Saturday, April 9, 2011

Banana Muffin Chocolate Bread Pudding

I had some bananas that ripened way too quickly this week, and so I made a double batch of banana muffins in the midst of a busy week to try and not be wasteful.

Alas, when I made the muffins, I was in a big hurry and forgot to put in any sweetener.  With the ripened bananas they were faintly sweet, but just not quite sweet enough because I'd made them with some oats and oat bran, and the pasty taste needed a little extra sweetness to take the edge off.

But this morning, as I was waking up, I had an epiphany:  if the muffins aren't quite sweet enough, why not use them as a base for some bread pudding instead?

So guess what I have baking in my oven this morning:  a pan of banana muffin chocolate bread pudding.  I took a basic recipe for banana bread pudding and tweaked it a bit with what I had on hand, and it smells awesome.  Here's my recipe:

Banana Muffin Chocolate Bread Pudding

8 eggs  (or, in my case, 5 whole eggs and 6 egg whites)
4 c. skim milk
1 1/2 c. Splenda  (or 2 c. sugar, more or less to suit your own taste buds)
2 Tbsp. vanilla (use the good stuff if you have it)
4 dozen banana oat mini muffins  (about 8 cups total, you can use day old french bread here instead of muffins, too), chopped in half
4 bananas, sliced
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips to sprinkle on the top

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  Put chopped mini-muffins into a very large bowl.  In mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Splenda, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour over muffins and mix together well to soak in for about 5 minutes.  Add sliced bananas and 2 c. chocolate chips.  Mix together well.  Pour into prepared baking dish.  Nestle your dish into a larger roasting pan.  Carefully pour simmering hot water into the larger pan (not into the pudding pan, though) so that the water comes up about 1-inch up the side of the inner pan.  (This will help to cook your custard all the way through and speed your cooking time a bit while keeping it from burning.)

Place the whole thing on a baking sheet and slide it carefully in the oven.  Honestly, I find it easier to place the baking sheet and roasting pan in the oven, nestle the bread pudding dish in as far over as I can to one side of the roasting pan, and then pour the water bath into the roaster while the pan is on the rack -- then you only have to slide the rack back into the oven instead of wrestling with two full pans with liquid at once.  Do be careful not to burn your finger as you do any of this -- take it from me and my band-aided finger this morning that distractions in the kitchen when you are fiddling with the oven can be seriously painful.

Bake about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

It smells incredible.  Will let you know on taste once this is done.  But I am definitely having some of this for breakfast...

PS -- The answer?  OMG, delicious.  This one will definitely be a keeper.

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