fit in snugly. you don't want there to be large gaps or too much room between the croissants, so you can tear a few up to fill some of the holes if you need to. set aside.

in a medium saucepan, combine the light brown sugar, dark brown sugar and water. place over medium-high heat, and stir frequently with a whisk or wooden spoon.

while the sugars are cooking on the stove, combine the heavy cream and half & half in a large microwave-safe bowl.

microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each heating until the liquid is warm.

add the dark rum and banana liqueur to the warmed cream mixture, and stir to combine. set aside.

in a medium bowl, combine the beaten eggs, salt and vanilla bean paste. whisk to combine, and set aside.

when the brown sugars are dissolved in the water, and the mixture begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat. while whisking constantly, slowly pour in the heated cream mixture. the saucepan will likely bubble and hiss violently, but just continue whisking feverishly and adding the cream until the mixture is smooth and uniform.

very slowly pour the hot liquid from the saucepan into the bowl containing the beaten egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs.

when the custard is smooth and uniform, pour immediately over the croissants in the baking dish.

the croissants will want to float to the top, but press them down to ensure that the tops are soaked through.

carefully transfer the baking dish to the middle rack of the oven.

bake the croissant bread pudding at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops of the croissants are burnished and brown, and the custard is baked and no longer liquidy.

you can serve this immediately with the bananas foster sauce, or if preparing in advance, allow to cool completely at room temperature.

cover the cooled baking dish with aluminum foil, and transfer to the fridge. the croissant bread pudding can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of serving time.

to reheat, simply uncover the baking dish and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through. serve immediately.

for the bananas foster sauce

in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with high sides, combine the granulated sugar and water.

place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and allow the sugar to melt and dissolve, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

the sugar will begin to turn a light amber color once it's melted and continues to cook.

when the sugar is a light brown color, add the cold cubes of butter, whisking constantly. the sugar will bubble and sizzle violently, but continue whisking until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth.

remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the heavy cream. again, the sauce will bubble up and hiss, but just whisk the sauce until it is smooth and the heavy cream is incorporated.

add the dark rum, banana liqueur, vanilla extract and salt. whisk to combine.

switch to a silicone spatula, and add the banana coins, folding them into the caramel sauce to ensure they're coated with sauce.

pour the sauce immediately over slices of warm croissant bread pudding.

croissant bread pudding adapted from savory sweet life

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11 Responses to “bananas foster croissant bread pudding.”

  1. #
    1
    JulieD — August 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Oh my! I’m definitely going to try this, Jaclyn. Life-changing…sign me up. I love bananas foster, bananas and bread pudding, it’s a match made in heaven. Hope you have fun this weekend!

  2. #
    2
    Natalie — August 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    joke’s on you- i’m already in stretchy pants. :) and i’m ready for you to deliver this to my door, please and thank you!

  3. #
    3
    marla — August 27, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Could this look any more decadent & fabulous?! I think not :) Beautiful bread pudding.

  4. #
    4
    Kaitlin — August 27, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Gah. You just made me so hungry. Yummmm! I am jealous you’re in New Orleans, too! Lucky girl!

  5. #
    5
    Linda — August 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Well, shoot…I’ve got everything it calls for. Darn it anyway. Was trying to get away from those pants.

  6. #
    6
    Irishbaker — August 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    This looks amazing,the pictures are so good :O

  7. #
    7
    Tres Delicious — August 28, 2011 at 3:38 am

    I want that luscious and rich croissant topped with banana foster.

  8. #
    8
    Erin — August 29, 2011 at 10:07 am

    That topping alone looks amazing to me.

  9. #
    9
    Gisele aka LA2LAChef — September 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Good to meet you last week, Jaclyn. Caramel- always welcome!

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