I know a friend, who knows a friend, who works in a bakery. Every now and then, I get loaves of freshly baked bread loaves delivered to my door step, in a large black garbage bag. The bakery bake their bread fresh every morning and they don't keep any leftovers, so staff get to bring them home or most often, they make their way to the homeless. I feel a little guilty sometimes, prying these free loaves of bread from the homeless. BUT someone I know also tells me that the homeless are THAT sick of bread they don't want them anyways! Hmmm... I don't know!
So occasionally I play tetris with bread loaves in my freezer until I think of new ways to make them delicious again, without being too boring.
Last night, I had to whip out a quick dessert for some last minute dinner guests and this is what I made. (Which, by the way, is dangerously dense, custardy, uber-bananaresque and super studded with choc bits...it was heavenly!) I love bread pudding in any form it's made really, it's one of the most comforting, warming and rich dessert. Anyways, this is the recipe:
10 thick slices of day-old white bread (or in my case, defrosted)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more)
2 ripe bananas, chopped
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 cups milk (you can use 1/2 cup of cream and 2 1/2 cups of milk for a creamier pudding)
1 tbsp demerara sugar - optional
- Generously butter an ovenproof baking dish.
- Thickly slice the bread and trim off the crust. I then cut them into 4 small triangles. Generously butter the bread. (OK, maybe you'll need more than 60g!)
- Evenly layer the bread in the dish until the base is covered.
- Sprinkle cubed bananas and 1/2 the chocolate chips over the bread.
- Layer remaining bread triangles and make it look pretty!
- Top with the rest of the chocolate chips. If you like, you can sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top. I didn't add anymore sugar. I figured the banana and chocolate itself would be enough to sweeten the pudding.
- Make the custard: Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla essence together.
- Pour custard over bread layers and let it stand for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
Served warm with vanilla ice-cream - or - lashings of chocolate sauce - or - both. Needless to say, my guests left in a sugar coma, but forever enamored with this dessert.