Sometimes you just need a hunka hunka burnin’ bread pudding. More specifically, sometimes you need to make a dessert that personifies Elvis Presley; in honor of The King’s birthday on January 8 and his penchant for peanut butter and banana sandwiches, Baked Sunday Mornings is making Caramel-y Banana, Peanut Butter, & Chocolate Bread Pudding from Baked Occasions this week. I’ve never especially been an Elvis fan, but as per usual, I am happy to ride the baking train in pursuit of delicious treats. 😉 The flavor quartet of banana, chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter is a scrumptious melting pot of goodness that works so nicely– Elvis fan or not, you’ll want to keep this in your bread pudding rotation… inasmuch as one might keep an active bread pudding rotation.
The recipe starts with a loaf of brioche. I had made this brioche recipe before when BSM made Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches, but it did not go quite as planned. Instead of a silky dough that produces smooth, pretty brioche rolls, my dough was buttery-greasy with an almost shaggy look. The resulting brioche rolls were tasty, but let’s say… less than attractive. I was determined to make the recipe right this time– maybe I had mis-measured the butter or some other ingredient the first time?? I undertook the task with concentration and warm fuzzies, but sadly my dough turned out exactly the same. I am utterly baffled by this dough that is supposed to be easy enough for a child, according to the recipe introduction. (*swallows ego*)
I didn’t even bother baking the dough, and instead decided to buy a nice brioche loaf. I didn’t have access to a good bakery that day, so I settled for the bakery department of the fancy-pants supermarket nearby, optimistic that the brioche would be decent. Sadly, this loaf was dry, crumbly, and barely passable. Unfortunately I had no other alternative at that point, so I toasted up the inferior brioche cubes and proceeded with the recipe. I wasn’t sure how old the brioche was, so I treated it as a same-day loaf by toasting it, though it could have been a couple of days old, given the dry texture. (I might as well have baked off my greasy dough– it wouldn’t have been any worse…)
Since things were not going according to plan, I was fairly grumpy while making the bread pudding. And what does one do when the grouchies set in? C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. The recipe calls for chopped chocolate only on the bottom, but I decided that I wanted chocolate all throughout my bread pudding! I used chocolate chips because I recently discovered a big stash in my pantry that I need to use up, and even though I increased the quantity to 175g, I would use even more next time.
To make the caramel-y bananas, you’ll melt butter and dark brown sugar into a thick, bubbling caramel syrup, to which you’ll add the banana slices until they are well-coated and starting to soften.
Then you’ll make the mucho delicious peanut butter custard by whisking together the whipping cream, milk, peanut butter, and light brown sugar on the stove until it simmers. This gets whisked in two additions (for tempering purposes) into a bowl of whisked egg and egg yolks, with a final addition of vanilla and salt.
After the custard mixture cools for a few minutes, you’ll add the brioche cubes and stir them until all are coated. Let the bread soak for 30 minutes so the cubes get good and saturated. I then folded in the chocolate chips. You’ll layer half of this mixture into your baking vessel(s), cover it evenly with the caramel banana slices, then scoop the rest of the custardy bread cubes on top.
The bread pudding is meant to be made in 8-ounce ramekins, which a) I don’t have, and b) would have made it awkward to bring to work, so I baked it in a full-sized pan and chose not to deal with the water bath that is needed to bake the smaller portions. The bread pudding baked up beautifully in 47 minutes. You want the surface to be pretty set in order to be sure that the middle is cooked through.
I served the Elvis bread pudding with milk chocolate ice cream, which was a nice combination. Not being a huge fan of bananas, I would personally prefer it without the bananas, but my tasters (especially the hubby who loves all things chocolate/peanut butter/banana) loved the flavor and the fun nod to The King. (Incidentally, one of my teacher colleagues at school said that probably about 40% of her students don’t know who Elvis Presley is…) I preferred it on Day 2– it seemed denser and creamier with more deeply melded flavors. Also, instead of shitty brioche, I would use my bread pudding go-to bread in the future: CHALLAH. Can’t go wrong.
This a clever, delicious twist on traditional bread pudding– I would eat it any time of year. You can find the recipe for Caramel-y Banana, Peanut Butter, & Chocolate Bread Pudding at Baked Sunday Mornings, and see how my fellow bakers liked it. Bread pudding has left the building.
© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2017.